Kerala Country Style Chicken Curry (serves 4)

  • 750 grams boneless chicken breast (or turkey) cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup shallots or onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 green chilies, slit at one end
  • 1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Salt to taste

Spice (masala) mixture

  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder (mild heat= ½ tsp; medium heat= 1 tsp; hot heat= 2 tsp)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick pieces (2 inches long) or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 whole cloves or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods or 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp shallots, sliced
  • 1 branch of curry leaves (about 10 leaves)
  • Garnish (optional)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

In a mortar and pestle (or coffee grinder dedicated for spices) grind the whole spices to a powder. Add to the other powdered spices. Mix in a tablespoon or two of water to make a paste.

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan. Cook the onions until they are light brown in colour. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilies. Cook for a minute or two. Add the spice paste and cook for another minute. Add the potatoes, half of the coconut milk and ½ cup of water. Cover and simmer the dish until the potatoes are almost cooked (10 minutes). Add the chicken pieces and remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is done and the potatoes tender. Keep over low heat.

For the Tempering:

Once the curry is finished cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and sauté until they begin to pop. Add the shallots and curry leaves and fry until the shallots are golden. Top the curry with the temepering mixture.

Garnish with the halved cherry tomatoes and roughly chopped coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice.