Kerala Chicken Curry (Nadan Kozhi Curry)

Here is the recipe for making a very tasty Chicken Curry with a nice gravy. The use of coconut milk enhances the flavor of this curry but is optional. Back home in Kerala, whenever Coconut Milk was used for making a curry, it was known as “Pal Pizhinja Curry” which means “Squeezed Coconut Milk Curry” 🙂

You need to use Chicken Drumsticks for this recipe. Chicken breasts or thighs have less fat and won’t be a good choice. Drumsticks make this curry special. This Spicy Kerala Chicken Curry goes well with Chappathi, Roti, Paratha, Kerala Porotta, Appam, Bread and so on. This is one of my favorite recipes. So give it a try and let me know.

Kerala Chicken Curry

Kerala Chicken Curry


  1. Chicken Drumsticks – 8 big ones (3 lbs or 1.5 kg approx)
  2. Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  3. Fennel Seeds (Perumjeerakam) – 1/2 tsp
  4. Cinnamon (Patta ) – 1 small piece of 1″ length
  5. Cloves (Grambu) – 2
  6. Thinly Sliced Onions – 1 big
  7. Slit Green Chillies – 4 or according to your spice tolerance
  8. Curry Leaves – A sprig
  9. Fresh Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  10. Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (Alter according to your Spice Tolerance)
  11. Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Chicken Masala Powder – 2 tbsp (I use Eastern/Nirapara brands)
  13. Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp
  14. Home Made Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  15. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  16. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  17. Salt – to taste
  18. Water – as needed
  19. Coconut Milk – 1 cup (optional)

For marinade

  1. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  2. Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (Alter according to your Spice Tolerance)
  3. Chicken Masala Powder – 2 tbsp (I use Eastern/Nirapara brands)
  4. Black Pepper Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Fresh Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  6. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  7. Salt – to taste

Preparation Method

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks and wash it thoroughly.
  2. Soak the pieces in water along with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp turmeric for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and pat dry the pieces with a paper towel. Make 2 or 3 deep slits on each piece.
  4. Prepare a marinade using the above ingredients and rub it nicely on the chicken pieces. Refrigerate it for an hour.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wide non stick pan and add fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon. Saute for a few minutes till you get a nice aroma.
  6. Add onions and saute till translucent.
  7. Add the slit green chillies and curry leaves and continue sauteing until the onions begin to brown.
  8. Reduce heat and add chicken masala powder, pepper powder, chilly powder and coriander powder.
  9. Saute for a few minutes on low heat until the spice masala turns a nice brown color.
  10. Next, add the garam masala powder and stir for a minute.
  11. Add the marinated chicken drumsticks to the pan along with any left over marinade and salt to taste.
  12. Add 2 cups of water and mix everything nicely so that the masala is coated on the chicken pieces.
  13. Cover and cook on medium heat for around 40-45 minutes stirring occasionally.
  14. When the chicken is cooked and tender, reduce heat and add coconut milk. (Optional)
  15. Simmer for 2 more minutes and remove the curry from stove top.


  • You can use any store bought chicken Masala Powder or you can prepare it at home. Brands like Eastern, Saras, Melam, Priyom, Niraprara etc. are good. Click here for Home Made Chicken Masala Powder ingredients.
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8 comments to Kerala Chicken Curry (Nadan Kozhi Curry)

  • mini

    Hi , one question regarding the above recipe.are the portions for the marinade taken from the original quantity mentioned in the ingredients list or is the marinade portions extra (ex; you have 1tsp of kashmiri chilly powder mentioned in the ingredients section and also in the marinade section) please clarify. thank you
    BTW: lots of good recipes here and well organized.keep up the good work,really appreciate it.

  • Hi Mini,
    You need to take separate portions for the marinade. It is different from the other ingredients mentioned.
    Hope this helps.

  • Mrs.Gracy Machado

    I am sure its a tasty recipe and wld like to prepare it tommorow. May i know the weight of chicken (drumsticks) as i probably will have to double the recipe
    Appreciate the hard work and thank u for the delicious recipes.


    Hi Gracy,
    Sorry for the delayed reply. I have updated the recipe with the weight of chicken used. I used 3 lbs of chicken drumsticks in this recipe.

  • macmini

    How many kilos of chicken is it for this recipe?

    You can use 1.5 to 2kgs of chicken.


  • Divya

    I like this recipe. It is spicy and flavorful. The whole spices really add to the taste of the gravy.

  • ahammed shafeekh


  • very nice recipe thnks a lot!!!!!!!!!!

  • Balaji

    Nice recipe thank you…

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