Homemade Chicken Curry Kerala Style

Homemade Chicken Curry – Kerala Style

This traditional Kerala chicken curry (nadan chicken curry) recipe is from my granma’s kitchen. She was an excellent cook, and a great hostess. And this was one of the many great dishes that she used to make during special occasions. All ingredients were organic, and most of them sourced locally.

My grandparents lived in a beautiful countryside Kerala village, amidst the lush greenery of coconut and areca nut plantations, paddy fields and mango trees. While growing up, my sister and I used to look forward to our summer vacations. It’s during this time that we got to visit our grandparents, run around, play day and night with our cousins like there was no tomorrow. This was our respite from studies, home works, school buses, and urban life. It was also the time we got to eat a lot of delicious, traditional food from my granma’s kitchen. My love for great tasting food must have started here! My first few attempts at cooking was also from her kitchen.

There was such great produce in abundance there! Organic free-range chicken from the farm, fresh curry leaves off the tree, all the great homegrown spices – black pepper, dry red chillies, it was all there!

The first time I tried cooking this nadan homemade chicken curry, I did it under my mom’s supervision. It came out well, and I was proud of my achievement. I have cooked this recipe many times after that. All my friends who have cooked this recipe have loved it. I believe, by writing up the following recipe, I have done justice to my granma’s delicacy.

Next time you feel like having some Kerala chicken curry, give this nadan chicken curry a try. I guarantee that you’ll love it!

Homemade Chicken Curry - Kerala Style

About this Kerala chicken curry recipe

This is a pretty simple recipe to cook. There are two definitive steps to it. The first step involves cooking the chicken in a pressure cooker with masalas (spices). The second step involves pan-frying onions, tomatoes, and curry leaves separately to a nice mix before adding it to the cooked chicken.

Check out the step-by-step recipe with pictures below. Also, don’t forget to go through the kitchen tips for some additional information.

Print Recipe
Homemade Chicken Curry - Kerala Style Yum
This Kerala Chicken Curry (Nadan Chicken Curry) is from my granma's kitchen. An all-time family favourite, I learned this heirloom recipe from my mom.
Homemade Chicken Curry Kerala Style
Course main course
Cuisine Kerala
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
For masala
Homemade garam masala (or use your favourite shop-bought garam masala)
Course main course
Cuisine Kerala
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
For masala
Homemade garam masala (or use your favourite shop-bought garam masala)
Homemade Chicken Curry Kerala Style
  1. Cut the chicken to medium size pieces, and place in a pressure cooker.
  2. Add coriander powder*, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  3. Coarsely grind shallots, green chillies, and ginger, and add to the pressure cooker.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, mix well, and cook until the first whistle.
  5. Switch off the flame, and let it rest with the lid on.
  6. Thinly slice the onions and chop the tomatoes.
  7. Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet. Reduce the flame to medium, and add the onions and curry leaves.
    Add sliced onions and curry leaves
  8. Cook till the onions turn translucent.
    Onions cooked till tender
  9. Add the crushed ginger, garlic, green chillies, and shallots.
    Ginger, garlic, shallots and green chillies added
  10. Stir well and cook till the raw smell of garlic and shallots disappear. Add the chopped tomatoes. Add salt to taste.
    Add chopped tomatoes
  11. Cook till the tomatoes start to disappear into the onion mix.
    Fry till the tomatoes are cooked well
  12. Open the pressure cooker. The chicken should be cooked to perfection in the masala gravy.
  13. Transfer the contents in the cooker to the skillet with fried onions and tomatoes.
    Add the cooked chicken to the fried onion and tomato mix
  14. Add the coriander leaves*, and mix well.
    Add coriander leaves
  15. Cook further on a high flame to get the gravy to a thick consistency.
    Mix well, cook on a medium flame to reduce the gravy
  16. Dry roast and powder the aroma mix ingredients. Add this garam masala* to the curry, and give it a quick stir just before turning off the flame.
Recipe Notes
  • For better results - In step 2, roast red chillies and coriander seeds, grind to fine powder in a mixer. Use this powder instead of the coriander powder and chilli powder
  • You don't have to chop the coriander leaves. Leave them on with the stalks for a rustic look
  • You can skip adding the aroma mix, and the curry will still taste great
  • Alternatively, add  a teaspoon of garam masala instead of making it yourself
  • Serving suggestion - Enjoyed best with rice. Will taste fantastic with dosa, or chapati as well


  1. Veena Viswanadhan

    Hi Arun

    M always in search for simple yet delicious recipes. This chicken curry fits d bill perfectly. I prepared it and my husband loved it. Also, I like ur dal tadka recipe. Pls try to post more such recipes. I wanna try ur other recipes too but with a young baby its difficult. But will surely try them some other time. Keep up d good work.

    • The Take It Easy Chef

      Hi Veena,

      Thank you very much. That chicken curry is a family favourite of ours, and I am still trying to match the flavours of my mom’s preparation!
      Happy to hear about the dal tadka. Please drop me a message if you have any recipe suggestions for me. I’ll be more than happy to explore traditional preparations to find an easy, rendition of mine. Thank you for visiting my blog. I have another super easy recipe coming out soon.

  2. The take it easy chef

    Thank you! Yes, it’s very authentic, and it’s a family favorite! 🙂

  3. Sreeja Karuvath

    Keep it up Chef. Very authentic and that’s what I like about this👍

  4. The take it easy chef

    Thank you Bindiya! Really happy to hear that the dish was well received. 🙂

    Thank you for the motivation. I’ll keep posting – Tasty dishes with an easy to cook adaptation is the theme that I have been trying to execute. Happy to hear that you like it!

    I am sure you are already a good cook! 🙂

  5. Bindiya Panicker

    Thank you for this simple yet yummy receipe that my dad completely loved. What makes it so easy for an amateur cook like me is the step by step guide. Keep posting new recipes because this gives me hope that maybe I can be a good cook someday. 🙂

  6. The take it easy chef

    Thank you Aathira 🙂

  7. Aathira Soman K

    This looks soooo yum!!

  8. Reshmi S

    Looks amazing

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