Kuttanadan Chicken Curry

Ingredients (Serves 6 – 7)

1. Chicken/ duck – 1 kg cut into medium-small pieces

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Pepper powder – 1 tsp

Salt – To taste

2. Coconut oil – 3 – 4 tbsp

Fennel seeds / perumjeerakam – 1 pinch

3. Onion –  1 medium or  1.5 cup, thinly sliced

Shallots – 1/2 – 3/4 cup, sliced

Ginger – 1.5 tbsp, thinly sliced or crushed

Garlic – 1.5 tbsp, crushed or finely chopped

Green chilies – 4, slit

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

4. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp

Garam masala powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp

5. Thin coconut milk – 1.5 – 2 cups

6. Vinegar – 1/2 – 1 tsp

7. Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup

Curry leaves – A few

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Freshly crushed whole black pepper – 3/4 tsp

8. Salt – To taste


  1. Marinate chicken pieces with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp pepper powder and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan / kadai / uruli over medium-high heat. Add fennel seeds and stir for a few seconds till fragrant. Add ginger and garlic. Cook for a minute. Add onion, shallots, green chilies, curry leaves, little salt and continue to saute till onion turns soft and begins to change color.
  3. Add in turmeric powder and coriander powder. Cook for a few minutes over low heat until their raw smell is completely gone. Add 1 tsp garam masala powder and mix well.
  4. Now add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat the spices onto the chicken. Cook for a few minutes, stirring in between.
  5. Pour in the thin coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook covered till the chicken is completely done, stirring in between. It will take 25 – 30 minutes (duck will take longer to cook). The gravy will thicken as it rests, so adjust the consistency accordingly.
  6. Open the lid and add 1/2 tsp vinegar. Mix well. Next add the thick coconut milk and freshly crushed black pepper. Mix well. Cook for  1 – 2 minutes (do not boil). Switch off the flame. Taste-check for salt. Add a few curry leaves, 1 tsp coconut oil and a pinch of garam masala powder or fennel powder, if required. Take off the heat. It goes well with appam, idiyappam and pathiri.

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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