Kerala Chicken Stew with Coconut Milk and whole spices is a perfect meal for summer (or any other season). It goes well with appams, dosa, rice or a nice toasted slice of sourdough bread. Sharing a kickass recipe today which I got from a friend’s mother.
This Kerala Chicken Stew is what summer dreams are made of. I hardly feel like eating meat, poultry or seafood in summer primarily because the heavy masalas and preparations don’t sit right with the stomach. But this light and flavorful dish from Kerala changes everything.
Honestly, there was a time when I used to think Kerala stew is so blah. That there is hardly any flavour in it, it is bland and other stuff. But I soon realised that the reason is probably the stew you get in various restaurants. I realised how beautiful the flavours of stew can be once I ate it in a friend’s house. Then sometime later, I ate the gorgeous Veg stew that Sudha made in Sujith’s sourdough bread workshop.
After that workshop, I knew I have to hunt down a recipe for this stew that works like magic. And for me, it had to be the recipe my friend’s mum uses. So here is what I got from her. I also learnt that when it comes to making the best Kerala Stew two things are very important. One, less is more. The flavours are supposed to be milder, it is the whole spices doing all the action here and the key is to let that happen. Two, make your own coconut milk and see the huge difference it makes to the stew. Of course, you can use the ready ones but the flavour of freshly made one is just amazing.
Suggested meal combination with Kerala Chicken Stew
One, of course, is having the stew with bread or appam but if you are looking at serving it as a part of a larger meal this is what I suggest
Kerala Chicken Stew with Coconut Milk
- 500 gm chicken curry cut, without skin
- 1 medium potato peeled and cubed
- 1 carrot peeled and cut in strips
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic thinly sliced
- 2-3 green chillies slit
- 1/2 tsp peppercons
- 3 cardamom
- 3 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 Star anise
- 1 cup thick coconut milk first extract
- 2.5 cups thin coconut milk second and third extract
- 8 Cashew nuts
- 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the tempering
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 5 shallots sliced
- curry leaves handful
- Soak the cashew nuts in a little water for 20 mins and once they are soft, make a paste and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan, I prefer to use a mud chatti for this for any heavy bottom pan will work well. Once the oil is hot, add whole spices and saute till fragrant.
- Add green chillies and onions, saute till the onions are soft and pink. We don’t need to brown the onions here since the curry doesn’t need that brownish color.
- Add chicken pieces, potato and carrot. Mix well and add the thin coconut milk. Cover and cook till the chicken is almost done.
- At this point, mix together the cashew paste and thick coconut milk. Add to the cooking stew and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- While this is cooking, heat coconut oil for tempering in a pan and add curry leaves and sliced shallots to it. Saute till the shallots are nicely browned.
- Add the tempering to the cooked stew and serve with appam, bread or above mentioned full thaali.