Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Stew Recipe - a Kerala speciality

This recipe for chicken stew is a delicious and simple Indian chicken stew recipe from the southern state of Kerala - God's Own Country. Chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces and cooked in a mildly flavored coconut milk based sauce or gravy. The mild spices and the coconut milk bring out the flavours and essence of Kerala cuisine. It is a must add to your chicken recipes for dinner. Simple chicken recipe that is easy to make, quick and a pot full of flavours is what this chicken stew is all about.

There are a few dishes that I have made over the past month and photographed to be posted on a later day. This recipe of chicken stew is one among them. Due to a busy schedule at work and sorting out things at home, have not been able to post most of them.

Cooking and then photographing have become a part of my daily activity ever since I have started with this food blog. I may not post it immediately but the photograph of the dish is saved on my camera for the blog post that I would be making in the coming days. In fact, these days if I do not photograph a dish that I cook then there are raised eyebrows and questions from my hubby:) and daughter as to why no photographs today. Sometimes however, it becomes a little difficult to finish cooking on time and then, the hungry waiting faces have me serving the dish rather than clicking away. I am sure most of us food bloggers have similar experiences to share.

Coming back to my recipe for chicken stew. The chicken stew recipe is a popular dish in my menu. This chicken stew recipe is a traditional Kerala dish. It is especially a favorite among the Christian population. Breakfast with chicken or rather mutton stew with soft fluffy appams is the usual Sunday or holiday breakfast menu in most Christian homes in Kerala. I like the chicken twist to it probably coz vegetable stew is not one that is very popular with hubby dear and my little one and being allergic to mutton, chicken is the best choice.

I serve the chicken stew with either bread or the Kerala Appams. I make it generally for dinner as it is one meal that all three of us sit down together and enjoy. For this I use either chicken breasts cut into small pieces or then the boneless chicken. The readymade coconut milk powders and packs have made making this recipe for chicken stew an easy to make quick dish. My blog I guess is turning more into a quick and easy Indian food guide. With my fast to cook , good to eat "funda" think most recipes that I cook come under this category. The chicken stew can be done instantly however, there is some planning required for making appams as rice has to be soaked and then ground for making the batter. If however, you just feel like having the chicken stew today then it goes perfectly well with bread or maybe even plain steamed rice. This chicken stew is one of the really easy chicken recipes, yet another from my fun and easy cooking list.

Will be posting the appams too very soon as my little one wants to surprise "papa" with appam and chicken stew when he gets back:)

Kerala style Chicken Stew Recipe

Boneless chicken - 500 gms
coconut milk - 200 ml (I use the Dabur hommade coconut milk tetra pack)
Curry leaves - a handful
Onions - 3 (medium sized, cut into thin long strips)
Ginger - 1" piece (cut into long strips)
Green chillies - 2 (cut into thin long strips)
Potato - 1 (cut into small cubes)
Carrot - 1 (cut into small cubes)(optional)
Whole spices - cardamom 3, cloves 3, cinnamon 1" piece
Saunf(powdered fine) - 1 tsp
Butter - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

1-Take a saucepan and add in the oil. Now add in the ginger, green chillies and the chopped onions. Saute till the onions turn soft and slightly golden in colour. Now add the potato, carrots and salt. Saute for a minute.
2- Add the washed and cleaned chicken. Mix well. Add in the curry leaves and cover and let cook till the chicken is done. You may add 1/4 cup of water if you wish, however the chicken would start leaving out its water soon. If you are using fresh coconut milk, the second milk must be added at this stage and the chicken must be cooked in it.
3- Once the chicken is almost done add saunf powder and the coconut milk(readymade or the thick first milk in case you are using fresh coconut) and keep on slow fire and simmer for a minute or two. Do not let it boil. Add fresh curry leaves.
4- Heat the butter in another pan and add the whole spices. Fry for half a minute and add to the chicken stew. Cover and keep for 10 minutes (so that the flavor of the spices blends well into your stew) before serving. You can also add fried onions, cashews and raisins to the chicken stew.

Note: I have used the Dabur Hommade coconut milk tetra pak ready to use coconut milk in this recipe. Alternately I also use the Maggi coconut milk powder which too gives the chicken stew an authentic Kerala taste and flavour.

How to make coconut milk at home?
If you intend to use fresh coconut as is done in the traditionally made Kerala chicken stew. Take one coconut,scrape it and put it into a bowl. Add 1/2 a cup of warm water and use your hands to take out the coconut milk or alternately you could run it in the blender for a few seconds, squeeze out the milk and strain. Keep the milk aside. This is the first milk(thick) and must be kept aside to be added at the end after the chicken is cooked. Do not boil after adding the first milk at the end just let it simmer.

Now add a cup of water to the scraped coconut and take out the milk. This is the second milk(thin) and is one in which the chicken would be cooked.

Accompaniment :Bread, Appam or Idiappams

I am sending this over to Deesha's "South Indies". This is an event that would showcase the South Indian cuisine from the 4 South Indian states. This recipe for chicken stew is one delicious representative of the State Of Kerala and a coconut special.


Cham said...

The stew and appam should go well together! Good one.

Suma Rajesh said...

it looks delicious and great with appams..

Suparna said...

Hi Vandana,
Thanks for dropping by at my blog. Hope to c u more often :)
I love kerala dishes...The chicken stew looks very yummm...I've made simple veggie stews ...must try the chicken one soon, thanks for the recipe!

Purva Desai said...

This stew looks healthy and nutritrious

camelia said...


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Asha said...

Wonderful looking, good one to try! :)

Pooja said...

This looks delicious Vandana :) I have tried a similar recipe with mutton but not with chicken. My next attempt would be with chicken :)

Ramya Bala said...

I never tried chicken in this kerala famous stew...looks very yummy vandhana...sry dear for the late reply...will update with ur blog in my blog list today :)

Seena said...

wow, looks tasty! chicken with coconut milk is real tasty combination.. :)

Varsha Vipins said...

Oh..slurp slurp..:)..Yummy dish fav with appam's..Beef stew made similarly also tastes yum with appams..:)..I was apprehensive abt Maggi powder n dint buy it last time as said its good,mebe Il giv it a try nxt time..:P

Mallugirl said...

appam and stew..isin't that one of our comfort food? a lot of my dishes get made in the evening so i end up having no snaps of them at all!!

Deepa Hari said...

Chicken stew looks delicious Vandana...i make potato stew for appam...wanna try this.

workhard said...

Never tried a chicken stew with appams.. but the stew looks good...

Haiku poetry

alex said...

this curry is crapp but i can make it better by adding some more sugar eggs vineagar and some soda

alex said...

this curry is crapp but i can make it better by adding some more sugar eggs vineagar and some soda

vimmi said...

tried your recipe, it came out very well. Keep up the spirit of cooking and sharing. Keen to see your culinary skills and god bless your efforts. Yasmin Banu