Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Chicken Curry
by Manju Malhi


  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 4-6 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 500g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm pieces
  • For the spice paste mix:
  • 500g desiccated or freshly grated coconut
  • 2.5cm piece of peeled root ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2.5cm piece cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • For the tempering:
  • 1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthways


  1. To make the spice paste, heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add the coconut, ginger, garlic, cinnamon or cassia bark, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns.
  2. Dry roast until the coconut turns brown and you can smell the aroma of the spices.
  3. Allow to cool, then place all the ingredients in a food processor and grind with 200ml of water to make a fine paste.
  4. Heat the oil and add the shallots.
  5. Fry till soft. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken turns white on the outside.
  6. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix well and add the spice paste. Add 400ml of water and cook for 10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through and when a piece is cut in half it’s white on the inside.
  7. Heat a frying pan and add the 1tsp of olive oil. Add a few of the mustard seeds, if they start to crackle, add the remaining seeds followed by the chillies. Saute for a minute.
  8. Pour the mixture over the chicken curry and cook for a further 3 minutes.
    Serve hot.