Kerala Peppery Chicken Curry (My husband’s Chicken curry)

  I really struggled with what name to give this curry and I had a good mind to just leave it at ‘My husband’s chicken curry’ 🙂 It is also the most delicious chicken curry you will ever have! My husband loves to cook and when we got married, he would cook this chicken curry every now and then. When I was pregnant with my second child, I had severe nausea and I did not feel like eating anything that I cooked. The smell of Chicken curry would make my nausea worse and so I pretty much gave up eating chicken for most of my pregnancy. Then everything changed when my husband decided to cook this chicken curry once sometime soon after my delivery. I tasted it and it was like ‘heaven on earth’!  That first time after a long hiatus from chicken, I stuffed myself with chicken curry and rice!  It was that good! And yay! I was back to loving chicken again 🙂

And my husband continued to perfect his chicken curry over the years. Since I don’t eat tomatoes now, he has stopped adding tomatoes too. Yet his curry remains so tasty! You may ask what is so special about this curry? Actually I used to wonder too since I use almost the same spices and everything else. For one, my husband is very systematic in the kitchen. (He is very systematic, period.) He will first clean the kitchen counter, chop up everything and arrange them in different bowls, blend up the spices etc. and only then begin making his curry. Its like a ritual for him. You see I am nothing like that! I chop and cook at the same time moving from stirring to chopping and chopping to stirring! Over the years I would ask him multiple times to note his recipe down but he never bothered to do that.

Finally a few weeks ago, I decided to video record him while he was making the curry. I noted down all the quantities of spices etc too and so finally I have this super tasty recipe to share with you too! Hey when a curry is this good, you have got share the love you know! I am still working on editing the video and will post it soon too.

So did I find what he did differently? I think its the magic of his hands. lol 🙂 Jokes apart, the key thing here is slow cooking. I realized that he sautéed his onions slowly till they get really really soft, added very little water and added lots and lots of black pepper and not many other spices. And finally the curry is slow cooked to get a perfect chicken curry!The potatoes are also an important part of this curry – sometimes I can’t decide what I like more – the chicken pieces or the ‘curry smothered’ potato pieces. (My mouth is watering!) This curry tastes delicious with rotis or plain white rice.

If you are strictly paleo and avoid potatoes, then you can substitute taro root for potatoes as I do sometimes. Well this recipe is for you guys. As for me, when it comes to chicken curry in our house, 9 out of 10 times, you can guess who will be making it 🙂

Watch Video:


Kerala Peppery Chicken Curry (My husband's Chicken curry)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
A fiery and flavorful 'chicken and potatoes' curry slow cooked with lots of black pepper and other spices
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken thigh pieces, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
For marination:
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli pow (use less if you want mildly hot)
  • 2 tsp coriander pow
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • ½ tsp turneric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the curry:
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • About 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped finely
  • 2 green chiles, slit length wise (optional)
  • 10-12 whole black pepper corns (use fewer for less spicy)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) onions thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp coriander pow
  • 2 tsp black pepper powder (freshly ground)
  • 1 tsp fennel powder (freshly ground)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 small potatoes cubed (or 2 medium taro root cubed)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with all the ingredients listed under marinade and let sit for at least 15 mins (up to 30 mins)
  2. Heat a broad bottomed cooking pot (which has a tight fitting lid). When hot add the coconut oil and the garlic, ginger and green chillies. After 30 secs, add the whole spices - black pepper, cloves and bay leaves. Saute for 1 minute on medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and sautee for about 8-10 mins on low until onions turn slightly golden and soft(This is very important step)
  4. Next add all the spices - coriander pow, black pepper powder, fennel powder, turmeric , salt and garam masala. Saute for about 2 mins on low till you get the nice aroma from the roasted spices.
  5. Add about 2 tbsp of water at this point to avoid burning of the spices.
  6. Add the marinated chicken pieces and the potato/taro pieces and mix everything well together.
  7. Cover with the lid and cook on low heat for about 25 mins stirring every 10 mins to stir and avoid scorching.
  8. Add the fresh cilantro and turn heat off.
Notes
It is very important to use a tight fitting lidded pot for this recipe. The chicken needs to slow cook. The ground black pepper and ground fennel should be freshly ground otherwise you won't get the same flavors.

