Spicy Kerala Chicken Curry

I came across this recipe while scouring the YouTube for Chicken curries cooked the Kerala way. The video was shot entirely in Malayalam (predominant language spoken in Kerala) and I am Malayalam-illiterate. But one look at the process and I was already drooling.
It tastes mind-blowing more than it looks; not to forget the super-easy part.
spicy-kerala-chicken-curryPreparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

For curry:

500 gm chicken
3 medium size onions, sliced
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
10-12 cloves of garlic. Leave them whole
2 green chilies, slit (those thin, dark ones are really hot. So use accordingly)
1 medium size tomato, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp red chili powder (Alter as per your spice-tolerance level)
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
3 – 4 tbsp coconut oil
Salt as per taste
1/2 to 1 cup water, as per the desired thickness

For tempering:
1 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chilies, broken
2 green chilies, slit
8-9 curry leaves

For Curry:
1. Heat oil in a kadhai or a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add onions, chilies, ginger and garlic. Fry till soft and translucent.
3. Add all the spice powders and saute for one minute.
4. Toss in the tomatoes and fry till soft.
5. Now add water, sprinkle salt and bring it to boil. Now reduce the flame and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture turns into a thick gravy.
6. Slowly tumble in the chicken pieces. Stir, so they are all coated in the gravy.
7. Let the curry simmer for around 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked.

For tempering:
1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a separate pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
3. Now add the curry leaves, green and red chilies and fry on slow flame for a bit. Red chilies tend to burn soon. So take care here.

Now add this tempered mixture to the simmering curry and cook for another 3-4 minutes till the curry is flavored.
Serve with steamed rice and a wedge of lime.

P.S.: *You will also enjoy it with Appams – Kerala style pancakes made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk.
In Sri Lanka, they are known as Hoppers.
*Coconut oil is the stellar ingredient here. All the flavor that the curry has, is because of the coconut oil. Do not use any other oil for this recipe except this one. 
*Do not add too much of water in Step 5. You don’t want a really runny curry.
More water can always be added in Step 7. This way you get your desired consistency and also save your curry.
* Alter the amount of green chilies and chili powder as per you tolerance level.


Tender Slow-cooked Chicken Curry

We always tend to rain praises over the tender, melt-in-the-mouth delectable chicken dishes that we so relish in restaurants. Slow cooking is the secret! It’s the perfect way to cook chicken that’s packed with flavor, is far from chewy and just melts in your mouth.
The chicken I bought this time was adequately adiposed 🙂 .This only helped add oodles of flavor to gravy. The spices, coriander, juices from the melting fat… all create an amazing ecosystem for the chicken to cook.
Slow cooked chickenPreparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1.15 hrs
Serves: 3

Chicken – half kg, cut into medium chunks
4 tbsp Vegetable oil
3 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
1 green / red chili, finely chopped
2 big tomatoes, charred and pureed (charring gives that added flavor). You can also use tinned tomatoes
1 big bunch of coriander, finely chopped along with stems
2 tbsp garlic paste
3 tsps kashmiri chili powder
1 tsp garam masala powder (add more if you like it hot)
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp finely crushed black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups water
Salt to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg.
2. Rub the chicken with pepper powder and lemon juice and leave it aside to marinate.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottom, oven-friendly pan.
4. Add chopped onions, chili, garlic paste and fry. Sprinkle a pinch of salt to soften.
5. Add chopped coriander and fry till the onions are translucent and the mixture is gravy-ish and aromatic.
6. Add all the spice powders and fry for a minute, till the spices start releasing their aromas.
7. Add the pureed tomatoes and simmer.
8. Lastly add the marinated chicken, salt and water and cook on slow flame for 2-3 minutes.
9. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and leave it in the oven for 55 minutes.
10. Squeeze a bit of lime, garnish with coriander and serve hot with fragrant basmati rice or butter laden parathas.

The aroma that wafts when you lift the foil…aah!!! it’s worth a million bucks!

P.S.: Don’t chuck the coriander stems. Cook them. They are stocked with flavors and the results are magical.
Same with the fat. The juices from the fat add flavor to the gravy and keep chicken moist and tender.

Alfredo Maggie

I was at my sluggish best today. To top it up, my cook didn’t turn up and I knew I had to don her hat. Not in the mood to cook a detailed meal, I wanted to make something super-quick, easy without compromising on the taste.
Need is the mother of all inventions! My Alfredo Maggie recipe was born out of one such needs… to make a quick yet delectable lunch.
First morsel in his mouth and my husband exclaimed, “Its about time, you start a setup of your own!”

Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3


Maggie – 3 packets (Masala or Chicken flavour)
Garlic – finely chopped 2 tbsps. I love a lot of garlic so I add 4-5 tbsps of it
Butter – 2 heaped tbsps
Flour – 1 tbsp
Milk – 4 cups or more if you want a runny consistency
Cream cheese / cheese spread – 3 tbsps (any flavour. I used the pepper one)
Oregano – 1/2 tsp for seasoning
Black pepper – a pinch for seasoning
Salt – as per taste


1. Cook Maggie as per the instructions on the packet and keep it aside.
2. Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add a tsp of oil. It prevents butter from burning.
3. Add the chopped garlic and stir till it releases the aroma.
4. Add flour and stir.
5. Add the cream cheese and stir till it melts and is mixed properly.
6. Now add milk and keep stirring till it thickens a bit. Simmer while you keep stirring for a longer time if you want the sauce really thick.
7. Season with oregano, salt and pepper.
8. Now tumble in the cooked Maggie and mix lightly with a fork without hurting and mashing it up.
9. Serve it with a sunny-side up egg as I did or any accompaniment you wish and dig in.

Great for both, vegans as well as the non-vegs, this creamy delight sure is a  gastronomic infatuation! 🙂