Malabar Chicken Curry

5 from 6 votes

Malabar Chicken Curry is a creamy and delicious Kerala-style chicken curry that goes well with appam, Kerala parotta, pathiri, or coconut rice. Here is how to make it.

Here are some more chicken curries that you may like: Malai Chicken Curry, Methi Chicken Curry, Chicken Masala, and Andhra Style Chicken Curry.

Malabar chicken curry served in a bowl.
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Indian food is so diverse that you can explore new dishes for a lifetime. Each region and each community has its own specialty. My love for trying out new recipes landed me on exploring Malabari cuisine.

Malabar is a region in Kerala dominated by the Muslim population. This region has a unique way of cooking compared to the rest of the state, and the slight difference in the cooking method is evident in its cuisine.

I started by trying out their chicken curry.

About Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Coconut Chicken Curry is a Kerala-style (specifically Malabar region) chicken curry cooked in coconut oil. It has a distinct taste from curry leaves, spices, coconut paste, and coconut oil.

The sauce is luscious and creamy, and the coconut flavor shines through. It is also pretty easy to prepare.

This curry is traditionally served with steamed rice, appam, or pathiri (rice flour flatbread). You can also serve it with dosa, ghee rice or phulka.

Ingredients

Chicken – For this recipe, Try using bone-in, skinless chicken. Bones release flavors, making the curry taste delicious.

However, it can also be made using boneless chicken cubes.

Oil – For an authentic taste, use coconut oil. If you don’t have it, use any cooking oil.

Curry Leaves – For the best flavor, use fresh curry leaves. They add a lovely South Indian touch to the recipe.

Spice Powders – To add a bit of taste, add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and black pepper powder.

Tomatoes – The curry base uses fresh, ripe tomatoes.

Coconut Paste – This ingredient distinguishes it from other chicken curries. To make coconut paste, blend chopped fresh coconut with water in a high-speed blender.

If fresh coconut is not available, use frozen coconut. You will get it in the freezer section of any Indian grocery store.

DO NOT use desiccated dry coconut to make this recipe.

Others – You will also need some basic ingredients such as red onions, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, and salt. You can adjust green chilies according to your heat preference.

For Tempering – The tempering is optional, but it adds great flavor. The chicken curry is tempered with a coconut oil tadka of shallots, brown mustard seeds, and fresh coconut.

How To Make Malabar Style Chicken Curry

Heat 4 tablespoon coconut oil in a medium-sized heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat.

Oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add 1 cup of chopped red onions and cook until the onions turn slightly brown (8-10 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pan.

Add the following ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
Curry leaves, chilies and ginger garlic paste added to the pan.

Add the following ingredients and cook for 10-15 seconds.

  • 2 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
Spice powders added to the pan.

Now add 1 cup of chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Mash the tomatoes from the back of a ladle.

Tomatoes added to the pan.

Add 2 pounds (1 kg) bone-in skinless chicken (cut into 1 and ½-inch pieces) and cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat.

If bone-in chicken is not your thing, you can use boneless chicken cubes too.

Chicken added to the pan.

Add the following ingredients and mix well.

  • 1 cup of fresh coconut paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
Coconut paste, salt and water added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan using a tight-fitting lid. Cook until the chicken is tender (40-45 mins).

Stir a few times while cooking.

Open the lid and check for salt. Add more salt if needed and cook for another minute.

Pan covered with a lid.

Heat 2 tablespoon coconut oil in a small pan over medium-high heat for tempering.

Coconut oil heating in a pan.

Add 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds and let them crackle for 2-3 seconds.

Add ¼ cup chopped or grated fresh coconut and ¼ cup sliced shallots to the pan.

Sliced shallots and coconut pieces added to the pan.

Fry on medium-high heat until they turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.

Lightly browned.

Pour the tempering over the chicken curry and mix well. Serve hot.

Browned shallots and coconut poured over the ready malabar chicken curry.

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Malabar Chicken Curry is a creamy and delicious Kerala-style chicken curry that goes well with roti, appam, ghee rice, Kerala parotta, pathiri, or coconut rice. Here is how to make it.
5 from 6 votes

Malabar Chicken Curry Recipe

Malabar Chicken Curry is a Kerala-style chicken curry that is creamy and delicious and goes well with, appam, Kerala parotta, pathiri, or coconut rice. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 1 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken (1 kg, cut into 1-½ inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup fresh coconut paste (To make coconut paste, add ¾ cup chopped fresh coconut and ½ water to a blender. Blend until smooth.)

For Tempering

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh coconut
  • ¼ cup sliced shallots
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Instructions 

  • Heat coconut oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add onions and cook until they turn slightly brown (8-10 minutes). Stir frequently while frying.
  • Add curry leaves, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and black pepper powder, and cook for 10-15 seconds.
  • Now add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Mash the tomatoes from the back of a ladle.
  • Add chicken and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat.
  • Add fresh coconut paste and ½ cup of water to the pan. Mix well.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan using a tight-fitting lid and cook until the chicken is tender. It will take 40-45 minutes.
  • Stir a few times while cooking.
  • Open the lid and check for salt. Add more salt if needed and cook for another minute.
  • For tempering, heat coconut oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them crackle for 2-3 seconds.
  • Add coconut and shallots. Fry until they turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.
  • Pour the tempering over the chicken curry and mix well. Serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can use boneless chicken to make this recipe too.

Nutrition

Calories: 827kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 81g, Saturated Fat: 65g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 901mg, Potassium: 545mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 600IU, Vitamin C: 93mg, Calcium: 76mg, Iron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I don’t cook much as i find it tedious..but this recipe is so simple and it turned out just the way as it looks in the photograph and it was approved by my family who are better cooks than me! Thank you very much..

        1. The size of onions and tomatoes can be very different. In the US, the onions I used were almost double in size of what we get in India. The same goes with garlic and tomatoes too. It’s better to stick to the cup measurements.

  2. I tried this recipe and it was a super hit in my house. Loved the different flavours of the spices along with the fresh coconut. It goes extremely well with patiri.