Kerala-Style Chicken (Nadan Khozi Curry)

[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.

Kerala-Style Chicken (Nadan Khozi Curry)

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
Special equipment:Cast iron skillet, blender/coffee grinder, heavy bottomed non-stick skillet
This recipe appears in: Beyond Curry: Kerala-Style Chicken (Nadan Khozi Curry)


  • 4 chicken legs, split into drumsticks and thighs
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 1 inch peice cinnamon
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 2 white cardamon pods
  • 2 whole red chillies or 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Kosher salt


  1. 1

    Rub the chicken pieces in turmeric powder and seat aside. Heat the cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add coriander seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamon, and red chillies. (if you're using the red chili powder, do not add it now). Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant, a few minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool. Transfer to a spice blender (along with chili powder if using) and blend until powdered.

  2. 2

    Heat oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stand away and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ground spices and stir vigorously. Add the chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes total. Add the coconut milk and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve hot with roti or white rice.


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