Kerala Chicken Curry

Kerala Chicken Curry is a vibrant and aromatic dish that hails from the southwestern coast of India, known for its rich use of spices and coconut. This curry combines tender chicken pieces with a creamy, spiced coconut milk sauce, infused with the unique flavors of curry leaves and mustard seeds. It's a staple in Kerala cuisine, celebrated for its layered flavors and comforting qualities.

Easy to prepare, this curry is perfect for anyone looking to dive into Indian cooking or expand their culinary repertoire with authentic flavors that bring the essence of Kerala to the dining table.

Why This Recipe Works

 The secret to this recipe's success lies in its use of traditional South Indian ingredients that create a deep, complex flavor profile. The base of the curry features golden-browned onions, fragrant ginger-garlic paste, and earthy spices like turmeric, chili, and coriander. These are cooked together to develop a rich foundation before adding tomatoes to introduce a slight tanginess, balancing the richness of the sauce. The addition of coconut milk transforms the curry into a creamy, luxurious dish that is both comforting and intensely satisfying.

Kerala Chicken Curry is not just about great flavor; it's also a gateway to experiencing and understanding the diverse culinary traditions of Kerala. The use of curry leaves, a staple in Southern Indian cooking, offers a distinct aroma that cannot be found in other cuisines. This recipe is also incredibly versatile, making it suitable for various dietary preferences. It can be adjusted for heat level, made richer with additional coconut cream, or even adapted to use other proteins like tofu or fish for a pescatarian version. Whether served over rice, with flatbreads, or as part of a multi-dish feast, it brings a touch of Kerala to any meal setting.

Ingredients

 Chicken: Typically, bone-in pieces are used for their flavor; boneless can be used for quicker cooking.

Coconut Milk: Adds creaminess and subtle sweetness, characteristic of many Kerala dishes. Coconut cream can be used for a thicker sauce.

Onions: They form the base of the curry, adding sweetness and depth. Shallots can be used for a milder flavor.

Tomatoes: Provide acidity and body to the sauce. Canned tomatoes can substitute when fresh are not available.

Curry Leaves: These add a unique aroma and flavor that is quintessential to South Indian cooking. If unavailable, bay leaves can be a mild substitute but won’t replicate the exact flavor.

Tips

  •  Marinate the chicken in spices before cooking to enhance the flavor.
  • Use freshly grated coconut or good quality canned coconut milk for the best taste.
  • Fry the onions until golden brown to develop a sweet, rich base for the curry.
  • Simmer the curry gently to allow the flavors to meld together without breaking down the coconut milk.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end to lift the flavors and add brightness.

How to Serve

Kerala chicken curry is a rich, flavorful dish that pairs beautifully with various sides, making it a versatile option for any meal. Its blend of spices and creamy coconut milk makes it a comforting dish perfect for warming up chilly evenings.

  • With Rice: Serve hot over a bed of fluffy basmati rice to soak up the rich, aromatic sauce.
  • With Naan or Roti: Scoop up the curry with pieces of warm naan or roti for a delightful taste experience.
  • As Part of a Thali: Include Kerala chicken curry as part of a larger Indian meal or thali that includes various dishes like dal, vegetables, and raita for a complete feast.

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Kerala Chicken Curry

Experience the rich flavors of Kerala with this creamy coconut milk-based chicken curry, perfect with rice or naan for a satisfying meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Kerala Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk, nadan chicken curry kottayam style
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Author: Corrie

Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves, sauté until they start to splutter.
  • Add onions and cook until golden brown. Then add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Mix in turmeric, chili, and coriander powders, and fry for a few seconds before adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the chicken pieces, stir well to coat them in the masala. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and enough water to cover the chicken. Season with salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 2039kcal Carbohydrates: 36g Protein: 102g Fat: 170g Saturated Fat: 105g Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g Monounsaturated Fat: 35g Trans Fat: 0.5g Cholesterol: 360mg Sodium: 447mg Potassium: 2679mg Fiber: 15g Sugar: 20g Vitamin A: 3315IU Vitamin C: 54mg Calcium: 186mg Iron: 13mg

Notes

• Marinate the chicken in spices before cooking to enhance the flavor.
• Use freshly grated coconut or good quality canned coconut milk for the best taste.
• Fry the onions until golden brown to develop a sweet, rich base for the curry.
• Simmer the curry gently to allow the flavors to meld together without breaking down the coconut milk.
• Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end to lift the flavors and add brightness.
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