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Kerala Chicken Stew/Nadan Kozhi Stew

kerala chicken stew

Kerala Chicken Stew or nadan kozhi stew is a traditional Southern Kerala Sunday special.... lightly spiced chicken stew is cooked in coconut milk along with potatoes, carrots or other vegetables of your mostly served as a breakfast with bread or appam........a favorite dish of Syrian Christian community of Kerala.

As with most Christians, Sunday is day for church and leisure.....while growing up, by the end of Sunday morning mass, my stomach would be grumbling, because I know amma has already made chicken stew and appam....gosh!! my brothers and I used to rush home ....ah! Sundays were special...especially breakfast and lunch......okay, fast forward to present....traditions never die!! my kids look forward to Sundays....and chicken or lamb (mutton) stew always tops breakfast list..

I made this stew with minimum oil and this recipe is as usual amma's.....handed down from my ammachi (grandmother). Chicken along with onions, potatoes and carrots are cooked in thin coconut milk with a bit of pepper, salt, and vinegar.....and then, spices are lightly fried in coconut oil....with lots of curry leaves...lastly rounded off with thick coconut milk and cornflour. Today, I am using instant coconut milk make it easier for you...if you have the time and patience do use fresh coconut milk (pls check this post on how to make fresh coconut milk) or even canned coconut milk....I am leaving that to decide!!

Notes: There are various method of making stew, it varies with families and this is the one I grew up can add vegetables like beans, green peas, cauliflower etc to the stew.
Use bone-in-chicken rather than boneless....and a few pieces of chicken fat thrown in intensifies the flavor....grandma's tip!!

Recipe Source: Amma

Step by Step Method:
Wash and clean the chicken and keep aside.
Gather all the ingredients.

Chop, slice them up.

Into the pressure cooker or electric cooker or even a heavy bottomed large pan. Put in the chicken pieces and top it with all the cut veggies. Add salt....


Vinegar...I measured in the vinegar bottle cap.

And about half cup thin coconut milk---I added 1 tbsp of instant coconut milk powder to the half cup milk. Give everything a nice stir ...close the cooker and after one whistle...switch off and open when steam is released....if you are cooking in a large pan....cover and cook for 15-20 minutes in low flame....we need the chicken to be thoroughly cooked.  If you are using fresh coconut milk...use 2nd or 3rd milk.

In another pan or kadai....heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add in 3 cardamon, 1 small piece cinnamon, 4 to 5 cloves, and 4 to 5 peppercorns...and few curry leaves.

Add the cooked chicken into this ...

Mix 2 tbsp of coconut milk powder and 1 heaped tsp of corn flour into 1 -1 1/2 cups of water.....If using fresh coconut milk; 1 to 1 1/2 cup thick milk (onnam-pal) is needed, cornflour is added to slightly thicken the stew.

And pour this over the chicken.

Allow it boil, and then simmer....add in some more pepper powder (1/2 tsp) and few curry leaves.....let it simmer for 10-15 minutes....switch off the fire.

Serve with bread or appam.

 Check out Beef Stew Recipe

Kerala Chicken Stew / Nadan Kozhi Stew

PREP TIME: 10 mins    |  COOK TIME: 20 mins    |  AUTHOR::
  kerala chicken stew  


  • Chicken: 500 gms, preferably bone-in-chicken along with a few pieces of chicken fat.
  • Onion: 3, medium, sliced.
  • Carrot: 1, medium, cubed.
  • Potatoes: 2, medium, cubed.
  • Fresh Ginger: 1 inch piece, slit.
  • Green Chillies: 4-6, slit (depending on your tolerance).
  • Pepper powder: 1 to 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig....or even more if you have them fresh.
  • Vinegar: 1 tsp or 1 cap.
  • Instant coconut milk powder: About 3-4 tbsp, (if using fresh coconut milk refer step by step instructions.
  • Water: About 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
  • Salt: 1 to 2 tsp (or as needed).
  • To season
  • Coconut oil: 1 tbsp.
  • Cardamon: 3, crushed.
  • Cinnamon: A small piece.
  • Peppercorns: 4-5.
  • Cloves: 4-5.
  • Cornflour: 1 heaped tsp.
  • Curry leaves.


  1. Wash and clean the chicken and keep aside. Chop, slice the vegetables.
  2. Into the pressure cooker or electric cooker or even a heavy bottomed large pan. Put in the chicken pieces and top it with all the cut veggies. Add salt, pepper, and vinegar.
  3. Add half cup thin coconut milk (I added 1 tbsp of instant coconut milk powder to the half cup milk). Give everything a nice stir, close the cooker and after one whistle switch off and open when steam is released. If you are cooking in a large pan, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes in low flame, we need the chicken to be thoroughly cooked.
  4. In another pan or kadai, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add in 3 cardamon, 1 small piece cinnamon, 4 to 5 cloves, and 4 to 5 peppercorns...and few curry leaves. Add the cooked chicken into this.
  5. Mix 2 tbsp of coconut milk powder and 1 heaped tsp of corn flour into 1 -1 1/2 cups of water. And pour this over the chicken.
  6. Allow it boil, and then simmer....add in some more pepper powder (1/2 tsp) and few curry leaves, let it simmer for 10-15 minutes,switch off the fire.
  7. Serve with Kerala Appam.


  • It is best to make it in pressure cooker than in a pan, as it will intensify the flavor.
  • My grand mother used to tell me that; the potatoes should be well cooked, infact a little mashed up will thicken the stew, so I to like lighly mash one or two potato pieces.

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  1. yummy yummy!!,

  2. Very appealing and comforting looking stew. Excellent dish.

    1. Ah! you said it right Deeba...comforting dish!!

  3. I personally like to have stew with appam. Tasty chicken stew. Grt job. Thnks for sharing akka.

  4. Very tempting and catchy stew, can have with appams anytime.

  5. A wonderful stew...very delicious and flavoursome.

  6. Hi

    Thank you for this recipe. I tried this 15 days back and my family likes it a lot. Its very tasty and fast as first step is cooked in cooker. Easy for me. I have a demand for this again tommorrow. Please keep posting authentic recipes learnt from your amma, grandma. I always look for time tested methods of recipes which give that authentic taste


    1. Hi Sudha, thanks a lot for taking time to let me know this....keep visiting and encouraging me!

  7. This looks wonderful, I love coconut milk, pinned! Thanks for sharing!

    Joy @

  8. I have GOT to try this! I am dairy free for the last 10 years and have so missed a good creamy potato soup. I never thought to try coconut milk!

    I'm in the US & reading your recipe I kind of had to laugh a bit. I never knew curry came in leaves. I've never seen it that way in the stores although I have seen it as a powder (and I have some just have never used it). I've also never used fresh ginger or cardamom seeds (not sure you can buy those here)...

    This will be a very interesting soup - can't wait to try it! I'm going to share the recipe on FB right now so I don't lose the recipe! Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Tina! I am so glad that you stopped by and this stew can be served with bread. Curry leaves and other ingredients are available in USA ... I did check with some friends there. Pls visit an Asian store or an Indian store, hope this helps.


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