Savoring Tradition: Kerala's Irresistible Chicken Stew

A quintessential Kerala delicacy, Chicken Stew is a harmonious blend of tender chicken pieces, aromatic spices, and creamy coconut milk. Hailing from the southern state of India, this dish exemplifies the region's culinary finesse. It's a comfort food that boasts a mild and comforting flavor profile, making it a favorite for breakfast or served with appam (a type of rice pancake) for lunch or dinner.

What is Chicken Stew

Originating in the lush landscapes of Kerala, Chicken Stew encapsulates the state's love for coconuts and spices. It features chicken pieces cooked in a fragrant broth made with coconut milk, subtly spiced with ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves. The addition of potatoes and carrots enhances its heartiness. This dish is often enjoyed with fluffy appams or steamed rice.

Alternate names for this recipe include "Kozhi Ishtu" and "Kerala Chicken Ishtu." Variations may include using different vegetables or altering the spice levels according to personal preferences.


Quick and Easy Chicken Stew

Indulging in Chicken Stew is a delightful journey through Kerala's culinary heritage. As a chef, I was introduced to this gem during my exploration of regional Indian cuisines. Its gentle flavors and velvety texture create a comforting experience that's hard to forget. The subtlety of spices and the rich creaminess of coconut milk evoke a sense of warmth, much like other stew dishes found globally. This stew's simplicity and versatility make it a go-to for those seeking a quick yet satisfying meal, reminding me of the universal appeal of comfort foods across different cultures.


Why is chicken stew so famous?

Chicken stew has gained popularity for several reasons:

Flavorful but Mild: Chicken stew offers a wonderful blend of flavors without being overly spicy or overpowering. The combination of aromatic spices, coconut milk, and vegetables creates a delicate and well-balanced taste that appeals to a wide range of palates.

Comfort Food: Stews, in general, are associated with comfort and warmth. The soothing texture of the stew, coupled with the familiar taste of chicken and vegetables, evokes feelings of coziness and nostalgia.

Cultural Significance: In regions like Kerala, where chicken stew is a traditional dish, it holds cultural significance. It's often served during festivals, celebrations, and gatherings, making it an integral part of local culinary customs.

Versatility: Chicken stew can be enjoyed for various meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's typically served with different accompaniments, such as rice, appam, bread, or even dosa (another type of pancake).

Healthier Option: Compared to heavily fried or extremely rich dishes, chicken stew is considered a healthier choice. It contains lean protein from chicken and a variety of vegetables, making it a nutritious option for those seeking balanced meals.

Adaptability: While traditional recipes have their charm, chicken stew's basic concept is highly adaptable. You can experiment with different spices, vegetables, and variations to suit your taste preferences.

Global Appeal: Stews are a popular culinary concept in many cultures around the world. Chicken stew's combination of ingredients and flavors resonates with people from different backgrounds, contributing to its widespread fame.

Ease of Preparation: Chicken stew is relatively easy to prepare, which makes it accessible to both experienced cooks and beginners. Its simplicity is one of the reasons it has become a staple in many households.

Overall, the delicious yet gentle taste, cultural significance, and adaptability of chicken stew have contributed to its fame and popularity, both locally and internationally.

How to make Chicken Stew

  1. Heat oil in the Meyer Cast Iron Sauteuse, add ginger, garlic, red chillies & onion. Sauté until translucent. 
  2. Add the chicken & cook for 5 mins. Add the veggies, curry leaves along with thin coconut milk. 
  3. Cover and cook for 15 mins (until chicken is cooked). 
  4. Finally add the powders & thick coconut milk while cooking on medium flame. Do not cook further.
  5. Mix well and cover for 5-10 mins. 
  6. Add fried onions & cashew & serve hot.

More Delicious Recipe:

1. Moroccan Tagine Chicken

2. Chickpea and Sesame Burger

3. Qureshi Kebab


Expert Tips

  1. Do not add excess spices to the curry as the curry tastes best with its mellow and subtle flavors.
  2. We recommend using a cast iron sauteuse or kadai for this dish as it gives the chicken a good charred taste that really compliments the flavors of the dish.
  3. Make sure to turn the heat off as soon as you add the thick coconut milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.

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