Malabar Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk or Kerala Style Coconut Chicken Curry is a traditional Coconut Curry Chicken recipe that everyone is fond of. Serve it with Idiyappam or appam or Porotta or naan bread or rice.
Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry
30 min Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk made with Indian spices, herbs and creamy coconut meal makes for a perfect one pot dinner recipe when served alongside of rice.
Forget takeout and make your very own Indian Coconut Chicken Curry which your family will love for sure.
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South Indian Coconut Chicken Curry
Wondering how to make Coconut Chicken Curry in traditional Kerala Style or what is South Indian Coconut Chicken Curry called?
Need the recipe for Varutharacha Kozhi Curry? Yes! This is the ONLY Malabar Chicken Curry Recipe that you'll need.
To a layman - "Kerala" means - Spices, Coconut Oil, and of course - Bananas! Try Banana Fritters recipe.
Home to the world's most beautiful destinations, backwaters, and of course coconut trees, Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry has a special place in every Malayali's heart.
It evokes childhood memories of Amma cooking and serving it for breakfast or lunch. You can also try this Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry
This Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry is creamy, nutty, aromatic gravy is packed with spices (which DO NOT overpower) and is bursting with flavors.
Indian Chicken Curries can take you on a topsy turvy ride.
On one hand, you have Shahi Chicken Korma and Chicken Pasanda (a Mughlai Dish, Popular in North India) and on other hand, you have Madras Chicken (made with Curry leaves and Tamarind Paste, Popular in South India).
Besides that, you cannot go wrong with the all-time popular
Never cooked curry? Its the easiest!
Don't fret if you haven't cooked a curry before. Its one of the easiest one pot meals you can make for your family.
Curries are typical of having a sauteed base of onion, garlic, a protein of your choice, and spices. And then its cooked in a broth which is infused with ground spices, & coconut milk (as in this curry).
As a result you have a thick and flavorful sauce along with well cooked and melt in your mouth Protein which you can serve alongside of Naan Bread or Rice.
The Main Highlight of this recipe are:
- Coconut Oil- To get that true-blue keralian taste, do not skip Coconut Oil. It's so light!
- Roasted Coconut - Roasted Coconut has a nutty kick which transforms the recipe significantly.
- Roasted Chicken - Chicken is roasted in the curry on low heat.
- Flavorful "Tadka" - The Tadka is a combination of Coconut Oil, Curry Leaves, Dried Red Chilies, Mustard Seeds, and Desiccated Coconut.
- Coconut Milk - Coconut Milk adds that nuttiness and that creaminess into our recipe, making it taste amazing.
- Fresh Curry leaves - Large Curry leaves which are dark green in color are the ones we are talking about. They are so aromatic that they can simply change the game.
- Black Peppercorns: I guess you know that in Kerala you find the BEST peppercorns. And Peppercorns are full of heat.
Malabar Chicken Curry
Since this recipe is made in so many households, so there is no specific recipe for this chicken curry.
Every household makes it differently. But, if you compare all of them, it will turn out exactly the same.
Read on to find out how I make my Malabar Chicken Curry.
You can also find variations to this recipe below in this article.
Madras Curry Powder
Madras Curry Powder can be easily found in the markets these days. It is basically dry roasted spices that are ground into a powder. It is used in most south Indian spices.
Since every person makes it differently so many people might not want to use this spice mix. But, this is how I like it, so I am sharing it with you.
Madras Curry Powder is made with: 5- Dried Red Chilies, 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds, 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds, 1 -inch long Cinnamon Stick, 2-3 Green Cardamom Pods, 1/2 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds (Kasuri Methi), 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
you can replace this with Garam Masala.
How to make Malabar Chicken Curry (Step By Step Photos)
Step 1: Marinate Chicken
Marinate Chicken with:
Salt, Turmeric Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Smoked Paprika or Chili Powder, and Madras Curry Powder.
Allow chicken to rest for 30-minutes. This is (IMPORTANT)
Step 2: Make the Coconut Curry
Heat Coconut oil in a pan.
As soon as the oil gets hot add dried red chilies, Mustard Seeds, Black Peppercorns, Curry Leaves, Cinnamon Sticks, and chopped Ginger.
Allow this to sizzle for 15-20 seconds. Stir lightly. It should smell really good.
Step 3: Add Desiccated/Grated Coconut
Add Desiccated/Grated Coconut and saute lightly until it turns light brown. This light brown coconut will give you that nutty kick!
Step 4: Add Onions and Garlic
Add chopped Onions and minced garlic. Saute until the onions turn soft and translucent.
Step 5: Add Tomato Puree
Pour Tomato Puree and stir well to combine. Cook until the rawness of the tomato goes away. You can also add chopped tomatoes to reduce your effort. It won't make any difference.
Step 6: Add Spices
Add Spices:- use basic spices such as Red Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Black Pepper Powder, and Madras Curry Powder.
You can find the recipe for Madras Curry Powder in the recipe for Madras chicken (linked above)
Cook on low heat until the spices get cooked completely. This usually takes 5-minutes.
Step 7: Add Chicken and Cook
Add Marinated Chicken into the pot. Roast over medium heat for 5-minutes. You are gonna love roasted chicken. I promise you!
Step 8: Pour Coconut Milk
Pour Coconut Milk into the curry. Allow this to simmer on low heat.
Add curry leaves and cover cook for 15-20 minutes.
Step 9: Make Tempering or "Tadka"
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 desiccated coconut.
Toss lightly until coconut turns light brown. Once it turns fragrant, take it off the heat.
Step 10: Pour the tempering on chicken and serve
Finally, pour the tempering on chicken curry (with oil) and serve right away.
What Do I Serve this Coconut Curry Chicken with?
You can serve your Kerala Style Coconut Chicken Curry with:
Pratha or Porotta
Appam or Idiyappam
Other Possible Variations
Kerala Style Chicken Curry or Malabar Chicken Curry can be made in so many ways.
Fennel Seeds: You will find many recipes asking you to add fennel seeds. You can definitely add that to get a sweet nuttiness in your gravy.
Cardamom: Green Cardamom Pods (broken) or Large Black Cardamom Pod (broken) can definitely be part of your Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry.
What is the secret to a good curry?
The secret to a good curry is the depth of flavors. Whenever you're making a curry, try to use fresh and organic spices and herbs to bring in a depth of good flavors to the sauce.
Do you use coconut cream or milk in curry?
Generally I like to use Coconut Cream in my Curries as it yields a sauce which is creamy and slightly thick. It goes perfect with Indian Breads.
However for a smooth and silky curry you can use Coconut Milk.
How healthy is coconut curry?
When should I add coconut milk to my curry
Other Chicken Recipes you Can try:
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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
- 1½ 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
- 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.
- Pour "Tadka" on Chicken and serve immediately with rice.
- You can also make a puree of the mixture with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices and then added it to the gravy for a smooth texture.
- In case you want to store it allow it to cool down completely and then keep it covered in an air-tight container. You can keep it in the refrigerator for 2-days.