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Kerala Chicken Fry (Roast)

- Submitted by Dahlia on 29th Jun 2009

(Bhuna Murg, Kodi Vepudu, Kozhi Varuval, Naadan Chicken Fry, Malabar Kozhi Roast)

Kerala Chicken Roast

Chicken fry is one recipe that is made in unique ways in different places. The tamil nadu kozhi varuval is totally different from the Kodi vepudu from Andhra Pradhesh, which again is different from the breaded KFC style chicken fry. Basically, chicken marinated with spices and fried in oil is called chicken fry

Roasting on the other hand is cooking in direct fire or in the oven.  For some reason, the Kerala style chicken fry that is common in Trivandrum and Kanyakumari district is more popularly known as Chicken Roast. It is one dish that is surely present in weddings or functions. It goes well with biryani, ghee rice, fried rice or with white rice and rasam. In our house it is a regular item and no special occasion is complete without this chicken fry.

To start with, the medium sized chicken pieces are marinated in typical South Indian spices and deep fried in oil. The traditional taste comes when you deep fry in coconut oil. As soon as the chicken pieces touch the hot oil, the outside of the chicken gets instantly cooked sealing all the tasty juices within. Similarly, the chicken is usually cut with the bones in making it juicier.The taste is unbeatable. However for health reasons these days people prefer using refined oil and shallow frying.

Recipe for Kerala Chicken Fry

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves : 4


  • Whole Chicken - 1/2 kg (or 1 lb cut into 15-20 pieces with bones in)
  • Oil (about 200 ml) - for deep frying

For Spice Mix

  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp
  • Paprika (or Kashmiri chili powder) - 1 tbsp (This is optional but gives a nice color without increasing the spice)
  • Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel Powder - 1 tsp (or use Garam Masala)
  • Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
  • Rice flour (or Corn flour) - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - as needed
  • Curry Leaves - 2-3 springs (keep the leaves whole or tear it with hands)


  1. Cut the chicken into medium sized pieces and wash it nicely. Traditionally this is made with bone in chicken pieces. You can however make it with boneless chicken too.

    Kerala Chicken Roast

  2. Mix the chicken with all the ingredients in the spice mix - red chili powder, kashmiri chili powder, pepper powder, fennel powder, turmeric powder and salt. You can also mix all the spices in a separate bowl  and then rub it onto the chicken pieces. I haven't added Kashmiri chili powder or paprika here.

    Kerala Chicken Roast

  3. Finally mix in the rice flour, lemon juice and fresh curry leaves. Let this rest and marinate for at least half an hour. Overnight marination will be good.

    Kerala Chicken Roast

  4. When you are ready to fry, heat oil in a kadai on high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, you are ready to fry. You can feel the oil has become hot if you place your palm at a safe distance over the kadai. It should not get smoking hot because then the chicken pieces will not get cooked. 

    Kerala Chicken Roast

  5. Reduce the flame to medium and gently add a few pieces (6-8 depending on the size of the pan) of the marinated chicken in the hot oil. 

    Kerala Chicken Roast

  6. Fry for about 6-8 minutes till all the sides are uniformly golden brown. Deep fry the chicken pieces in batches until it is completely cooked.

    Kerala Chicken Roast

  7. Remove the pieces from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil in paper towel. The curry leaves will get fried along with the chicken pieces which adds a nice flavor as well as gives a pretty presentation. Sometimes I like to fry some extra curry leaves and garnish using that. In my house, everyone enjoy the crispy fried curry leaves as much as the crispy chicken pieces.

    Kerala Chicken Roast


As I mentioned before, these days people prefer shallow frying rather than deep frying. For this, take a wide frying pan and add few tbsp (3-4) of oil. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single row so that each piece touches the bottom of the pan. Fry for about 10 minutes till one side is browned. Carefully flip the pieces using a spatula and fry for another 5-7 minutes. Serve it.

Kerala Chicken RoastKerala Chicken Roast

Serving Chicken Fry

  • Serve this crispy Kerala chicken roast with biryani, pulao, ghee rice, fried rice, any variety rice or white rice and some curry.
  • It can also be served as an appetizer.

Kerala Chicken Roast

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