Spicy Ground Coconut Chicken curry

spicy ground coconut chicken curry,chicken curryThe marinated chicken in this curry turned out so soft and juicy that even the kids loved this curry. Even Yuvi who usually turns away from spicy food, enjoyed this chicken. The curry was thick, fragrant and flavourful and the chicken had soaked up the wonderful fresh flavours. The chicken was as flavourful as the curry unlike many restaurant curries where the chicken is stringy and bland, a stranger to the curry it sits in. This dish was actually an accident. We had originally planned to barbecue the chicken for which I prepared the marinade. But then Jagan (my husband) changed his mind at the last moment and wanted a curry instead. So marinated chicken it had to be for this curry. I am happy I did it this way. In fact, I think I’d even go as far as to say, marinate the chicken first irrespective of what you’re going to do with it. But marinate sensibly according to the dish you’re going to make.

spicy ground coconut chicken curry,chicken curry
And there’s something about lemon juice however little you may use, it adds a lovely citrusy freshness to the dish. The chicken is marinated in a fresh ginger-garlic-green chilli marinade seasoned with red chilli powder and lemon juice. The marinated chicken is cooked in a ground coconut masala which gives the curry nice body and a wonderful aroma. We had this curry with Chappathis and it was a hit combination.
Prep time: 10 mins + 30 mins marinating time

Cooking time: 20 mins

Serves: 5


Chicken – ½ kilo cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
Onion – 1 large chopped fine
Tomato – 1 chopped
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cardamom – 1
Oil – 2 tbsp
Water as necessary

Ground Masala

Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup
Fried Gram dal/Pottu Kadalai – 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds/Sombu/Saunf – 1 tsp
Whole dry red chillies – 3-4
Cardamom – 1
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick


Ginger – 2 inch piece peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic – 6 cloves peeled
Green chillies – 3 chopped roughly
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (from half a lemon)
Red chilli powder – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


1.      Clean chicken well and cut into bite sized pieces.

2.      Grind together the ingredients listed under marinade except red chilli powder, salt and lemon juice to a fine paste. In a bowl, dump the ground marinade, add lemon juice, chilli powder and salt and mix well. Throw in the chicken pieces and mix well to coat. Keep covered for half an hour.

3.      Grind together the masala ingredients under “Ground Masala” with a little water to a paste. Set aside.

4.      In a Kadai/skillet, heat oil. Add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and fry till fragrant.

5.      Add the chopped onion and sauté till they turn translucent. Then throw in the chopped tomato and sauté for a minute. Add the marinated chicken and the remaining marinade and mix well. Cook covered for 10-12 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through.

6.      Uncover and cook till the water evaporates. Add the ground masala and mix well. Adjust seasoning. Cook covered for 5-8 minutes or till the raw smell of the coconut vanishes and the curry darkens. Add a little water if the curry is too thick. Uncover and simmer for a minute till the curry is the right consistency. Switch off. Serve hot with Poori, chappathi or roti.

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