Malabar Chicken Curry


Malabar chicken curry is a popular dish from India. It is one of the delicious and aromatic dishes that belong to the southern state of Kerala, India. Kerala is famous for its tourism and also for its cuisine. This dish tastes very different from North Indian curries as it needs to be cooked with coconut oil. Also, fresh chopped coconut and curry leaves give it an extra taste and aroma. This is a must try recipe if you’ve never tasted it before.


ready malabar chicken curry served hot in a white dish on a table top, by homemakerjob
Malabar Chicken Curry by Homemakerjob


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ready malabar chicken curry served hot in a white dish, with paretta in another dish and curry leaves spread on table top for decorating, by homemakerjob

Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar chicken curry is a delicious and popular dish from Kerala. It has a nice aroma because of the curry leaves and coconut oil. It is a moderately difficult dish to make, but it's worth the effort. Follow my recipe step by step to make this awesome dish at home.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, kerala, South Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 700 gm chicken

For paste

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp black pepper, whole
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 shallots
  • 5-6 curry leaves

For gravy

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic crushed
  • 3 green chilies
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ cup tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

For tempering

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut, sliced
  • 8 curry leaves


  • Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a kadai on medium heat. Add 2/3 cup grated coconut and fry for 2-3 min. Keep stirring.
  • Add 1 tsp black pepper whole, 3 green cardamoms, 4 cloves, and ½ inch cinnamon. Then add 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, shallots, and 5-6 curry leaves. Mix well and fry for 7-8 min till coconut turns brown.
  • Remove it to a plate and let it cool down. Now, transfer the coconut mixture to a mixer jar and add 2-3 tbsp water. Blend and make a coarse paste.
  • Heat 3 tbsp coconut oil in the kadai. Add 1 cup chopped onion, 2 tbsp crushed ginger-garlic and 3 green chilies. Fry for 5-6 min.
  • Add 5-6 curry leaves, 2 tsp red chili powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Add ½ cup chopped tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Mix well and stir for 4 min. Now add chicken and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 min.
  • Next, add 1 cup water and stir well. Cover the lid and cook for 15 min.
  • Now add the coconut and spice paste and mix well with the chicken. Cover the lid and cook for 10 min. Add 1 tbsp coriander leaves and ¼ tsp garam masala and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  • To make a tempering, heat 3 tbsp coconut oil in a pan. Add ½ tsp mustard seeds. Once it starts crackling, add ¼ cup sliced fresh coconut and cook for 2 min.
  • Then add ¼ cup sliced onions and fry till onions turn brown. Add 5-6 curry leaves and fry for 30-40 seconds.
  • Now pour the ready tempering over the malabar chicken curry and mix well.
  • Serve hot Malabar chicken with parotta, naan, appam, or rice.


  • Only use coconut oil for cooking to achieve an authentic taste.
  • Adjust the spice level as per your taste.
  • Use bone-in chicken instead of boneless chicken.
  • You can add more curry leaves, as they add aroma and a distinct flavor to the curry.
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