This mildly spiced Kerala chicken stew is a hearty and comforting soup made with chicken, carrots, potatoes, and curry leaf spiced coconut milk.
What is Kerala Chicken Stew?
If you’ve never had Kerala chicken stew before, think of it as a South Indian version of chicken soup. Everyone loves Chicken Soup; it’s absolute comfort food on a cold day or when you’re feeling under the weather. Eating a bowl of chicken soup instantly makes you feel better. Well, this coconut chicken stew does all of those same things and in my opinion, it’s even more delicious than regular chicken soup.
This lightly spiced coconut chicken stew is a dish that’s often served for breakfast/brunch in Keralite homes. I love making it for Sunday brunch because it makes the day feel a little extra special. You can make this any time though – thanks to the instant pot, this dish would even make for a simple weeknight recipe.
As someone who grew up in a North Indian family, I find the flavor of this curry to be very different from the dishes that I grew up eating. It’s unique and certainly not a dish that you’d find in an Indian restaurant, though I have no idea why.
“I wanted something cozy for the cooler weather, and this stew is perfect! I’ve never knowingly had Keralite food before – this stew has such a unique and delicious flavour. My husband loves it as well. This will be a staple in my house for sure.”Bonnie
I honestly prefer this chicken stew to Butter Chicken. I just love the flavor of curry leaf spiced coconut milk with chicken and potatoes. To be honest, I love curry leaf spiced anything.
I tell my husband all the time that I must have been Keralite in another life because the cuisine is my favorite – it’s absolutely for me. I learned how to make this stew after watching my mother-in-law make it many times and though my dish will never be as good as hers (because I swear she and all Indian moms switch up their recipes every time they make a dish!) – it’s pretty darn close. It’s also much easier to make and faster too – all thanks to the instant pot. My husband loves this dish and he’s super picky when it comes to Keralite food (and all food really lol), so I am sure you will love it too.
- Coconut Oil
- Red Onion
- Curry Leaves: there’s no substitute for the unique flavor and aroma that curry leaves provide. You can find curry leaves at your local Indian grocery store.
- Chicken Thighs: skinless and boneless
- Spices: coriander powder, meat masala, salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne
- Coconut Milk: please use canned and full-fat.
What to Serve with Kerala Stew:
You can serve this stew Matta Rice or with appam (lacy rice flour and coconut milk pancakes). I don’t have a recipe for appam on my blog yet because I have yet to perfect them. When I do perfect them (one day?), I’ll be sure to share 🙂
It’s also great with rice or another type of Indian bread too. I really like this with my Paleo Naan. Most of the time though, I just eat a bowl of this stew by itself. It’s so, so good.
I hope you all love this stew as much as I do!
More Keralite Recipes:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 20-30 curry leaves
- 1 ½ pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into quarters
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 medium potatoes approx. 1 pound, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- Press sauté, add the coconut oil and when it melts, add the onion. Stir-fry for 10-12 minutes or until they turn brown. Remove some of the onions and set them aside to use as a garnish.
- Add the curry leaves and the chicken. Stir-fry for 8-9 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer no longer pink and is mostly cooked through.
- Add the ginger and ground spices and give everything a good mix so that the chicken is coated with all of the spices.
- Add the potatoes and carrots, stir, then add the coconut milk.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Garnish with the browned onions and serve.