Keralan Chicken Masala

This is a recipe for a really great curry. I picked it up on a cooking course in Cochin, Kerala, in India.  I also picked up a great dal recipe, you can find this in a previous post.


Chicken Marinade
1 kg. chicken
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. chilli powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vinegar

2 onions – finely chopped
2 green chillies – finely chopped (no seeds)
2 tomatoes – chopped.


  • Black Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp.
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp.
  • Garlic paste (or crushed) – 1 tsp.
  • Ginger paste (or crushed) – 1/2 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp.
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala powder – 2 tsp.
  • Crushed Pepper – 2 tsp.
  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp.
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp.
  • A few curry leaves (or coriander leaves).


1. Marinade the chicken for half an hour with the turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt and vinegar (see above).

2. Fry the chicken in a little vegetable oil until cooked.

3. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop and it smells like popcorn turn the heat down and add the cumin seeds.

4. Add the onion and sauté until they start to brown.

5. Add the green chillies and continue to fry a little longer.

6. Add the garlic and ginger (together if using paste, if crushed add the garlic first). Lower the flame.

7. Add the powders onto the onion, not directly onto the hot surface of the pan. Mix it all together.

8. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk.

9. When the milk is boiling, add the chicken and half of the curry leaves. Simmer and cook on a low flame for 20 minutes.

10. Add the remaining curry leaves.

Serve with rice or Indian breads.

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1 Response to Keralan Chicken Masala

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