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Malabar Chicken Curry

- Submitted by Dahlia on 15th Dec 2014

(Spicy Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk, Kerala Kozhi Curry)

Malabar / Kerala Chicken Curry

Malabar chicken curry is a very famous Kerala style curry. In our family, we enjoy making chicken curries in all different types. We make 10-20 variations of it. This version of chicken curry has a very creamy gravy with the ground paste, cashews and coconut milk. This chicken curry has a typical South Indian flavor. Enjoy it with some appam or parotta and you are sure to lick your fingers.

Malabar Muslims are very famous in their style of cooking. I will be sharing more Malabar recipes is the coming days. Though the dishes are usually rich and uses lot of fat, the final dish taste is unbeatable. It is OK to enjoy such tasty dishes once in a while, especially when you have guests at home :-).

Recipe For Malabar Chicken Curry

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6


To Fry and Grind

  • Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
  • Onion – 3 medium (roughly chopped)
  • Ginger - 2" piece (roughly chopped)
  • Garlic – 1 bulb (roughly chopped)
  • Tomato - 2 small (roughly chopped)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

To Temper

  • Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Pearl (Sambar) onions – 5 or 1/4 big onion (sliced)
  • Dry Red chilies - 3
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the fennel seeds, chopped garlic and ginger. Fry for half a minute and then add the onions. Saute till it turns golden brown.
  2. Next add the tomato pieces, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and pepper powder. Cook for few minutes and switch off. Let the mixture cool a bit.
  3. After it cools down, take it in a mixie/blender and grind it to a smooth paste with little water. Now the masala is ready. Keep this aside.
  4. Heat the same pan once again or take a new pan and add some oil. Add the chicken pieces and saute for 3-4 minutes till the chicken pieces become opaque. This frying gives a very good texture to the cooked chicken.
  5. Add the above ground masala, required salt and the thin coconut milk. (Check out the detailed post of extracting coconut milk here.)
  6. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or till the chicken is completely cooked.
  7. In the meantime, grind the soaked cashews along with the thick coconut milk.
  8. Add this smooth paste to the gravy. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes. By now the gravy will get thicker and creamier. 
  9. Switch off and transfer the curry to a serving dish.
  10. To make the tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Pop the mustard seeds. Add the sliced onions and fry till it turns golden brown. Add the dry red chilies and curry leaves and switch off.
  11. Pour this aromatic oil on top of the curry. Keep covered with a lid until you are ready to serve to seal the aroma. Creamy delicious chicken curry is ready to serve.

Kerala / Malabar Chicken Curry Recipe

Serving Suggestion

Kerala / Malabar Chicken Curry Recipe

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