Chicken Roast Kerala Style

Chicken Roast cooked in Kerala style is a super-delicious and one of the most common side dishes made in Kerala. This dish is widely seen in most Christian weddings and is a favourite among all age groups. The dish is simple, not complicated with many ingredients, has amazing flavours emanating from the shallots, curry leaves, fresh grated coconut and vinegar.

Generally when it comes to eating Indian food, people do not think beyond popular choices like the biryanis, butter chicken, tandoori chicken, parathas or naan. This is because you find exquisite choices from simple to sumptuous dishes in India and unexpectedly most of the wonderful flavours from the southern, eastern and western regions are less discovered outside India.

In southern India, food is lighter, spicier with predominant flavours of chilli powder, pepper powder, fresh curry leaves and coconut. These ingredients not only enhance the taste and aroma to its fullest but also essentially bring out a perfect aromatic dish with goodness. The addition of other herbs and spices used in preparing the curries has their own health-benefits and healing properties.

The traditional style of cooking the Chicken roast has a total Kerala flavours as the two most important ingredients, i.e., fresh grated coconut and curry leaves lend its typical flavours of this land. Apart from these ingredients, the tiny sliced caramelized shallots give wonderful mild flavours to the succulent chicken pieces. This dish is perfect paired with roti, chapatti, naan or rice and is a total comfort food with minimal effort.

The simplicity of this recipe is great and lends itself well to variations. Adding vinegar during the cooking process fits in well for those who want their food to reflect a natural healthy lifestyle. When it comes to cooking, vinegar plays a vital role then just appearing as an ingredient in recipes. It can perform miraculous tricks for improving flavours, preserving food, filling in for missing ingredients and even making food look better. In fact, if you add a drop here and there during the preparation process, vinegar will change the whole personality of the dish.

Vinegar in any kitchen is a versatile, tasty and healthy ingredient that has endless culinary uses. This amazing liquid is a major ingredient that adds zest to condiments such as tomato ketchup and mayonnaise. Because of its nutrients and acidic nature, vinegar is used to tenderize meats and vegetables, to inhibit the growth of bacteria, to make beans less gas producing and to bring out the flavours in many foods. Vinegar can also be used as a substitute to salt for those wishing to reduce the amount of table salt in their diet.

Shallots or Madras sambar onions are popular with gourmets, being used in fresh cooking in addition to being pickled. Shallots probably originated in Central or Southeast Asia, travelling from there to India and the eastern Mediterranean. The name "shallot" comes from Ashkelon, an ancient Philistine city, where people in classical Greek times believed shallots originated.

Shallots are generally used for preparing the popular and delicious Onion Sambar which originates from Southern India. Finely sliced, deep fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine, often served with porridge.  Shallots pickled in red vinegar are common in many Indian restaurants, served along with sauces and papad on the condiments tray. Indians also use it as a home remedy for sore throats, mixed with jaggery or sugar. In Nepal, shallots are used as one of the ingredients for making momo. They have a mild taste that combines the flavours of a sweet onion with a touch of garlic.

For preparing this spicy Chicken roast in Kerala style, firstly take the chicken pieces and clean them thoroughly. Marinate the chicken pieces with chilli powder, salt, coriander powder, little turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste. Mix all the ingredients well so that the chicken pieces are well coated and keep aside for at least 4 hours.

Take a pan and add little oil. When the oil gets hot, add cumin seeds, sliced shallots, fresh curry leaves and sauté well. Add fresh grated coconut and sauté. Now add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Close the pan with a lid and cook in its own juices until the chicken is 70-80% done.

Remove the lid, add vinegar, pepper powder, whole green chillies, Kerala garam masala and mix well until the chicken pieces gets completely dry and oil oozes out. Keep the flame on medium heat and fry. At this point do not cover the pan with the lid. All the moisture needs to dry off. Once the chicken is completely dry or browned then garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Tips –

Tenderize meats by marinating them in vinegar mixed with herbs. This will also enhance the meat flavour.

Improve the flavour and texture of boiled meat by cooking with vinegar. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the cooking water.

This dish is a fantastic blend of Chicken, shallots, coconut, curry leaves and spices that ticks all the palates for deliciousness. It much quicker and easier to cook, the creaminess from the coconut meat, tang from the vinegar and heat from the green chillies, red chilli powder and black pepper imparts a totally indulgent fiery flavour that’ll make you go for seconds.

I am sure you would surely grab this lip-smacking Chicken roast packed with the goodness of spices. Do watch the video and your taste-buds would surely wake up for this spicy dish. Check out the link for the recipe:


Enjoy Cooking!