Flavor packed chicken curry made in Kerala Style with lots of pearl onions, curry leaves, coconut oil and coconut milk, that you will want to mop it all up with that palappam or roti!
I fall in the category who believes that one can never have enough chicken curry recipes in their repertoire. Chicken curries are the easiest to make and chicken is a very forgiving meat when it comes to curries. You can rarely make it too dry and the more it absorbs the flavors of the spices and other ingredients in the curry, the better it tastes.
In any of these curry recipes, you can tweak one or two ingredients and completely change the flavor profile of the curry itself. Such is the beauty of these curries. Here are 10 Chicken Curries that you must make and eat at least once in your lifetime.
What makes this chicken curry a nadan chicken curry or a Kerala style chicken curry is the copious amount of coconut flavor in it – both as coconut oil and coconut milk. The curry leaves and pearl onions further add to the Kerala characteristics of this curry.
The family also loves these Kerala style chicken curries and other recipes – Varutharacha Chicken Curry, Kerala Style Chicken Stew and Kerala Style Chicken Chilli Roast. Also among favorites are this simple and easy Chicken Curry and the Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk.
This Kerala style chicken curry with coconut milk was such a hit, the first time I made it, that it has since become a staple in our dinner menu. I also make it when I have people over for dinner parties as it is fairly simple but rich in taste that it does not feel like an everyday ordinary curry but something that is worthy of being put on a dinner party table.
This Kerala chicken curry is
- Flavor packed
- Deliciously creamy yet spicy
- Mostly uses common pantry ingredients (except for the garam masala and fennel seeds)
- Perfect with rice, rotis or Kerala style breads like palappam or idiyappam.
Tips for making this Kerala chicken curry
- Use coconut oil only. This makes a world of difference in getting that very authentic Kerala food flavor.
- Pearl onions are different from shallots. They can be found in little purple net bags in most grocery stores. Use the red ones for any Southern Indian recipe, including this one.
Kerala Style Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
- 1 ½ lbs chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
To be crushed together
- 10 pearl onions peeled
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 inch piece ginger
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 small red onione chopped
- 10 curry leaves
- 3-4 green chillies slit lengthwise
- 1 medium potato cubed
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tbsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp red chillie powder
- salt to taste
- ½ can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 5 pearl onions peeled and sliced
- 5-6 curry leaves
- Marinate the chicken pieces in the black pepper, turmeric powder, white vinegar and salt for about 30 mins
- Crush together the pearl onions, garlic, ginger and fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste
- Heat the coconut oil in a kadhai or heavy bottomed pan. Add the chopped onions, curry leaves and green chillies and saute till the onions start to turn brown.
- Add the turmeric powder, coriander poweder, cumin powder, red chillie powder and garam masala. Saute for a couple of minutes more.
- Add the crushed paste of pearl onions and garlic and saute till the raw smell of garlic disappears.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes soften.
- Now add the marinated chicken pieces and the cubed potatoes along with a little (about ⅓ cup) water. Add salt and cover and cook over medium high heat till the chicken cooks through.
- Remove lid and cook over medium high heat till the curry sauce thickens a little.
- Now add the coconut milk and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes more and remove from heat.
- Heat the coconut oil for tempering and add the pearli onions and curry leaves to it. Once the onions start crisping up a little, pour this over the chicken curry.
- Close the curry with a lid, immediately, to trap in the flavors of the tempering.
- Serve hot with rotis or palappams or idiappams.