Malabar Chicken

The cuisine of Kerala is as diverse as the state itself.

Kerala’s Malabar region is well- known for its ethnic Moplah (or Mappila – the local term used for the Muslims community in  the state) dishes. The two sought after hubs of Malabar cuisine are –  Kozhikode and Thalassery.

“Like the warmth of the people, Malabar cuisine tickles the palette of food lovers” – says Oscar winning Sound artist Resul Pookutty– who is from South Kerala. He points out that while most of the dishes maintain their ethnicity, the Iftaar dishes served in south Kerala are quite different to the same dishes served in the Malabar region.

Malabar cuisine has been influenced by the Arab, the Portugal and Dutch Traders. ‘It is a cuisine that uses local ingredients with techniques and concepts borrowed from faraway lands’ -says gourmet writer Ayesha Tanya who is from Thalassery. It’s the distinctive taste and the richness in flavour that makes Malabari food so popular with foodies of all age groups. Furthermore, it’s food made with the freshest of ingredients and spices that are either powdered, ground, crushed or used whole.  Green chillies is preferred to chilly powder and if ever chilly powder is used it is the non-spicy, Kashmiri chilly powder that is added.

Malabar food – the beauty of it has been always home -cooking done by the womenfolk following recipes that have been handed down from generations.

Chicken is the most sought after protein at home and as mentioned in one of my earlier posts it is the most versatile protein. This particular curry is the ideal accompaniment to any Indian bread and is flavoursome with the eclectic combination of spices and the richness and creaminess of coconut milk. It’s no wonder that I keep making this dish ever so often at home. My family loves it. So do I. 


  • Chicken- 1 kg
  • Onions- 3 finely sliced
  • Tomato purée- 3 tbsp
  • Ginger- garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 3tbsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder-2 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup- 1 tbsp
  • Coconut milk- 3/4 cup (thick)
  • Coconut oil, salt
  • Curry leaves to garnish


  • To the cleaned and washed chicken, add ginger- garlic paste, chilly, pepper, turmeric powders, tomato purée salt and keep aside for 20 minutes.
  • Add 3/4 cup of water and cook chicken till tender and gravy is thick on a medium flame.
  • In a frying pan add some coconut oil and fry onions till brown.
  • Add the cooked chicken along with the gravy and mix well.
  • Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add tomato ketchup, blend well and remove.
  • Garnish with curry leaves and serve.

Chefs tips:

  • The weight of the chicken should be 1-1.25 kg.
  • The chicken should be cut into medium size pieces.
  • Adding a little salt while frying the onions could hasten the process of browning the onions.
  • In the place of coconut oil, you could substitute any vegetable oil.
  • This dish is an ideal accompaniment for Puttu, idiappam, appam, paratha and pathiri.
  • For those of you are are unfamiliar with the above you could try cheesy garlic rolls.
  • Serves 6-8 .

” Humor keeps us alive.  Humor and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing “.   -Joss Whedon

Till my next post



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