Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken in fried and ground coconut gravy (Kozhi varutharachathu)

The taste of Kerala.... that best describes this particular preparation....

It had been a while since I had prepared chicken this way. This is also a great way to prepare any red meat, crabs, prawns, peas or even mushroom....

During my grandma's days, the coconut paste was ground on the stone and all the spices were added whole. But now, this recipe is the shortcut version, maybe not as spectacular, but can come really close...

Most households in Kerala would have their own version of this recipe, and this is mine...

Grated coconut - 1 cup
Shallots/ cheriya ulli - 5 to 6 nos.
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Cumin/ small jeera - 1/4 tsp
Saunf/ perum jeerakom - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Dry roast the grated coconut till it is lightly brown, keep stirring continuously, making sure it does not burn. Add the shallots and the pepper corns, both the jeeras and garlic, fry till golden. Add the coriander powder and the chilli powder at last as the stove is being switched off. Otherwise there will be a fierce bout of sneezing and watering eyes...

Let this cool and then grind well, adding about 1/2 glass of water. Keep aside.

Now, the curry

Chicken - 1 kg (cleaned and cut into small pieces)
Whole spices - 3 each of cloves, cardamom,1 inch cinnamon
Onion - 2 nos (sliced fine)
Green chillies - 3 (slit)
Ginger - 1 inch piece (sliced thin)
Curry leaves - 2 stalks (separate leaves)
Tomato - 2 (sliced thin)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp

Heat oil in a kadai, preferably coconut oil to make the taste as authentic 'Kerala' as possible. when hot, add the whole spices, then the onions, green chillies and ginger and saute till onions are golden brown.

Now add half of the curry leaves and the turmeric powder. Add the tomatoes and saute till the oil comes on top and the tomatoes disintegrate.

Add the prepared coconut paste. Add water according to how loose or thick you want the gravy. Add the salt now.

When the gravy is near boil, add the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Now adjust the flame to medium or low for about 30 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked.

Add the garam masala powder, 1 tsp of oil, and the remaining curry leaves.

A great combination with rice, chappatis, appam etc.


  1. tempting and inviting recipe...delicious

  2. here we often use coconut on our shrimp...but have never used it with chicken :) But now, you have given us something new to try!

  3. This looks delicious, especially on this chilly gray day!

  4. Beautiful looking gravy with chicken Swapna, want some now.

  5. It looks delicious, unfortunately my husband hates coconut so I know he wouldn't eat it

  6. What a mouth-watering dish Swapna! I like it with chicken!

  7. Vellam varunnu!!! going to medina market to get the chicken.

  8. Yum! One of the old favorites! You can never miss with this dish!

  9. @ Shama - thanks a lot

    @Muse - please do try and let me know

    @Campbell Jane - it IS soul food..great to impart warmth

    @ Asha - visit me and I will make it for you :)

    @ Cinnamon Girl - thanks Reeni..

    @ Jithin - let me know how it turned out...

    @ Dreamer - thanks..and I would dearly like to know your name :)

  10. @ Ann
    try this recipe and you may have a convert at home :).