Chicken Ishtew (Chicken Stew) Kerala Recipe

Coconut gravies for some reason have a very comforting aspect – in flavors and in presentation. This wonderful and comforting Chicken Ishtew dish from Kerala, the land of the Gods, is just that. It is great when served with rice or with Appams.

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 4


Boneless, Skinless Chicken thighs – 1 lb, cut to bite size pieces
Medium Potato – 1, pealed, cut and rinsed
White Vinegar 1 tablespoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Water – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Green Cardamom – 3
Cloves – 4
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
Ginger – 2 tablespoons, minced
Green Chillies – to taste, slit
Small Onion – 1, finely sliced
Coconut Milk – 1 can (13.5 FL Oz/400 ML)


1. Wash and rinse the Chicken and cut to bite size pieces.
2. Peal, cube and rinse the Potato.
3. Combine the Chicken and the Potato in a pressure cooker.
4. Add in the Vinegar, Salt and Water. Mix and close the pressure cooker.
5. Transfer the Pressure cooker on the stove and allow it to whistle once.
6. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure in the cooker to go release unaided.
7. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, on medium flame, heat Oil.
8. Once hot, add in the Cinnamon, Green Cardamom and Cloves.
9. Right after that, add in the Curry Leaves, Green Chillies and the Ginger. Cook for a couple of minutes.
10. Add in the Onions. Mix and cook till the Onions get translucent.
11. Transfer the ingredients from the pressure cooker, and allow it to come to a boil.
12. Pour in the Coconut Milk. Check on the Salt and spices and adjust if needed.
13. With the flat side of the spatula, press down the Potatoes and allow them to soften, absorb some gravy and thicken the gravy.
14. Allow the dish to come to another boil.
15. Lastly, garnish with some fresh Curry Leaves.
16. Cover and allow the dish to rest for a few minutes and absorb the flavors.
17. Serve hot with Rice or Appams.

1. We have used boneless chicken, but chicken with bones work just as well.
2. If you would like lesser and/or thicker gravy, add less water and some extra potatoes.

Links to related recipes:

Appam Recipe (Hopper) – Kerala Cuisine

Potato Ishtew:

Potato Ishtew – A Stew from Kerala

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