Monday, February 25, 2008

Rustic Chicken Curry/Nadan Kozhi Curry

Chicken curry is a generic term that encompasses an immense variety of dishes. In a nutshell, it is chicken braised with spices and some kind of liquid. The spices used and the braising liquid (coconut milk, stock, or just water) differs from dish to dish. The addition of ground coconut, ground nuts (cashew, almond), and /or yogurt make the variety endless.

Southern Indian curries tend to be more spicier than their Northern Indian counterparts. Both are equally delicious!

I prefer to use the whole chicken for curries, makes for a more flavorful dish.

Ingredients:chicken - 3 lbs (skinned, cleaned, and jointed into small pieces)
curry leaves - 6
onion - 1 sliced thin
green chilies - 3 slit
tomato - 1 small sliced
potato - 1 small cubed
salt to taste
oil - 3 tbsp

wet spices:
fresh ginger - 1" piece
garlic - 5 cloves

dry spices:
cayenne pd - 1 tsp
coriander pd - 3 tsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
fennel seeds whole - 1 tbsp
whole black pepper - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1" piece (optional)
cloves - 2 (optional)
cardamom - 2 seeded (optional)


Using a small food processor or blender, blend garlic and ginger together to a paste, keep aside. Add water as needed to facilitate somewhat smooth griding. Do not make it too watery.

Mix coriander pd, cayenne pd, and turmeric pd together in a small bowl. Powder fennel seeds, whole black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom together in a spice grinder. Add to the bowl along with some water to make a paste, keep aside.

Heat a heavy pot. Add oil. When oil is hot, add sliced onions, green chilies, curry leaves and saute till onions are translucent. Add the ginger and garlic (wet spices) paste. Fry till the raw smell disappears, approximately 3-4 minutes. Now add the spice paste (dry spices) to the pot. Continue to fry on a low flame till the spices are fragrant, and starting to brown. If the spices start sticking to the pot, add a tbsp of oil. Now add the sliced tomatoes. Keep stirring till the tomato pieces are soft and the whole mixture is uniform.

Add chicken pieces ands stir to coat with the spices. Add salt and cover the pot. Turn the flame down. After 5 minutes, add 1.5 cup of water and cubed potato. If you are using a fast cooking variety of potato, add towards the last 15 minutes.

Simmer for approximately 30 minutes or more. If you want a lot of gravy, leave the pot covered. If you want a more thicker gravy, simmer with the pot uncovered.

The curry is done when chicken is cooked and the oil separates and start to float on top. Serve with Chappathi or rice.

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At February 29, 2008 at 6:50 AM , Blogger MVerivakiAThotmailDOTcom said...

chicken curry (of all meat curries) is my favorite dish. I have recently blogged about the use of the word curry ( and I was wondering if you could tell me your views about what the word curry really means to you as you would use it in South Asia.

At February 29, 2008 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Spice Coast Kitchen said...

my understanding is that the word curry has its origins in a Tamil word "kari", meaning "spiced sauce". To me curry means, meat or vegetables cooked with spices and is soupy. In Kerala, a dry (not soupy) dish like a "thoran" would not be called a curry.

At February 29, 2008 at 4:05 PM , Blogger Spice Coast Kitchen said...

also, I read your blog about pumpkin soup. You are absolutely correct about the use of spices by Indian cooks. Each cook would mix his/her own spices, a tsp. of that, a pinch of this, a dash of that and so on.. There is no such thing as a curry tree from which you make curry powder. Come to think of it, there is a Curry-leaf tree, (Murraya koenigii)the leaves of which are used in Southern Indian cooking.

At March 6, 2008 at 11:31 AM , Blogger Jeena said...

Hi there my name is Jeena and I have started a food recipe forum that I thought you would like to join here Click here for food recipe forum

I would love to see you on there to chat about food and cooking you can talk about anything you like and start your very own topics. :-)
or see my main food recipe website Jeenas food recipe site

Hope to see you soon


Jeena x

At March 6, 2008 at 4:10 PM , Blogger Spice Coast Kitchen said...

Jeena, thanks for the invite. I would be happy to particiapte.

At April 30, 2008 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous jj said...

I love reading about all the many ways to use spices in Indian Cooking. Have had little experience with curry and found your recipe and pictures wonderful, thank you!

At April 30, 2008 at 7:36 PM , Blogger Spice Coast Kitchen said...

thanks jj, glad you enjoyed it!

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