Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kerala Chicken Stew

My introduction to food from Kerala started with the Chicken Stew. We had the coconut milk based stew with loaves of bread called Pav.  The aroma of the spices in the mild tasting stew was the highlight of the dish and this was permanently etched into my memory. Whenever I think about Kerela food, this stew always comes up first. This dish is traditionally had with appams but the stew will taste just as good with bread.

The recipe is based on the one  at
with suitable modifications made for convenience sake. 

  • Chicken preferably boned else chicken stock cubes with boneless pieces.
  • Mixed vegetables
  • 2 small potatoes
  • Onion - 1
  • Chopped ginger and garlic
  • 1 tomato, chopped into long pieces.
  • 2 green finger chillies - Just chop the top off and drop in whole to avoid making a spicy stew.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala.
  • 2 small pieces cinnamon, 3 cardamom, 3 cloves, 2 Star Aniseed.
  • 3-4 curry leaves.
  • A can of coconut milk. Dilute half of the coconut milk in water to use a the medium while cooking. The rest of the will be used at the end.
  • Salt to taste 

  • Heat oil and stir in the whole spices.
  • Add onions, curry leaves, chopped ginger and garlic, green chillies and fry till the onions are translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. Fry for 20 seconds and add the diluted coconut milk. Add salt.
  • Add vegetables.
  • Add boned chicken and let the stew boil until the chicken is done. If using boneless chicken, first add the concentrated chicken stock and let the stew boil. At this point, the vegetables should be cooked half way. Add the chicken and let it boil for a further 10 - 12 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the remaining half of concentrated coconut milk and let it simmer for a minute. Do not boil at this stage as the coconut milk may curdle.
  • Serve with toasted bread.

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