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Kozhi Ishtu [Chicken Stew – Kerala Style]

I have grown up having Chicken Stew in childhood, when my mum is to make me, when I would be sick, and this would come us a mild chicken curry with lot of vegetables. The dish has always been associated in a Bengali household with “not feeling well” unless I came down south where this is treated as a delicacy.

Kerala Style Chicken Stew is a very mild yet full of flavors Chicken curry which is cooked in coconut milk with minimum spices and is a traditional recipe from the state of Kerala in India. I enjoyed and fell in love with this once I had been to God’s Own Country Kerala and fell in love with the same. So here we go on my take on Nadan Kozhi Ishtu


1. Chicken – 700 Gms

2. Onion – 2 big size

3. Tomato – 2 medium size

4. Potato – 1 big or 2 small size chopped in cubes

5. Carrots – 4 medium size chopped in cubes

6. Vegetable Oil – 4 tbsp

7. Ghee – 2 tbsp

8. Ginger – 2inch finely chopped

9. Garlic – 10 cloves finely chopped

10. Salt & Sugar – to taste

11. Red Chilies – 2

12. Green chilies – 3

13. Cinnamon – 2 inches

14. Clove – 5 cloves

15. Pepper Corn – 10

16. Pepper Powder – 2 tsp

17. Red Chili Powered – 1tsp

18. Garam Masala – 1tsp

19. Curry Leaves – 10 pieces

20. Chicken / Mutton Stock – 1 cup

21. Coconut Milk – 1 cup


Take a cast iron Kadai / Pot and add some vegetable oil in the same. Heat the oil and Cinnamon, Clove and Peppercorns. Add the finely sliced onion and sautéed till it becomes translucent. Add the Ginger & Garlic and sautéed for another 5 min. Add the potato and carrot cubes and keep cooking. Add some black pepper power, green chiles sliced, red chili powder and sliced tomatoes. Keep cooking the same for another 5-7 min.

Add chicken and keep cooking in high flame, the chicken needs to mix with all the ingredients in the pot and cook well. Once the curry paste thickens add the stock and mix well. Add salt & sugar to taste and mix well. Lower the heat and add hot water in case required to submerge the ingredients in the curry. Cover with a lid and simmer it for 15 min for the chicken, potatoes and carrots to cook. Occasionally stir well to ensure it does not get stuck at the bottom of the pot / pan.

Once you see the chicken cooked, add some garam masala, coconut milk and let it simmer for another 10 min. This would ensure the gravy has thickened a bit, check on all ingredients that they have cooked and soft and you will have mild flavours of pepper and spices.

Take a separate small pan / tadka pan. Add ghee, with whole red chilies and curry leaves, fry it like a tadka and add it on top of the Stew. Let it rest for a while and then serve it with Appam, Hopers, Idiyappams, Dosa or simply Malabar paratha.

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