Nadan kozhi curry | Kerala style chicken curry

Nadan kozhi curry is a very popular chicken curry in Kerala and it goes well with Keralan style parotta or any Indian bread, pathiri, appam, plain rice or ghee rice. This Keralan chicken curry cannot be made in a hurry as the onion has to be cooked until soft and caramelised, spices have to be roasted and combined well with onion, chicken has to be roasted well with onion mixture, all on a medium to low flame only. The slow cooking provides a very scrumptious restaurant style chicken curry with a good reddish colour.

Preparation time: 20 mins (excluding soaking time)

Cooking time: 50 mins

Cuisine: Kerala

Spiciness: Hot

Serves: 3


  • Chicken – 600 gms
  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds – 1/8 tsp
  • Dry chillies (optional) – 2
  • Curry leaves – 20
  • Green cardamom – 6
  • Cloves – 6
  • Cinnamon (3 inch) – 1
  • Onion – 2 or 250 gms
  • Tomato – 1 or 150 gms
  • Ginger (crushed/chopped) – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic (crushed/chopped) – 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies (mild) – 3
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Fennel powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Vinegar – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Coconut oil (again) – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves (chopped, optional) – few


  • Heat a kadai with both the oils. When hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add methi seeds, fennel seeds, dry chillies, curry leaves (keep about 5-6 leeaves for use later) and cook for a few seconds on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and ginger. Saute for about 30 secs. Add onions.
  • Cook until the onions are soft and caramelised. Keep stirring and cook on medium or low flame. It will take 15 to 20 mins.
  • Add all the dry spices and mix well. Saute well on a low flame for a few seconds. Take care not to burn the spices.
  • Add 50 ml of water to avoid the spices from getting burnt.
  • Add sliced tomato and cook on a medium to low flame with the lid closed. Keep stirring in between. Stirring and roasting gives the curry a very good dark colour.
  • Cook until tomato is soft and combined well with the onion mixture. Close the lid and cook.
  • Add chicken and mix well. Cook on a medium to low flame keeping the lid closed.
  • In between stir the chicken. You can reduce the flame and cook.
  • The chicken has to be combined well with the onion mixture. No need to add water as the chicken itself releases a lot of juices. Cook for about 10 to 15 mins on a medium to low flame with the lid closed.
  • Add vinegar. I have used rice vinegar. Cook for about 10 more mins. Keep stirring the chicken.
  • Add the remaining water and salt. Cook the curry for about 10 to 12 mins on a medium to low flame until the oil separates from the curry.
  • Add a few curry leaves, coriander leaves and 1 tbsp coconut oil. Close the lid and cook for a further 10 to 12 mins on a low flame.
  • Switch off and let the chicken curry rest for a few mins.
  • Serve the Nadan kozhi curry with Kerala parotta or rice.


  • You can reduce the spices and chilli to suit your taste.
  • Use Kashmiri chilli powder only.
  • Add water as per the curry consistency you want.
  • If the chicken starts burning while roasting, keep the flame low and cook. The chicken has to be roasted well with the onion mixture.
  • You can add coconut milk when adding coriander leaves for a different taste and also to reduce heat.

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