 

Easy Kerala Chicken Curry || Instant Pot Chicken Curry Recipe

 

This is a quick and easy way to make chicken curry.  This was how my dad used to make chicken curry in his bachelorhood days and so every now and then while we were growing up, we used to request him to cook his ‘special chicken curry’.  This is a ‘dump everything into a pot’ kind of stew/curry! You need to just assemble all of the ingredients and then put everything into one pot and let the chicken slowly cook yielding a delicious and spicy gravy.! One neat ingredient that my dad used to add to this curry is fresh coconut chips.  Adding fresh coconut chips is very unique to ‘Kerala’ cuisine, which uses coconut in all its forms- grated coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil and dried shredded coconut 🙂

For getting fresh coconut chips, you break open a fresh coconut, get all the delicious water out and then using a strong, sharp knife, you go around each half of the coconut making thin cuts and get the slices out.  As a kid, watching my mom or dad do this, I would think that this was so easy to do. But after growing up I realized that it was not easy to get the slices out! Boy, I am so glad for fresh frozen coconut slices! I get those from our local Indian grocers. If you cannot lay your hands on fresh frozen coconut slices, you could use dried coconut slices or chips. Since the recipe calls to cook them with the chicken, they should get sufficiently hydrated by the time the curry is cooked.

The coconut slices provide a lovely coconut flavor to the curry and at the same time they are delicious in the curry! Fresh coconut oil is also an important ingredient of this curry and if you substitute it with any other oil, then it won’t be the same curry!

My dad loves to add green plantains to this curry too. I do that too sometimes but most of the times I add potatoes because I am a sucker for potatoes cooked in gravy! 🙂

Nowadays, I cook this curry in my Instant Pot and hence I have included directions for that too in the recipe below. And I also recently made a video of this using the Instant pot. Check my video below. This curry is my ‘go to’ chicken curry when I am hard pressed for time and it never fails me – it always comes out fabulous! Do try it and let me know!

Easy Kerala Chicken Curry || Instant Pot Chicken Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-5

A quick and easy delicious chicken curry cooked Kerala style with coconut pieces, curry leaves and coconut oil. You can cook it in the Instant Pot too!

Ingredients

  • About 2.0 pounds (or about 3/4 kg ) of chicken cut into bite size pieces (about 1 inch cube pieces, preferably with bone or if you are using boneless, use large thigh pieces)
  • 2 medium size red onions, thinly sliced
  • About 1 and 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • About 1 and 1/2 tbsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small green chillies, slit length-wise
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced coconut pieces or coconut chips
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 medium size tomato, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 Large potato chopped into 1 inch cubes or 1/2 of a green plantain, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 6-8 whole black pepper corns
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon, about 3/4 inch long
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (add more if you want hot)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp coriander powder
  • About 1 1/4 tsp sea salt (or per taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp fennel powder (use fennel seeds and freshly grind for best flavor)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Instructions

    For cooking in regular pot:
  1. Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and wipe dry with a paper towel. Take a medium size cooking pot that has a tight-fitting lid and add the chicken pieces in it and then add the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt and mix with your hands to coat the chicken well.
  2. Next add the finely sliced onions, the garlic, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and the coconut pieces. And also add all the other ingredients.
  3. Now using your hands, mix everything well and crunch the onion slices using your fingers to break them down (This is a very important step for the onions to cook well)
  4. Cover the pot with the lid and place pot on stove on low heat. Cook on low heat for 10 mins.
  5. Now open the pot and stir well to make sure the chicken pieces are not sticking to the pot. Again cover and cook on low for 20 mins stirring occasionally.
  6. Open and check if the chicken pieces and the potatoes are cooked and soft. Turn heat off.
    For Cooking in Instant Pot :
  1. Following same instructions as above adding all ingredients to the instant pot insert pot and close the lid. Turn vent to sealing position and press 'pressure cook' button. Set time for 15 mins (you may have to press + or - to change time to 15 mins). After pressure cooking is done, press cancel to turn the heat off and let steam release naturally (i.e. till the valve goes down) and then open the pot.

