October 18, 2011

Kerala chicken roast — permission to indulge, granted!

You know that moment when you can’t bring yourself to jot down a few good lines despite futile attempts to gather your thoughts? Frankly, this is one of those weeks for me. The spark is missing and I can hardly think straight. Even a jolt of caffeine or the tempo of my old favorite tune from Dido in the background can’t seem to do the trick today. So, in an attempt to spice up things, I’m going straight to this finger-licking recipe that’s guaranteed to warm the chilly evenings coming our way soon.

When it comes to eating Indian, people do not go beyond popular choices like biryani, butter chicken, tandoori chicken or naan. This is quite unfortunate as you can find exquisite choices from simple to opulent dishes in India; and not unexpectedly most of the wonderful flavors from the southern, eastern and western regions are less discovered outside India.

In the south, where I come from, food is lighter but spicier with the predominant flavors of chili, curry leaves and coconut. When I’m cooking, I like to prepare and feast on the flavors from my homeland by using spices and ingredients that not only enhance taste and aroma, but are essentially bursting with goodness. Oh yeah, the herbs and spices used in preparing curries have their health-benefit and healing properties. And guess what? Curry is believed to contribute to the low rates of cancer found in India.

Promising, right? Oh my curry! 
My family likes to nosh on all things deliciously hot and spicy, yet I have a particular obsession with country style roast preparations. And it’s just not me, I know. I have come across many others who think the same.

This fantastic blend of chicken, onion, tomato and spices ticks all the boxes for deliciousness. I used 900g chicken leg as I find it much quicker and easier to cook. The meat is rubbed with turmeric, chili, vinegar, lime and salt and then fried in a bit of fat until golden brown. For a healthier option, go ahead and bake the marinated chicken in the oven instead of shallow frying. The creaminess from the coconut milk, tang from the tomato and heat from the ginger and chilies imparts a totally indulgent flavor that’ll make you go for seconds.
I came across this recipe at Marias Menu who in turn adapted it from a local Malayalam magazine, Vanitha. But, whoever gets credit for the recipe, I can guarantee it’s a keeper.

Go grab you best pals and whip up this lip-smacking curry packed with the goodness of spices. Smart eating towards a healthier and happier you—make this your motto to welcome the chill in the air.

Kerala Chicken Roast

(adapted from here)

Serves 6

900g skinless chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces (I used leg meat)

For the marinade
2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
salt, to taste

For the curry
4 large onion, finely sliced
3 large tomato, quartered and sliced
4 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
4 ½ teaspoon coriander powder
2 ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1 ½ cup coconut milk (I used tin milk as is)
2 sprig fresh curry leaves
salt, to taste
oil for shallow frying


Mix together all the marinade ingredients with enough salt and then rub this all over the chicken pieces making sure that the meat is well coated. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

In a non-stick pan, heat just enough oil for shallow frying and fry the chicken pieces, in batches, until browned and almost cooked, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain and remove to a plate. Alternatively you can bake the chicken pieces in the oven.

In the same pan, brown the onions in the remaining fat until tender, add the ginger-garlic paste and sizzle for 1 minute. Tip in the spices—chili, coriander, fennel and garam masala—and fry for a few seconds before adding tomato and curry leaves. Cook until tomatoes are tender. Now add the fried chicken pieces and stir to coat in the masala. Pour in the coconut milk and let everything bubble together, covered, to reduce until slightly thickened and rich in flavor. Season with salt and a squeeze of lime juice if necessary.

Serve with roti, or rice, if you like.


  1. Looks lovely. I should try it one of these days.

  2. I know that the dragonfly (?) photo is not the point of the post, but damn girl, which lens did you have going on for that?? Fabulous photo, that, and all those gravy drenched chicken pieces.

  3. colourful chicken roast....looks delicious n yummy!
    lovely pics!!

  4. looks delicious and love that photo of the dragonfly...

  5. love it dear! and looks awesome too!

  6. Aaahh...there it is !! So u did like it.. :) A keeper na..? :) :)

  7. lovely dish with amazing pics....

  8. I too seek your permission to indulge in his wonderful chicken roast. Looks super yummy.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  9. Chicken roast looks really spicy and delicious...amazing clicks ..love it

  10. I just finished my dinner but still cannot say no to this...slurp

  11. Hey Kulsum, yes, plz do try and let me know!

    Arva dear, thank you for your sweetness! See I can’t change lens since I don’t have a DSLR. The dragonfly was shot using the super macro mode on my camera.

    Rekha, Farwin, Divya: Thank you sweeties!

