Nadan Kozhi Curry

Nadan chicken curry


1. Chicken – Around 1.5 – 2 kg, cut into medium pieces

2. Onion – 2 medium-large, roughly chopped

    Ginger – 1.5 inch, roughly chopped

    Garlic – 8 cloves, roughly chopped

    Green chilies – 6

    Curry leaves – 1 sprig

3. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

    Chilly powder – 1 tbsp ( I used 1 tsp cayenne chilly powder and 2.5 tsp kashmiri chilly powder)

    Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

    Garam masala powder – 2.5 tsp (Click here for the recipe)

4. Tomato – 2 medium-small, chopped

    Salt – To taste

5. Coconut oil – 3 – 4 tbsp or as required

    Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

    Dry red chilies – 2, broken

   Curry leaves – 1 sprig



1. Grind the ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves to a coarse mixture in the small jar of a mixer and then transfer to a small bowl. Now grind the roughly chopped onion to a coarse mixture, in 1 or 2 batches. (Onion paste will turn very bitter, if left outside for a long time so use it immediately after grinding.)

2. Heat 3 – 4 tbsp coconut oil in a pressure-cooker or a deep pan at medium-high heat.  Add the ground ingredients numbered 2, enough salt and saute well until golden brown (take care not to burn). It will take at least 30 – 40 minutes (I did this step in a non-stick pan in order to minimize the use of oil). Bring down the flame to low.

3. Add the spice powders numbered 3. Saute for about 5 – 6 minutes or until their raw smell leaves (take care not to burn the powders, you can sprinkle a little water in order to prevent them from burning). Add chopped tomato pieces. Saute really well until tomato gets mashed up completely and oil separates.

4. Add 1/4 cup hot water. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces, enough salt and mix everything well so that the chicken gets well-coated with the gravy. Add 1/2 cup hot water. Close with the pressure cooker lid (you can use a regular vessel instead). Pressure-cook for 1 whistle. Switch off the flame. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes or until the pressure releases. Open the pressure-cooker. Check for salt and adjust. The curry will have a thick gravy, if its very thick, add 1/2 cup hot water, bring to a boil and cook for a few more minutes. You can either add 1 tsp coconut oil now or season it with mustards, dry red chilies and fried pearl onions instead.

5. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a small pan. Splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilies and curry leaves. Pour over the prepared curry. Close with a lid for 10 minutes. Open and mix well. Serve with rice, Kerala porotta, chapathis, idiyappam, appam, puttu etc.


1. This is an easy peasy recipe where we can avoid the marination and slow-cooking – everything can be done in the pressure cooker. This curry is perfect for making yummy Kerala style chicken biriyani. Add chopped mint leaves once the curry is done (no need to season it with mustards and dry red chilies). Use 4 cups of basmati rice for 1.5 – 2 kg chicken. Prepare the rice and layer the biriyani as explained in this biriyani recipe.

2. I did the first 3 steps in a non-stick pan in order to minimize the usage of coconut oil. You might have to add extra oil in between to prevent the onion mixture from sticking, if you are using a pressure cooker.

3. For an extra taste, you can add 1/4 – 1/2 cup thick coconut milk or 2 tbsp cashew paste (soak 8 – 10 cashews in warm water for an hour, grind with little water in the small jar of a mixie) , once the curry is done. Cook for a few minutes at low heat and switch off.

4. Ground onion will taste bitter, if left outside for a long time. So try to use it immediately after grinding.

After the addition of  spice powders and tomato (step 3)

DSC_0030 (2)

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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  • perfectly done n beautiful luking dish
    BTW Iam back to blogging n im ur new follwer too.PLZ visit my space if gets sum time n plz check out my new FB page dear..Hope u vl clik on like on FB page dear.Thanx in advance…

  • Perfect recipe! I made this during the weekend, and it was just great! I add few coconut slices also, as I like it along with the chicken. Frying the onion paste took a long time, as you have written, like 30 mins, so I was just wondering, if there is an easy way to it, like microwave it (the onion paste) and then stirring it in between? Just a thought. Since kids gets so impatient when mom is near the stove for a long time..! 🙂 Love all your recipes. I have given a good publicity to your site…

  • Manju,

    Thanks a ton for your feedback and for promoting our blog 🙂 Great to know that you enjoyed this dish.. I also love coconut slices in nadan chicken curry. This is my Mom’s recipe and she usually makes this for biriyani, thats why I haven’t mentioned coconut slices in the recipe.

    Regarding your question, I dont know of any easy method of frying the onion paste. Microwaving sounds like a good idea. Maybe you can give it a try next time..

  • I am going to try this out. I have tried “Varutharacha kadala curry” from you blog and it came out excellent. The taste was very similar to the thattukadas in Trivandrum, where I come from. I have been trying so long to get that taste with kadala curry but never succeeded. Thank you Maya for sharing all these wonderful recipes.

  • Today I tried this recipe.Me & my husband liked it very much.I also tried “inji puli” & “pineapple pachadi from your blog & came out well.Thank you very much Maya…

  • @ Tina and Pinki,

    Thanks a lot for taking time to write your comments. Really happy to know that you both enjoyed our recipes. Please keep visiting..

  • I followed your recipe and the result was an absolutely delicious chicken curry!!!! everyone in my family loved it…thanks a ton:)

  • Hi,
    I tried out your egg curry with potatoes a couple of months ago when i was desperately searching online for good kerala recipes. My husband loved the dish and ever since i’ve tried numerous recipes from your blog and they’ve all been just yummy! I still refer to your blog for my day to day cooking recipes. A BIG thankyou! Trying out this recipe today. And i am sure it’ll be as yummy as the previous ones!

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Aparna. Really great to know that you love our recipes. Hope you enjoyed this nadan kozhi curry too..Please keep visiting!

  • Thanks Maya for ur recipes, I love them. I have tried several of ur recipes and all have come out well. Yesterday cooked nadan kozhi curry for my guests and everyone loved it!
    There is one shortcut that I did, I microwaved the grounded onions for 3 minutes in a plate ( my father’s tip) before frying it with other ground ingredients in no. 2. This reduced the frying time to 15 min.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment, Nisha! Really happy to know that everybody enjoyed this nadan kozhi curry. Thanks for the great tip too.Will keep it in my mind when i make this recipe next time.

  • This dish is simply superb, I was waiting for a nadan chicken curry reciepe for long time.

    Right now I on it..with Kappa puzhukku…… Yummy O Yummy

  • Tried this recipe came out really nice & spicy. This despite reducing the green chiilies from 6 to 4 numbers and also the quantity of red chilly ( 1 tsp each of chilly powder mix). Thanks.

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About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

Every Recipe Since 2010