Margarita's International Recipes


Kerala Style Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Kerala Style Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

For years, I've complained that I was unable to make a good curry. I thought it was my fault, that I was somehow cursed, but after decades I've come to realize it was a matter of using the wrong recipes. This one is the right one. It's fairly easy to follow and it resulted in what you envision when you think of curry - which is sort of strange as it's coconut milk based.

What is also great about it, is that it can just as easily be made vegan by using vegan chicken instead. Indeed, I made a second batch (with 1/4 the ingredients, using a 12-oz package of faux chicken strips) for my vegan daughter and she loved it.


Kerala Style Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk


    For seasoning the chicken

  • 4 - 5 lbs chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt to taste

    For the curry

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, divided
  • 2 - 4 green chilies*, seeds and ribs removed
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste*
  • 3 tomatoes, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Indian red chili powder*
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 14-oz cans coconut milk, divided
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


Season the chickenCut each chicken thigh into 3 or 4 portions and place in a bowl. Add the garam masala, pepper, turmeric and salt to taste, mix so every piece is coated and let rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Make the curry

Heat oil over medium heat in a large cooking pot. Add the sliced onions, 1 sprig of curry leaves, the green chilies and a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and continue cooking for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and sauté until they turn soft and mushy.

Turn heat down to low and add the coriander, red chili, garam masala and turmeric. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chicken, mix well, bring heat up to medium, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and add the water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 can of coconut milk and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground black pepper and the remaining coconut milk. Turn heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cover, turn off heat, and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes: you can use Indian green chilies, which they sell frozen at Indian stores, jalapenos or serranos. I used the latter. Garlic ginger paste is available in Indian grocery stores. You can make your own by mixing equal proportions of mashed ginger and mashed garlic. Indian red chili powder is made from red peppers which are dried and then grind into a fine powder. It's milder than cayenne, so adjust accordingly.

Adapted from Akhila's recipe at Pepper Delight

Do you have a comment on this recipe? Please make it here

Kerala Recipes | Marga's International Recipes | Marga's Best Recipes | Marga's Food Blog | E-mail