Chicken perattu or chicken peralan is a delicacy from the Kerala cuisine. This dry chicken curry preparation involves slow-cooking chicken pieces in a dry red chilli paste base.
Small pieces of chicken slow-cooked in a fiery blend of chilli powder, coriander powder, and a freshly-ground red chilli paste – that is how I’ll summarise this chicken perattu for you. Your eyes will be teary, but there is no stopping you! If you try one piece, believe me, you won’t stop until you devour the last piece in the bowl. That is the beauty of this chicken perattu.
My sister and my brother in law lived in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) during their student days. Their love for food took them around the city exploring restaurants, roadside eateries, and other food joints. During the three years they lived in this capital city, they adopted some of their favourite dishes making their own signature dishes. This chicken perattu is one such recipe.
Chicken perattu (chicken peralan) is usually made with naati kozhi (free range/country chicken). I have used regular chicken for this recipe. If you can source free-range chicken use it. You will probably need a few more minutes of cooking time. The result is going to be even more delicious and totally worth the time!
About this Chicken perattu
The chicken perattu is quite an interesting recipe. It doesn’t use some of the most common ingredients in Indian cooking, namely onions, ginger, and garlic! How do you make the curry base without any onions? With dry red chillies, of course!
The chicken perattu recipe has two distinct phases. One is cooking the chicken with a freshly ground paste of dry red chillies. The second step involves finishing the cooking by adding a spice mix of coriander powder and chilli powder fried in oil.
For the best results, use coconut oil and free range chicken.
The chicken perattu will go well with rice and curry, or with any of the Indian bread – roti, chapati, pathiri, or the local favourite, Kerala Porotta!
If you liked this chicken perattu (chicken peralan) recipe, you will definitely be interested in the following recipes as well.
- Chicken Chinthamani – a delicious, roasted-style chicken preparation from the Tamil cuisine that you’ll love cooking and sharing
- Chicken Pulimunchi – This Mangalore delicacy is a unique balance of flavours. It’s tangy from the “puli” or tamarind, and mildly hot from an assortment of dry-fried spices.
- Chicken Ularthiyathu – Chicken cooked with onions and a variety of spices before reducing to a roast consistency. Fresh coconut chips give a crunchy texture and that forms the highlight of this Kerala dish.
- Kori Sukka – Morsels of chicken fried over a low flame with grated coconut and spices. The fresh flavour of grated coconut makes this Mangalorean preparation a specialty in its league.
To be cooked with the chicken
- 1 kg chicken full chicken cut to pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
First phase with chilli paste
- 5 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 7 dry kashmiri chillies
- 1 tablespoon kasuri methi dry leaves soaked and drained off water
- 2 sprig curry leaves
- 8 mint leaves about 8 leaves
For the dry paste
- 1/2 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Soak the dry Kashmiri chillies in lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
- Grind to a coarse paste using a little water used to soak the chillies.
- Heat oil in a cast iron pan/pot (cheenachatti).
- Temper the mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
- Add the ground chilli paste and salt.
- Combine well and fry till the oil starts emerging from the paste.
- Add the Kasuri methi (soaked in water and drained off), curry leaves, and the mint leaves.
- Combine well and cook for a minute.
- Now add the chicken along with the chilli powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder.
- Combine well.
- Close the lid and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
- Heat another pan and heat some coconut oil.
- To the hot oil, add the coriander powder, chilli powder and garam masala.
- Combine well to make a thick paste.
- Switch off once the colour becomes dark brown (almost black).
- Keep this fried masala paste aside.
- Now open the pot and continue cooking the chicken without the lid.
- Stir occasionally and cook till most of the water disappear.
- Add the fried masala to the chicken.
- Combine well and continue cooking.
- Gently stir to evenly distribute the curry base.
- Switch off after 10 minutes (or before once the curry base becomes dry)
- Serve hot. Enjoy as a starter, or with rice and curry, or chapati or porotta.