Authentic Kerala Chicken Curry also called Nadan Kozhi Curry which translates to Village Chicken Curry - Simple Rustic Chicken Curry from made with Coconut Milk and Warm Indian Spices.
This recipe of Kerala Chicken Curry is very close to my heart .There are so many different ways in which Chicken is cooked in Kerala.Frankly it's overwhelming! If you are looking for dry chicken roast, check out my Kerala chicken Roast recipe.
What is Kerala Chicken Curry?
Kerala Chicken Curry also called as Nadan Chicken Curry is the most basic, no frills Kerala Chicken Curry that's made in most Malabar households.
In fact ,Nadan Kozhi Curry translates to Village Chicken Curry- which is made with the most basic ingredients available easily in their own backyard, including the country chicken , which is said to have a lot more flavour and robustness than the easily available broiler Chicken.
No prizes for guessing what the main ingredient of a Kerala Chicken Curry will be.Obviously it has Coconut- more specifically Coconut milk, which ideally, is freshly extracted from coconut flesh.
How to make Kerala Chicken Curry
- Chicken on the bone
- Medium Sized Onions
- Garlic Cloves
- Inch Ginger
- Green Chilli
- Thick Coconut Milk-First extract*
- Thin- Coconut Milk- second extract**
- Coconut Oil
- Spices -Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, cumin, fennel, Red Chillies, Coriander seeds and Pepper
How to make Coconut Milk at home
Coconut milk can be made ,quite easily ,with fresh coconut.All you need to do is break open the coconut, get the flesh, add it in the blender along with 2 cups of water.Strain the water using a sieve,lightly press and you have the first thick extract of coconut.
The second extract is made the same way by adding 2 cups of water to the left over coconut, blending it again in the food processor and straining the coconut.
Though making your own coconut milk will be so much more flavourful and fresh, it is not always possible to use it.More often than not, we are running against time and modern luxuries of canned coconut milk help us make the curry without breaking a leg(errr coconut I mean).
You may use the canned coconut milk to substitute first extract.The second extract is usually thinned down version of the first, hence add 1 part canned coconut milk to 1 part water and your second extract of coconut milk is ready.
Method to make Nadan Chicken Curry
Utensils- If you have an earthen pot, it's time to fish it out. Earthen pots add a lot of flavour to the curry.If not, use a regular pot.
Step 1: Roast the Spices
Lightly roast the whole spices - Cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,cumin,fennel seeds, peppercorns,chillies & Coriander on low flame.Set to cool.Grind to a fine powder.
Make a paste of the Ginger,Garlic and Chilli.Alternatively use 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste with chilli slight across the Center.
Step 2- Making the Base
Heat a heavy pot.Add the coconut oil.Add in the onions and cook till translucent.Next,Add the ginger garlic chilli paste.Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the Dry Masala and roast the onions and masala for about 3-4 minutes.
Step 3: Cooking the Chicken
Add the bone in chicken and mix well.Coating the Chicken with the onion masala.Cook and brown the chicken for 5-10 minutes.Pour in the 3 cups of thin extract or 1.5 cups canned coconut milk with 1.5 cups of water.Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
If you want a thick gravy, reduce the curry at this step.After adding the thick coconut milk,the curry shouldnt be boiled as the coconut milk tends to split.
Step 4: Thicken with Coconut Milk
Add the thick coconut milk,Stir the curry well and let it cook open for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Temper(optional)
Temper thinly sliced shallots & Curry Leaves in coconut oil.
Pour over the curry.
Serve hot along with Rice or Appams.
Here are some more Kerala Regional recipes for you
Kerala Chicken Roast- Chicken Peralan
Kerala Prawn Curry- Chemmin Curry
Kerala Mango Prawn Curry
Kerala Veg Stew
Here are some Indian Chicken recipes for you
Mughlai Chicken Korma
Goan Chicken Vindaloo
Tamil Pepper Chicken Curry
Chicken 65- Indian Fried Chicken
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- 1 Kg Chicken on the bone- Cut into medium size
- 3 Onions- Chopped
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Inch Ginger
- 1 Green Chilli
- 1 Cups Thick Coconut Milk-First extract*
- 3 Cups Thin- Coconut Milk- second extract**
- 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- Salt to Taste
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 6 Cloves
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
- 4 Red Chillies
- ¼ Cup Coriander Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 6 Shallots sliced
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- Lightly roast the whole spices listed under Masala- Cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,cumin,fennel seeds, peppercorns,chillies & Coriander on low flame till an aroma rises out of them and the coriander seeds toast.Set to cool.Grind to a fine powder.2 Cinnamon Sticks, 6 Cardamom Pods, ½ teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds, 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns, 4 Red Chillies, ¼ Cup Coriander Seeds, 6 Cloves
- Make a paste of the Ginger,Garlic and Chilli.Alternatively use 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste with chilli slight across the Center.6 Garlic Cloves, 1 Inch Ginger, 1 Green Chilli
- Heat a heavy pot.Add the coconut oil.2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- Spoon in the onions and cook till translucent.Next,Add the ginger garlic chilli paste.3 Onions- Chopped
- Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the Dry Masala and roast the onions and masala for about 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the chicken and mix well.Coating the Chicken with the onion masala.1 Kg Chicken on the bone- Cut into medium size, 1 teaspoon Turmeric, Salt to Taste
- Add the Salt & turmeric too.
- Cook and brown the chicken for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour in the 3 cups of thin extract.Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.3 Cups Thin- Coconut Milk- second extract**
- Add the thick coconut milk,Stir the curry well and let it cook open for 5 minutes.If you want to thicken the gravy cook on high flame for a few more minutes.1 Cups Thick Coconut Milk-First extract*
- Heat the coconut oil in a small pan/Kadhai.1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- As it starts smoking, add the thinly sliced shallots & Curry Leaves.Give it a Stir to mix everything.10-12 Curry Leaves, 6 Shallots sliced
- When the onions start to brown, switch off the gas and pot the tempering over the prepared Curry.
- Serve hot along with Rice or Appams.
Dhvani Desai says
Hi!! I made this curry yesterday!! It was just fantastic! Thank you for sharing. Meanwhile do let me know at what stage to add the tumeric and salt?
And do we add the mustard seeds to the final tempering?
Hey Dhvani..Thankyou so much.
I had added in the original recipe but i feel its not neccessary to add mustard seeds so i have removed it from the list.
Can you make this without coconut milk?
You can make it with store bought coconut milk...Since the recipe is around that, it would be tough to replicate..I think Almond milk could work..but i havent tried that..