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south indian chicken curry with coconut milk

south indian chicken curry with coconut milk

south indian chicken curry with coconut milk

south indian chicken curry with coconut milk
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk

How to make Coconut Chicken Curry

  •  Season the chicken
  • To prepare this chicken curry, take a large bowl with the chicken pieces and add salt, black pepper and curry powder to it. Mix well.
  •  Saute onion and garlic
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium flame and add the chopped onion, crushed garlic and saute them for a minute.
  • Cook the chicken pieces
  • Then, add the chicken pieces and cook for some time till the chicken is light brown in colour.
  • Add tomato puree and coconut milk
  • Now, add the tomato puree and the coconut milk to the pan. Mix well and bring to a boil. Let the chicken soak in these ingredients. Allow it to cook for 15- 20 minutes on a medium-low flame.
  •  Garnish with curry leaves
  • Once done, turn off the flame and transfer the curry to a serving bowl. Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot.

Kerala Style Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Rich n Juicy Chickencooked in an Aromatic Creamy Gravy! This Kerala Style Chicken Curry with CoconutMilk is a Foolproof Keeper and every Malayalee’s favorite …!!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala
Keyword: chicken curry with coconut milk, kerala chicken curry
Servings: 4


For the marinade
  • 2 lb chicken (bone – in preferred)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • Salt (as required)
For the gravy
  • 2 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2-3 green chilies (slit)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tomatoes (medium sized, cubed)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¾ cup thin coconut milk
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt (as required)
  • Oil (as required)
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk


To marinate chicken: Marinate the chicken with garam masala, pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt, set aside for 15 – 30 mins.

To prepare masala: Heat oil in a pan on medium heat and add sliced onions, one sprig of curry leaves, green chilies and pinch of salt. Sauté until onions are caramelized slightly. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears.

Follow by adding tomatoes and sauté until they turn mushy. Reduce the heat to low and add the spice powders; chili, turmeric, coriander and garam masala. Sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add the marinated chicken and mix well with the masala. Place the lid and cook on a medium flame for 3 mins.
Open the lid and add ½ cup water, allow the curry to boil. Check for the seasoning.

Adding coconut milk: Once the curry starts boiling, add thin coconut milk. Allow the chicken to cook in it for 10-15 minutes. Stir in between while cooking.

Add pepper powder and mix well. Once the chicken is cooked and the gravy is slightly reduced, bring the flame to a low and add thick coconut milk. Allow the curry to heat up a bit, but ensure not to boil the curry once thick coconut milk has been added. Check for the seasoning.

Garnish: Top with curry leaves and mix well. Place the lid, turn off the flame and allow it to sit for 15 mins.

Serve: Serve hot. The curry goes well with Appam (hoppers), Idiyappam (string hoppers), Puttu, Steamed Rice or Roti / Naan.

South Indian Chicken Curry

The southwestern part of India known as Kerala, where I was raised, is endowed with lush, tropical growth year-round—coconut trees along the coast and, at higher elevations, an abundance of herbs and spices. So it’s no wonder that in this region, highly spiced curries flavored with coconut milk are an important part of every dinner. If you don’t have time to make your own fresh Curry Spice Mix, you can substitute a store-bought garam masala or curry powder.


  • 1 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • Stems from 3 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, skinned
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. South Indian Curry Spice Mix
  • 2 cups fresh Coconut Milk (1 cup thick, 1 cup thin)
  • Kosher salt
  • Cooked long-grain rice, for serving
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk


In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat until it is very hot. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle for about 1 minute. Add the garlic, ginger, sliced onion, and cilantro stems, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ground spice mix and continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are very soft, stirring often so that the onions cook evenly.

When the onions and peppers are soft and have absorbed the spices, start adding the chicken, a little at a time. Stir the pieces until they’re coated with the spices, and then add more chicken. When all the chicken has been stirred in, pour the thin coconut milk over the chicken, add the salt and the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
To soften the flavor of the spices, and to make a creamy sauce, the author simmers the chicken for her curry in coconut milk.

Remove the cover from the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Then add the thick coconut milk and the cilantro leaves. Return liquid to a simmer, season to taste with salt, and serve with rice.

Malabar Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk


1 kg Chicken Bone-in or Boneless (2.20 lbs)

Marination for Chicken

  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or as per requirement
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Teaspoon Red Chili Powder can be replaced with smoked paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon Madras Curry Powder see recipe in notes can be replaced with Garam Masala

Making the Curry

  • 2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil can be replaced with any other vegetable oil
  • 2-3 Small Dried Red Chilies can be replaced with slit green chilies
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 2 sticks Cinnamom broken
  • 1 inch Ginger finely chopped
  • 2 Cups Grated Coconut
  • 1 medium Onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic minced
  • ½ Cup Tomato Puree 1-2 medium tomato pureed
  • ½ Teaspoon Red chili Powder can be replaced with smoked paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Madras Curry Powder see notes for recipe
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves

Ingredients for Tempering or “Tadka”

  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 Small Dried Red Chilies
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ Cup Grated Coconut
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk
south indian chicken curry with coconut milk


Wash Chicken and dry it out by dabbing it with a dry towel. Add the spices for marination and use your hands to coat chicken pieces completely. Cover with a lid and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-hours.
In a large non-stick pot, heat some coconut oil. As soon as the oil gets hot add Dried red chilies, Mustard Seeds, Black Peppercorns, Curry Leaves, Cinnamon Sticks (broken) and Chopped Ginger. Saute this on medium low heat for 30-seconds. The mustard seeds will splatter so keep your face and hands away.
Add Desiccated coconut and toss until it turns light brown and aromatic.

Add Onions and garlic. cook until onions turns soft and translucent. Add Tomato Puree and cook until the rawness of tomato goes away.

Add Red chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Turmeric Powder, and Madras Curry Powder. Cook over low heat for 5-minutes or until the spices gets cooked completely.

Add Chicken back into the pot. Toss well to coat the spices with the chicken. Roast Chicken over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Keep stirring continuously. Don’t let the spices stick to the bottom of the pan.
Pour Coconut Milk and toss well until combined. Add a sprig of curry leaves. Toss lightly. Cover cook for 15-minutes on low heat.
In a non-stick pan heat some coconut oil. As soon as the oil gets hot add curry leaves, dried red chilies, Mustard seeds, and grated coconut. Toss lightly until the coconut turns light brown and nutty. Take it off the heat.

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