Kerela chicken stew: Kozhi istew


  • One chicken weighing about 1.5 kg/3 lb 5 oz, cut into 8 pieces.
  • Salt
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 cm/2 in length cinnamon stick
  • 6-7 black peppercorns
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 200 g/7 oz shallots, chopped
  • 4 cm/1 1/2 in finger of ginger peeled and cut into julienne (matchstick) strips
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
  • 200 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm/1 in cubes
  • 600 ml/1 pint thick coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Pain Créole, to serve

Wash the chicken pieces, pat dry with kitchen paper and rub in salt.

Heat the oil in a pan and put in the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves and curry leaves. After a few seconds add the shallots and fry until they are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes then add the ginger and chopped chillies. Add the chicken pieces and potatoes and sear on each side over high heat.

Reduce the heat and add 300ml 1/2 pint water returns to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the coconut milk (shaking well before opening cans), bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. And the rice flour mixed with 2 tbsp of water and the garam masala powder, return to the boil and simmer gently for another 5-7 minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through.

Add salt to taste.