How to prepare authentic Kerala chicken stew

How to prepare authentic Kerala chicken stew

Chicken stew with coconut milk and Palappam (hoppers) is a traditional breakfast in Kerala

Chicken stew
Kerala chicken stew - serve warm with appam! Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese


500gm chicken, cut into medium pieces with bones

Chicken stew
Chicken for the stew Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

3 tbsp coconut oil

100gm carrot, cut into cubes

3 pieces 1-inch cinnamon stick

3 cardamom pods, crushed

4 pieces cloves

2 bayleaves

2 star anise

1/2 tsp (whole) peppercorn

150gm onion, finely sliced

1 tbsp ghee/oil

5 green chillies (slit)

2 tbsp chopped ginger

1 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic

125gm potato, cut into cubes

2 sprigs curry leaves

Chicken stew
Ingredients required: Carrots, onions, ginger, garlic, potatoes, green chillies, cashews and spices Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

200ml coconut milk (available in departmental stores)

1/2 tsp crushed peppercorn

1/2 tsp dry fennel powder

25gm cashew nut, made into paste

6-7 cashew nuts, for garnishing

2 shallots, chopped

1 tbsp chopped coriander

Salt, to taste


Step 1

Clean chicken well and set aside.

Step 2

Take a large cooking pan, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil, sauté the carrot pieces for two minutes and set aside.

Chicken stew
Step 2 Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 3

In the same pan add 2 more tablespoon of coconut oil and heat it. Add cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, bayleaf, star anise and whole peppercorn, and stir for 30 seconds. Add onion, ghee, green chilli, ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

Chicken stew
Add ginger and garlic Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese
Chicken stew
Add the onion slices Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 4

Add potato cubes and chicken and sauté for 3 minutes. Add one teaspoon of salt and one sprig of curry leaf as well.

Chicken stew
... followed by the potato cubes and green chillies Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 5

Take 100ml of coconut milk, dilute in 400ml of water and then add it to the pan. Cook covered until done, over medium flame. Stir occasionally. Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon of dry roasted fennel powder. Also add salt as per your taste.

Chicken stew
Add the coconut milk Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 6

Once the chicken is cooked add sautéed carrot cubes and cashew nut paste and cook for another 1 minute.

Chicken stew
The gravy assumes a thicker texture due to the milk and cashew paste Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 7

Add the remaining 100ml of thick coconut milk into the pan and heat it. Keep stirring, then when the stew is about to boil, put off the flame.

Step 8

In another small cooking pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee and heat it. Fry a few cashew nuts, then set aside.

Chicken stew
Step 8 Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

In the same pan drop coriander, shallots and 1 sprig of curry leaf. Sauté until the shallots turn golden brown and pour over the stew to garnish, along with the fried cashews.

Chicken stew
Saute curry leaves and shallots until brown Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Transfer chicken stew to a serving dish and serve with hot appam.

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