Award-winning Coconutty Kerala chicken/chickpea curry with fluffy rice

Visit York members tasting session – Award winning chicken/chickpea curry, with Sharmini.

Award winning Coconutty Kerala chicken/chickpea curry with fluffy rice

No south Indian meal is complete without some rice on the side. Cooking rice can be tricky as it tends to get sticky veryquickly however my fool-proof method will ensure that you have perfectly fluffy rice with no lumps.
My Coconutty Kerala chicken/chickpea curry is not just a family favourite but also is an awardwinning dish of York’s Curry Vision Contest.
This dish is an ode to my native landKerala​,​ a south Indian coastal state known for its abundance of coconuts​,​spices and seafood. The chicken is cooked in a creamy sauce that is infusedwith coconut and subtle hints of aromatic spices and warm chillies.
Servings: 2
Author: Sharmini Thomas


  • Non-stick wok or saucepan with lid
  • Stirring spoon
  • A small bowl Pestle and mortar or grinder
  • Scissor or tin opener
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Apron
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium saucepan
  • Medium Bowl Colander/Sieve
  • Small bowl


Ingredients for Coconutty Kerala Chicken/Chickpea Curry

  • 250 gms chicken breast/chicken thighs diced into 1 inch cubes /240gms can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil/sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves x 8
  • 3 shallots medium sized finely chopped or 1 banana shallot
  • garlic cloves x 1
  • 1/2 inch ginger Finely Chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tomato finely diced
  • 160 ml Coconut Cream

*Dry Spices

  • Red/Kashmiri Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Paprika 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder 1/8 tsp
  • Black Pepper Powder Freshly ground 1/2 tsp

Spices to be Ground (With Pestle & Mortar OR a Spice/Coffee Grinder)

  • Green cardamom Pod x 1 discard pod and powder the seeds only
  • Whole Black Cloves x 2
  • Cinnamon Stick 1/4 inch
  • Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp

Ingredient for Fluffy Rice

  • White basmati rice 125 gms


Special instructions, Before the class begins:

  • Dice chicken breast or thighs into roughly 1inch cubes
  • Peel shallots, garlic and ginger
  • Chop tomatoes finely
  • Measure 160 ml coconut cream
  • Weigh out the rice
  • Have a kettle of boiling water


  • Heat coconut oil in a dry saucepan or wok and add mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. (Cover with lid)
  • Next, add curry leaves, chopped shallots and fry till golden brown.
  • Then add chopped garlic and ginger. (Stir fry till the cooked aroma appears)
  • Place *dry spices in bowl and add a little water and make a fine paste.
  • Add paste to the fried shallots and sauté until the lovely aroma of cooked spices emanate.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook till soft and mushy
  • Next add chicken/chickpeas and stir till it changes colour.
  • Lastly, add coconut milk and cook till gravy thickens and chicken is tender.
  • Delicious with fluffy rice

Chatpata chole masala (Chick pea curry)

Chatpata chole masala (Chick pea curry)

Chole Masala (chickpea) is a dish originating from Amritsar in Punjab, the city of the Golden Temple. Food is as much a part of the Amritsari culture as is religion. Every day the Golden Temple has over 100,000 visitors who are all fed freshly cooked meals for free irrespective of their social and religious backgrounds. Much like their inclusive culture, Chole Masala is a dish that can be relished by all irrespective of one's food choices. 
Enjoy a warm bowl of Chole Masala with an Indian bread of your choice or cooked rice. I would even recommend having it on its own as a snack with an icy cold beer.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2



  • 400 gm can chickpeas drained
  • 2 tbsp. Sunflower oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
  • ¾ inch ginger chopped finely
  • 1 green chilli chopped finely

For curry paste (ingredients)

  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 red tomatoes diced
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree


  • A few fresh coriander leaves
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • Juice of ½ a lemon to taste



  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add bay leaves. Cover with lid as it may splutter for a few seconds.
  • Then add finely chopped onions and fry till golden brown. (about 6-8 minutes)
  • Next, add finely chopped garlic, ginger and green chilli. Keep stirring until the lovely cooked aroma appears.
  • In a small bowl, mix (ingredients 8-14) coriander powder, paprika, Kashmiri chilli powder/chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt to taste in 3 tbsp. of water and make a smooth paste. Add it into the onion mix.
  • Keep stirring till the liquid dries up and oil separates.
  • Add diced tomatoes and cook till the liquid dries up. Add tomato puree and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add drained chickpeas with 150ml water and salt to taste. Stir well.
  • Cook covered on a medium flame for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Mash a few chickpeas in the pan (this helps thicken the curry).
  • Transfer the chickpea to a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander leaves, thinly sliced red onions and juice of ½ a lemon.

Butter Chicken (with coconut milk)


A rich Punjabi dish which traces back to the Mogul times which is rich succulent and buttery
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken, murgh makhani
Author: Sharmini Thomas



  • 250 g chicken breast
  • ½ dsp sunflower oil
  • 1 dsp butter
  • 1 medium onion - sliced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1.5 cm piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ carton / tin coconut cream

Tomato Cream Sauce

  • ½ dsp butter
  • ½ tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 slit red chilli
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • 1 dsp double cream
  • 1 dsp heaped, of tomato puree
  • 1 tsp lemon juice to taste
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves



  • Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a dry wok, on a medium heat.
  • When hot, add the sliced onion & fry until golden brown.
  • Next, add finely chopped garlic, ginger and chopped chilli and stir until oil separates from the mixture.
  • Add the chicken pieces and fry until they are sealed (Turns white in colour).
  • Add salt and the coconut cream.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat until the chicken is tender and the gravy thickens.
  • Next add the tomato cream sauce.

Tomato Cream sauce:

  • Heat butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and add chopped ginger, tomatoes, slit red chilli, salt and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Beat the cornflour, cream and tomato puree together and add to the cooked tomato mix.
  • When it boils, add this sauce to the cooked tender chicken in the wok, and cook until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and garam masala.



  • tsp teaspoon
  • tbsp tablespoon
  • dsp dessert spoon
  • pinch or dash less than ⅛ teaspoon
  • g gram
  • ml millilitre
  • cm centimetre
  • 1 cup approx 225ml