Notes

1. It is very important to scrunch the onions since we are not sautéing or cooking them before. Scrunching helps them breakdown faster and thus make them soft in the curry. 2. if you are using only boneless chicken pieces, then set pressure cooking time to 10 mins instead of 15 mins. 3. If you don't like to have whole spices in your curry, you can tie them in a soft muslin cloth and add to the pot. That way you can easily take them out while serving. 4.You could try substituting coconut chips for fresh coconut slices. I have not tried them but my guess is they should work ok. 5.You could also add some coconut milk if you like the curry to be less hot. Tomatoes are optional in this curry. I skip them now since I am nightshade free and the curry comes out still great!

https://indusinternationalkitchen.com/2013/10/easy-chicken-curry-kerala-style.html

Easy Chicken Curry (Kerala Style)|| Instant Pot Chicken Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
An easy and delicious chicken curry with flavors of coconut oil and curry leaves along with other spices like coriander and garam masala. You can make it in the Instant Pot too!
Ingredients
  • About 2.0 pounds (or about ¾ kg ) of chicken cut into bite size pieces (about 1 inch cube pieces, preferably with bone or if you are using boneless, use large thigh pieces)
  • 2 medium size red onions, thinly sliced
  • About 1 and ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • About 1 and ½ tbsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small green chillies, slit length-wise
  • ½ cup thinly sliced coconut pieces or coconut chips
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 medium size tomato, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 Large potato chopped into 1 inch cubes or ½ of a green plantain, cut into ½ inch rounds
  • 6-8 whole black pepper corns
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon, about ¾ inch long
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli (cayenne pepper) powder (add more if you want hot)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp coriander powder
  • About 1¼ tsp sea salt (or per taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp freshly ground fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
Instructions
For cooking in regular pot:
  1. Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and wipe dry with a paper towel. Take a medium size cooking pot that has a tight-fitting lid and add the chicken pieces in it and then add the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt and mix with your hands to coat the chicken well.
  2. Next add the finely sliced onions, the garlic, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and the coconut pieces. And also add all the other ingredients.
  3. Now using your hands, mix everything well and crunch the onion slices using your fingers to break them down (This is a very important step for the onions to cook well)
  4. Cover the pot with the lid and place pot on stove on low heat. Cook on low heat for 10 mins.
  5. Now open the pot and stir well to make sure the chicken pieces are not sticking to the pot. Again cover and cook on low for 20 mins stirring occasionally.
  6. Open and check if the chicken pieces and the potatoes are cooked and soft. Turn heat off.
For Cooking in Instant Pot :
  1. Following same instructions as above adding all ingredients to the instant pot insert pot and close the lid. Turn vent to sealing position and press 'pressure cook' button. Set time for 15 mins (you may have to press + or - to change time to 15 mins; If you are using only boneless chicken pieces, pressure cook only for 10 mins). After pressure cooking is done, let steam release naturally (i.e. till the valve goes down) and then open the pot.
Notes
1. It is very important to scrunch the onions since we are not sautéing or cooking them before. Scrunching helps them breakdown faster and thus make them soft in the curry.
2. if you are using boneless chicken pieces, keep them as large pieces and set pressure cook time for 10 mins instead of 15 mins.
2. If you don't like to have whole spices in your curry, you can tie them in a soft muslin cloth and add to the pot. That way you can easily take them out while serving.
3.You could try substituting coconut chips for fresh coconut slices. I have not tried them but my guess is they should work ok.
4.You could also add some coconut milk if you like the curry to be less hot.
Tomatoes are optional in this curry. I skip them now since I am nightshade free and the curry comes out still great!