Malabar Chicken Curry

Maria from was kind enough to share her knowledge of cooking from the Malabar region of the State of Kerala. This awesome Malabar Chicken Dish is a sure hit in every sense – the eye-appeal, the aroma, the texture, the taste and the sound (yup, you get to hear all the praises 😉 )! I first tried Malabar Chicken at a resort in Kerala and over the years tried to recreate the dish and the flavors. Maria helped me seal the deal and I am a very happy camper now 🙂 The spices and the aromas are very local to the area and hence give the dish it’s unique flavor. The one thing I loved about Malabar Chicken Curry was the gravy and the depth of flavor in it so I used the recipe, made the gravy and add and assortment of vegetables (instead of chicken, I used Potatoes, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas) for a change, the result was “A Dish out of this World”!
Check out Maria’s Menu for lots more thrilling recipes.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 4-6


For the Masala:
Oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1/4 , large, finely sliced
Curry Leaves – handful
Whole Coriander Seeds – 3 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies – 4-5 (or to taste)
Garlic Cloves – 6, large, chopped
Ginger – 1 tbsp, minced
Shredded Coconut – 1/3 cup
Water – 1 cup

For the Curry:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1/2 large, finely sliced
Green Chillies – 6 or to taste, slit
Salt – a sprinkle
Tomatoes – 2, medium, sliced
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Chicken – 1 lb (approx 1/2 kg)
Water – 1 cup or as needed

For the Garnish:

Oil – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1/4 large, finely sliced
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
Salt – sprinkle


For the Masala:
1. Heat Oil in a pan on medium heat.
2. Once hot, add in the finely sliced Onions.
3. Add in the Curry Leaves and cook till the Onions become translucent.
4. Add in the Coriander Seeds and the Dry Red Chillies.
5. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
6. Add in the Garlic and the Ginger.
7. Allow this to cook till the Onions are caramelized and the whole mixture well done.
8. Add in the Coconut and allow it to toast and get a little golden in color.
9. Transfer, allow it to cool down and grind (to a fine paste) with 1 cup of Water, adding little at a time.
10. Keep aside.

For the Curry:
1. Heat Oil in a pan on medium heat.
2. Add in the Onions and the Green Chillies and mix.
3. Sprinkle a little Salt to speed up the cooking process.
4. Allow the Onions to get a wonderful brown (not burnt) color.
5. Add in the Tomatoes and cook till they are all integrated with the Onions.
6. Lower the heat and add in the ground Masala.
7. Increase the heat a bit and allow the mixture to come to a boil.
8. Do the taste test and adjust the spices as needed.
9. Allow it to come to a boil then add in the chicken.
10. The Chicken will change color from pink to white and is then sealed.
11. Add in the amount of water you need to make gravy.
12. Mix well and cover and allow the Chicken to cook.
13. Be sure to keep and eye on it and keep stirring ever once in a while till done.

For the Garnish:
1. Heat Oil in a small skillet.
2. Once hot, add in the Curry Leaves and sprinkle a little Salt.
3. Allow the Onions to turn a little brown in color.

Transfer the Curry into a dish and garnish with the Onions and the Malabar Chicken Curry is ready to serve.

1. Substitute Chicken and add vegetables to make it a Vegetarian Dish – example: Potatoes, Paneer, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas.
2. Check out Maria’s Website for the original recipe:

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