• Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Serves: 5

Main Ingredients:

  1. chicken
  2. coconut


  • Chicken – 1 kg, with bone, clean and cut into medium size pieces
  • Onions – 2, medium, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
  • Thick coconut milk – 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 3 tbsps
  • Ghee – 2 tbsps
  • For masala:
  • Onion – 1, medium, sliced
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Coconut – 1/2 cup, fresh and grated
  • Dry red chilies – 7-8, de-seed (I used 6 chilies)
  • Black pepper corns – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 1/2 tbsps
  • Methi seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon – 1″ piece


  1. Marinate chicken in turmeric powder and half tsp salt for 15 mts.
  2. Prepare the masala. Dry roast methi seeds for 4 mts on low flame. Next add all the ingredients called for in ‘masala’ except onion, garlic and coconut. Dry roast on low medium flame for 4-5 mts, mixing them so that they don’t burn and roast evenly. Remove the roasted ingredients from the pan and set them aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the ghee. Add the sliced onions and garlic and saute for 3 mts. Add the grated coconut and saute for 5 mts. Turn off flame and cool.
  4. Grind all the dry roasted ingredients along with onion-coconut mixture to a smooth thick paste adding little water. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add the chopped onions and saute for 7-8 mts or till lightly browned. Add the chicken and cook on high for 4 mts. Reduce flame, place lid and cook for another 9-10 mts, mixing well once in a while.
  6. Add the ground masala paste, curry leaves and salt and mix well. Place lid and cook on medium flame for 8-10 mts.
  7. Add 3 cups of water and tamarind paste and cook on high flame for 2 mts. Reduce flame, place lid and simmer till chicken is cooked.
  8. Before turning off the flame, add the coconut milk and mix well. Remove to a serving bowl.
  9. An optional step you can follow at this stage is to saute a small sliced onion along with a sprig of curry leaves in a tbsp of ghee till brown and pour it over the hot curry.
  10. Serve with rotti, neer dosa or rice.


  • You can add a finely chopped tomato at the time of adding the masala paste.
  • Adjust the red chilies according to your spice level.