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