    Gayathri, you bet! I already made it twice ☺

    Thanks Chitra!

    lol.. permission granted, Deepa..!

    Kurry leaves and Sharmi, o yea the recipe is a keeper ☺

  12. i too was thinking about the dragonfly, does your camera make no noise at all (when zooming or clicking?) How did you get two perfect and detailed pictures?! The curry looks and sounds delicious too :)

  13. Oh my God Nash , You don't shoot this with a DSLR ,I really can't believe it , absolutely amazing photos , I always look forward to your pics , just love them and also your recipes too :) .Take care and cheer up .

  14. Hey La, yes, I do have lots of issues with noise. But only when the light is low. Here there was plenty of sunlight and lets say that the dragonfly was sweet enough to pose for the pic.. ;) lol Seriously, it's just a lucky shot!

  15. Love your photos! SO colorful and vibrant!

  16. Yum..full of flavor & spices..I should try this one soon!

  17. looks so fantastic....loaded with flavor n spices...will try this for sure !!!

  18. Couldn't agree more with you. It's just the north Indian food that is famous.
    This looks so perfect for my pallete .. spicy .. rich in color. I am going to try this one.

  19. Wow...that's an aromatic and delectable recipe.....love to try it soon....pictures are awesome....

  20. Rich and spicy chicken roast,make me drool and drool..perfectly made dear,stunning pics

  21. Omg, droolworthy chicken roast,full of flavours..seriously makes me hungry.

  22. Pictures really make me drool , looks so mouthwatering!

  23. What glorious pics! A visual treat alright! The roast looks so mouth watering

  24. Delicious recipe & the pics are awesome......I love the red chilli container...never seen one like. Glad to follow you. Visit me at smart-snacks.blogspot.com

  25. Loved the collage at the end..makes u want to eat even more..and seeing this dish at quite a few blogs..so got to try sometime!!

  26. The pics are so good, i think they are the best pics in your space. Roast looks very good, should hit all the right taste buds.

  27. babe you managed to pull off such a lovely post and pics and a keeper recipe with the SPARK missing!!
    so wonder wht you capable of when you seriously sparking...
    am flagging this right away! and your prawn roast too. i tried your rogan josh and some kudos on the way!
    congrats for getting featured on foodbuzz.fb is the best for meeting some of the best people..

  28. do you use kashmiri chilli powder for everything...by the color of it
    and dhaniya do you make at home by dry roasting the seeds and grinding?

  29. Lovely dish... amazing photos... I always thought u used different lens...gosh...!!! tooo.... gud ..!!

  30. lip-smacking and delicious clicks!!! Im sure the chicken roast was awesome!

  31. beautiful curry Nashi, guess what, I always get confused with the term 'roast' until I get the Aha moment with Kerala style roast! Must try this and i shall let you know:P

  32. Hi Nash
    Yummy chicken roast. Great to see you back. Yeah I missed seeing your posts. I checked all of it now. Amazing! You have great talent dear. Have been missing all the posts in the blog world. Just manage to post at times. My little one needs all the attention now.
    Keep rocking!

  33. Nashira, this curry is just so so lovely! Your pictures are stunning and delicious! I can smell this dish cooking...yum :)

  34. What a yummy roast....wanna have it right away.

  35. T^he photographs are terrific and so is the chicken dish.
    Love it.

  36. A fabulous dish! I'd love to indulge in it.

    Those dragonfly pictures are amazing!



  37. Fantastic shots!!! Loved the chicken roast too,and you are right the North rules the roost when it comes to Indian food outside India:( I am such a huge fan of southern cuisine myself and always on the look out for such winner recipes:)Keep it up!!!

  38. Beautiful photos Nash! Looks so divine .. spicy and full of flavour!

  39. Hey Nash, amazing, excellent, mind blowing.... uffff no words to describe. You have got such a wonderful talent of photography. Each and every snap has the minute details in it.
    BTW, Roast looks slurp... slurp... Wishing I was your neighbour :(

  40. Shabs, thanks sweetie!

    Chinmayie, a big thank you!

    Tanvi, Sangee, Kankana, Lubna: Oh yea, I’d highly recommend you try it! ☺

    Thank you Suja, Priya, Sushma and Anita!

    Alpana thanks for the connect. Would love to check out your space too ☺

    Anamika, thanks dear. You’ll not be disappointed if you try it!

    Thanks Indu for your ever kind words!

    Ginza, you make me smile ☺ Really! Yes, plz do try the prawn roast too—one of my favorites. And yes, I always use Kashmiri chili powder in my dishes and bring coriander from home. Not happy with the quality of coriander powder available in the stores here.

