Try out this classic Kerala recipe for Varutharacha Kozhi Curry or chicken curry with roasted coconut

Try out this classic Kerala recipe for Varutharacha Kozhi Curry or chicken curry with roasted coconut

Best eaten with flatbreads, rice hoppers or a bowl of rice, make this 40-minute dish

Guide to making varutharacha kozhi curry at home Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Here’s another traditional chicken recipe from Kerala – Varutharacha Kozhi Curry. This well-flavoured gravy dish uses a blend of roasted coconut and spices, and gives out a unique aroma when cooked. Best eaten with appam (rice hoppers), pidi (rice dumplings) and parotta (layered flatbread, this recipe is for those who have a high spice tolerance!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4


Here's what you will need: chicken pieces, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, curry leaves, grated coconut, red chilli powder, fennel seeds, green chillies, sliced onions, cloves, turmeric, salt, cardamom, black peppercorns and cinnamon Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

1 kg chicken

1 tbsp (approximately 6) garlic cloves, crushed

120 gms grated coconut

4 ½ tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp turmeric powder

3 cloves

1 ½ inch cinnamon

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp fennel seed

4 cardamom

6 shallots, chopped

1 tbsp ginger, chopped

2 ½ tbsp red chilli powder

1 ½ tbsp coriander powder

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

3 green chillies, slit

2 sprigs of curry leaves

Salt to taste

For tempering

2 shallots, chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig curry leaves


Step 1: Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, and salt. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.

Marinate the chicken with red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 2: In a heavy-bottomed pan or cheenachatti, pour 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Add 120gms of grated coconut, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel seeds, cardamom, chopped shallots, ginger and one sprig of curry leaves. Saute well on a low flame until coconut turn light brown in colour.

Step 3: Add red chilli powder and coriander powder. Continue stirring for another 2 minutes on a low flame until the entire turns brown. Make sure not to burn the powder.

Step 4: Once the mixture turns brown, quickly remove it off the flame and place it on a plate as it can continue to darken if left in the pan to cool.

Roast the coconut with spices Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 5: Transfer the roasted coconut mix to a blender or food processor and grind it. Add one cup of water and grind to a smooth paste.

... and grind it to a fine paste Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 6: Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in another heavy-bottomed pan. Add sliced onion and slit green chillies. Sauté it for about 4 minutes on a medium flame. Adding salt helps the onion cook fast, and saute them until the onion slices are soft and turn a light brown.

Sauté onions with tomatoes and slit green chillies Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 7: Add crushed garlic and sauté well for another minute.

Step 8: Add sliced tomatoes and mix it well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 9: Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the marinated chicken pieces. Add one sprig of curry leaves. Stir well until the chicken pieces are well coated with the spices.

Time to add the marinated chicken Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 10: Add the ground coconut paste and stir well. Add salt as required. Add 200 ml of boiled water and cook until the chicken is done and the gravy becomes thick in consistency.

Step 11: Finally, for tempering, heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a small pan. Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Fry the chopped shallots until it turns light brown. Add a sprig of curry leaf and sauté until golden brown. Pour this on top of the curry.

Time to start tempering Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 12: Serve and enjoy with pidi, pathiri, appam or with flatbreads like parotta or roti!

Serve and enjoy! Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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