Kerala Style Chicken Stew

I have come to believe that I am a South Indian born in the North. I am always hungry for Idli, Dosa, Sambhar, Rassam, Uttapam, Stew and Appam. Although, I must admit that I have a lot of South Indian recipes to try and eat before I claim such love but I am pretty sure, that my love for South Indian food can only grow deeper from where it is right now.

Thankfully, I made a new friend at work last year who shares my passion for baking and cooking. And guess what? She is from Mangalore. Eating South Indian food with her is one of my favourite things to do. Every time I have sat down with her for a meal, I have learnt so much about South Indian food including pronouncing the dishes correctly. Last week, I demanded that she make a new chicken recipe for me and we ended up making this heart-warming stew which is one of the most comforting things I have eaten in a long time.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair to say that this is the authentic Kerala stew because I added peas, mushroom and lemon to it. But, I promise you will absolutely LOVE this stew. If you want the authentic flavours, feel free to skip the peas, mushroom and lemon but I can’t resist squeezing in a lemon wherever coconut is involved and vegetables? Well! More the merrier.

This recipe has been adapted from Maria’s wonderful blog. Thanks Maria!

Here is what we need (Serves 4-5):

  • 900 gm chicken curry cut
  • small piece of cinnamon
  • 4-5 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper (peppercorns)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 4-5 green chiles
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup quartered mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cup peas (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut cream (see note below)*
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (use vegetable oil if you do not have coconut oil)

*Note: If you cannot find coconut cream, use coconut milk instead, making for a total of 3 cups coconut milk.

Method:

Chop and dice all the vegetables except peas bcz you don’t want to chop peas bcz it’s not cool to chop peas bcz…never mind!

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Throw the whole spices in a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and pestle then use a rolling pin.

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Grind the whole spices gently. Let them remain a bit chunky! Chunky is good.

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Heat the oil in a pan and throw in the spices. Grinding the spices helps in releasing their aroma to its full potential.

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Keep the stove on low flame and throw in the onions.

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Add the curry leaves and the chiles.

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Throw in the ginger and garlic. Do not let the onions brown. They should be just soft and translucent.

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Add the potatoes

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And the carrots. Cook them for about 10 mins on low flame.

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Add the peas and cook for a minute.

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Throw in the chicken and cook it for about 2 minutes just to brown it a little from the outside.

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Timing is important while cooking meat. There is always a risk of over cooking.

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Add the coconut milk. I love this stuff truly, madly, deeply.

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Add a can of coconut cream. This stuff is dreamy. It is sweeter and more intense than coconut milk. I always keep a can in my kitchen.

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Add the salt to taste.

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Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon. You may skip this if you want the authentic Kerala stew. With or without lemon, this stew is spectacular.

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Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. DO NOT cook for more than 15 minutes. Two things I am really paranoid about are: Handling raw chicken and overcooking the meat.

Please clean all surfaces including your hands that come in contact with raw chicken with soap. Do not go around touching things in your kitchen after handling raw chicken. If you are washing chicken then ensure that the water is not splattering around.

In my head I am mixing chicken and kitchen.

chicken kitchen, kitchen chicken! This is how I passed my 15 minutes of time. It was productive.

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If you are adding mushrooms, then lift the lid when 2-3 minutes are left and throw in these beauties. I am also paranoid about over cooking mushrooms.

Simmer for the remaining 2-3 minutes.

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The stew is ready! Serve with steamed rice or appam. It’s a perfect treat for winters. Warm, flavourful and coconut-y. This is what I call soulful food. Happy Cooking :)

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Author:Yeshi

Hello...My name is Yeshi. I love cooking and baking.I started experimenting in the kitchen when I was 12 years old. As soon as mom would leave from home, I would quickly go into the kitchen and try to create something new. Through my blog, I would like to share my passion for cooking & baking, some original, some inspired and some classic recipes. I hope you like it.

5 Responses to “Kerala Style Chicken Stew”

  1. January 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    Beautifully prepared chicken. I never had a chicken with coconut milk but seems yummy i guess. I will surely prepare as per your recipe. Thank u for the share.

    • February 2, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

      Thank you Shreya! Happy cooking.

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