A fragrant chicken and coconut curry from mangalore

Main Dish
6 servings
15 min
25 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 6
5-15 whole dried red chilies, depending on the heat you want

4 heaping teaspoons coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 inch cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

8 peppercorns

2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes

1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

6 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into slices

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

-1 1/2 teaspoons bright red paprika

2 heaping tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow or red onions

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cans Mae Ploy coconut milk, shaken before use

1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, (breasts or thighs or a combination) cut into bite sized pieces

15 curry leaves (fresh or frozen)

salt to taste

1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


  • In a small, dry skillet, toast the chilies, stirring constantly for about three minutes. Add the whole spices and the turmeric, and continue stirring and toasting for about another two minutes.
  • Dump the spices on a plate to cool. When they are cool, put them into a spice grinder, blender or mixie, along with the Aleppo pepper flakes, chopped onions, ginger, garlic, turmeric and paprika, and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Heat the coconut or canola oil in a heavy-bottomed wide skillet, and add the 1 1/2 cups sliced onions. Spread out the onions, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring constantly until the onions turn a deep golden brown.
  • Add the spice paste and stir well, then add the chicken pieces, and cook, stirring until the pieces begin to brown a bit and spice paste sticks to the pan, browning.
  • Stir in the coconut milk (reserve the extra half can in case you want more sauce or you want to dilute it a bit–when you are done, however, you can keep it in a closed container in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for several months), scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, making sure to get it all up and mixed in–this is what makes the curry taste so very good.
  • Add the curry leaves and stir them in well, cover the pot loosely (let a bit of steam escape, in other words), turn heat down to low and simmer until chicken is tender.
  • Salt to taste and stir in or sprinkle the cilantro over the top for garnish.


A Fragrant Chicken and Coconut Curry from Mangalore, photo 1
A Fragrant Chicken and Coconut Curry from Mangalore, photo 2


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