    Hey S, thanks for your sweet thoughts!

    Sarah, yep, it sure was!

    I know what you mean by the confusion doc, same here ☺ I’ll wait to hear how you liked it!

    Rinku, you are a doll. Plz take care of your lil one ☺

    Aw, Emily. Thanks cutie!

    Priyanka, I say you should ;)

    Thanks Anthony!

    Rosa dear, thanks so much!

    Hey Kavita, you know what I mean na? ☺

    Hi Sneh, so glad to see you here! Thanks for popping over ☺

    Zareena!! You are a sweetheart. Thank you lovely. I’d be very happy to be living next to you ☺

  41. Hi my sweety,
    Nice to see this another awesome post! you always make me hungry with these full of temptation recipe pics..Love it
    & specially Love your photography as always!!
    by the way today i notice you are also at twitter..yahoo,,nice to see your cool style :) so now following you for regular enjoyment :)
    Tons of Love Load from me *(*

  42. Hi Nash, first time around here on your space.. Just beautiful clicks.. it almost made me smell the dish.. Love your blog.. Happy to follow you.

  43. im so hungry right now that i actually want to make this right away and eat it...i never manage 2 cook chicken to that colour..i wonder y..and omg i was just abt ask you what that green powder was...till i realized its fennel pwd?? the ones we gets here are so horrible, colour wise.

  44. wow...wat a delicious lipsmacking curry...great flavors..
    Absolutely eyecatchy cliks...Am curious to know now what model slr camera u r using..?
    Tasty Appetite

  45. You never failed to impress with your photos, simply outstanding. Roast looks so good, I'm salivating...

  46. Mmm looks so delicious, your newest follower, Karima

  47. and u write this beautifully when u have writer's block????

    I wonder how it is when Dido in the background and also caffeine do their magic! ;)

    Vibrant post!

  48. wow...its so flavorful...though I have finished my dinner , m feeling hungry :(
    why dnt u send it to the event
    kerala kitchen

  49. just awesome dear, mouth watering chicken roast, clicks are just superb, u have got great talent dear..

  50. Lip smacking Recipe....Looks perfect


  51. I swear if it had not been chicken, you'd have me digging in right now :) looks awesome!

  52. btw the picture of the dragonfly is a masterpiece!!!

  53. Keep it spicy all the way Nash! This looks like one of those great dishes we've tried in Kerala. I still remember some of the flavors very well.

  54. i like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it's for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies.

  55. I absolutely love spicy Kerala meat dishes! And I know exactly what you mean by country-style curries... I fall in the same category :) This is totally bookmarked and i'm gonna make it this very weekend :)

  56. Missy, you have tempted me with this charmed curry, told you i'd make it, and even post it up! with a mention to you as the temptress:-)


  57. finger licking indeed and I am wishing some of this to appear on my dining table magically! I love it how a spicy dry kind of curry is categorized and roast in Kerala:)

    The board surface that you have used for the spice photograph is very similar to one I have :D i love the not so uniform texture.

  58. Oh Nash, this looks finger licking good! Your pics are so impressive! I just bought Kashmiri red chillies to make your Roghan josh recipe. Will try it soon, Insha'Allah :)

  59. Thank you so much Nash, the pics look fab! I'm glad that you liked this recipe.


  60. Nash, your photography is amazing and so as this chicken!!! Gosh I wish I have this for lunch right now with steamed rice. I'll be super happy.

  61. Kadeeja, thank so much love!

    Sumee, thanks for the lovely thoughts & the follow ☺

    Nisha, yep, that’s fennel. I did the grinding, so the color ☺

    Hey Jay, I’m using Canon Poweshot SX 200—it’s not SLR, but a good point and shoot.

    Thanks for your ever lovely comments, Treat and trick!

    Hey Karima, welcome sweets and thanks for the follow!

    Lol Sia. You are very good with words!

    Kushi, thanks. It’s a pleasure ☺

    Sobha, Deepti, Priya: Thanks lovelies!

    Reese, roast dishes are quite popular in our place :)

    Tasting Spot, thank you!

    Swati, plz do try and let me know how you liked it.

    Jehanne, you a really sweet doc. Thanks for the shout ☺

    Soma, that board was lying in my backyard ever since we moved to this villa, 5 years back. Was not sure about using it until now ☺

    Hey Ambreen, that’s good news! Plz keep me posted if you end up trying rogan josh ☺

    Nami, you are too kind. Thank you sweets ☺

  62. Nash,
    I am in love with your food photography and props. And that dish? So drool-worthy! :D

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi