Coorg chicken curry

Coorg or Kodagu is one of the most beautiful places in Karnataka. Just before we moved to US, we had been to Madikeri. This has some of the breath taking sceneries with very beautiful water falls. For some reason, whenever I hear the name Madikeri, I think of the beautiful Kannada song Madikeri sipayee from film Muttina haara. As far as I remember, that was the film that gave me a glimpse of this beautiful paradise on earth. Coorg cuisine is as popular as its nature. I found this article about this cuisine in my recipe collection.

As I have mentioned many times, I don’t cook chicken very frequently. But last week we had a special guest. This person is a food blogger and one of the bloggers who has been blogging for a long time now (even though this foodblog has been hibernating for last few months). Even though I am pretty comfortable creating big menus for my guests, I get all nervous when I cook for an expert. Finally I decided to make 2 chicken dishes, one fish, one shrimp dish and some vegetarian sides, pickles, salads. Now, deciding which particular chicken dish I was going to prepare took me a very long time. I spent about 2hrs going through all my recipe collection. Since I wanted a chicken with gravy, I was almost hitting a dead end in anything I shortlisted, mainly because I knew our guests didn’t like coconut a lot – even though they had told me its perfectly fine if I cook something with coconut. It was like whatever I did, finally I would stop at this particular recipe. The name “Coorg” in the title has that effect on me. So even though it had coconut, I decided to make this. To go with this, I made yellow flavored rice. all this, I had least expected my hubby to appreciate this gravy. I was very happy when this flavored rice and gravy was a hit combination. He even asked me to make it again (considering he never says that for any chicken dishes, it was a huge compliment). As far as my guests are concerned, they loved it. So I guess I will be going back to this recipe again and again.

1/2 lb chicken pieces
1 tea spn red chili powder
1/4 tea spn turmeric powder
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
1/4 tea spn cumin seeds
2″ piece cinnamon
4 cloves
1/2 tea spn poppy seeds
7-8 strands coriander leaves
1/2 tea spn chopped garlic
1/2 tea spn chopped ginger
2 green chilies
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 2 pieces of tamarind soaked in warm water

Apply red chili powder and turmeric to chicken pieces and leave it aside.
Grind together coriander-cumin seeds, ginger-garlic, green chilies, coriander leaves, cloves, cinnamon, poppy seeds. This is called raw masala.
Roast(without oil) coconut till it turns slightly brownish. Grind it to a smooth paste.
Heat a little oil and fry onions. When they turn slightly brownish, add tomatoes and fry for sometime. Now add raw masala and fry till the raw smell goes off and a nice aroma comes out of it. Now add the chicken pieces, salt and fry for about 5mins. Add 2 cups of water, cover and cook till chicken is tender.
Add the ground coconut, tamarind extract and cook for about 7-8 mins till the curry thickens.
Serve hot. I served it with yellow flavored rice and chapathis.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

54 thoughts on “Coorg chicken curry”

  1. Hey Shilpa,
    I appreciate your enthusiasm in trying out new dishes frequently. I’ve tried some of your dishes too and they’ve come out really well, needless to say, appreciation from hubby-dear 🙂

    Keep blogging.

  2. Shilpa, the name Coorg in the title always gets me too 🙂 I am going to try this for sure…
    So, is that a quiz hidden there, any prizes for guessing who that food blogger guest is? 🙂

    Shilpa: Yeah…isn’t that a good guessing game?? I never had such guessing games here before :D. Whats your guess?

  3. Hi Shilpa,
    I love your blog.I am an amchi married to a maharashtrian. I like this coorgi chicken recipe. I will try it. I have previously made a coorg chicken chilly fry which is really tasty. It needs a ground paste of onions, cumin, green chillies, cilantro and garlic. I will put it up on my blog in a day or two to continue this coorg tradition. Once again, love your blog.

    Shilpa: Thanks a lot for your kind words Naina. Along with this I made another chicken dish from Coorg. It looks a lot like your recipe. May be same. I will wait for your recipe.

  4. Shilpa….Well with respect to the guess, i guess i know who it is.

    At the moment i have just salmon at home, and was wondering if we could follow the same for it. You have written so well, i feel like trying the same right away.

    Thanks Shilpa…for a wonderful post.

    Shilpa: I think Salmon is best suited for baking. Last week I fried it like any other fish. It was just awesome. Here the gravy is very good, so for vegetarian version, you can just add potatoes and it will still taste great.

  5. Thanks Shilpa… I have been baking and frying Salmon for a very long time. Initially i used to shallow fry it, now bake it (i was told by hubbys cousin that baked salmon tastes better)

    Let me see if i can grab hold of some chicken today, else will try this with potatoes.

  6. Hi Shilpa
    Nice to know that you like Coorg so much.I am from Madikeri .. so it feels good to hear so much appreciation for my home town.
    I will try your chicken recipe sometime..I am sure it will turn out great just like all your other recipes..

  7. Thanks Shilpa for the wonderful Coorgi recipe. Can you tell me how to make Chicken Chettinad. I first tasted it in Ooty many years ago and now i am a diehard fan of this dish.

    Shilpa: Shubhada, chicken chettinad is already there on the site.

  8. Hey Shilpa just came back from coorg last month. We were there for diwali! and you are right, it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

    Shilpa: Ohh you are so lucky. I have been thinking abt Coorg from the day I cooked this 🙂

  9. hey shilpa!! am I on your dinner guest list or not?? if not i will be terribly disappointed!! hey glad to know that your guests loved what all you dished up for them. So nice to hear all your efforts paid off and that coorg, I am gonna make it!!

    Shilpa: When are you coming Padmaja. Sure, I will create a big feast for u too 🙂

  10. Hi Shilpa

    Thanks for including me in your site, as I am getting to know so many recipies. Just the look at the picture makes my mouth water before reading the receipe. I don’t know what will happen when I try one as I hav’nt tried any till now but will surely try this tomorrow (sunday)- holiday for me. Do keep posting such mouth watering dishes. Take care bye !! I am sure I too can become one of your guest when you come to India. Is’nt it??


    Shilpa: Sure Sakhee :). I love cooking for people and if they are food lovers, then its a plus point.

  11. Shilpa..Okay..that was the day you were up at 6 am on a saturday!!??? right? 😀 Lovely sure going to try it soon…though have heard about Coorg dishes through you! Take care..

  12. Hi Shilpa,

    Just made the curry y’day for lunch, tasted delicious like many other recipes that I’ve tried from your site.
    Ever since I came across your site I’ve become hooked on it like crazy.
    thanks once again dear.

  13. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks a lot for the recipe and the thought of coorg. As this is my hubby’s native place (Virajpet), I should really try it for him.

    I was there in Coorg a couple of months back on holiday. We do have our Coffee estate there. We used to have pundi or neer dosi with pork always. We are now here in Australia away from all this. But I still keep making them here.


  14. Hello Shilpa,
    I was looking for a Coorg Mutton curry recipe & stumbled upon your website & came across the Coorg
    Chicken Curry recipe. I tried to print the recipe for my file but was unable to do so. Could you pls. enlighten me how I can print this recipe.

    Also, would you by any chance have a Coorg Mutton
    recipe? Appreciate your help.


  15. This is an excellent recipe, the touch of tamarind and coconut adds to the flavour. Since I did nothave poppy seeds, I substituted cashew nuts.


  16. Hi!! shilpa,
    I must say i have become ur very good fan.I tried this recipe along with couple of others like vermicilli upma, vermicilli idli, rava idli, coorg style chicken, nankatayee, buiscuit pudding, cabbage dangar/wada, evrything was fantastic. U style of writing , instructions is simple , clear and proportions r precise. I must say working full time and still devoting so much time to post recipes with lovely pictures is a great task.Hats off to u.This is a great way to preserve the age old recipes and also i notice that u add new recipes which arent traditional .Must say u put in lot of hardwork and really u r really amazing. Add me to a big list of your fans.
    I have read couple of food sites and blogs but beleive me nothing beats Aayi,s
    God bless u.

    Shilpa: Thank you so much Shubha for your kind words. These kind of comments encourages me.

  17. hi shilpa,
    this dish looks yummy….shud try it out…u have mentioned it goes well with flavored rice na? i feel it will go well even with ghee rice…what do u say?
    btw,ur blog is very informative.good job!!!!! 🙂

  18. Hi Shilpa, tried out this recipe and it turned out absolutely delicious.
    It’s very similar to the green curry my mom makes, so I just added more Coriander leaves and some whole peppercorns. Loved the result! 🙂

  19. it was awesome..only thing that i added some lime juice right at the end for the punch. def a keeper! Thanks a ton Shilpa..:)

  20. Thrishen Pemmaiah

    hey shipa ,
    yammy dish , though am from coorg tryed this recipe for a moment i it took me to my grannys kitchen . too gud
    shipla u deserve a big round of applause

  21. hey shilpa,
    I tried this reciepe and it turned out pretty good. My family enjoyed the meal and the best thing was that the spices were just right for the meat.
    Thanks for posting!


  22. it’s really informative post, someone can prepare this. i heard coorg dishes are very tasty. keep posting on recipes.

  23. Hi,
    Good recipe.
    Just a ques: “Grind together coriander-cumin seeds, ginger-garlic, green chilies, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, poppy seeds. This is called raw masala.”

    Coriander seeds — are u meaning coriander leaves (perhaps a typographic error)… since coriander-cumin seeds are already mentioned.

    Btw, whenever anyone asks me for a quick website for tasty recipes, this site is one of those I recommend. Good and perfect work. Kudos.

  24. Hi Shilpa,

    I tried this recipe today. It has turned out yummm…as I thought! 🙂
    I had only one point to make: I put all the masalas and ground it in the indian style mixer, but the masala didnt turn into a paste. It remained a little course. So my curry doesnt look like yours. It does look great but not like yours. Any suggestions on improvising it?

    1. If you grind it fine, it will look same. I have no idea why you could not grind it fine in Indian mixer. I have Sumeet and it makes a very fine paste. Probably you can try grinding for more time with little more water.

  25. Hi Shilpa,

    Tried this recipe today, tasted just like the curry my mom makes. Thank you sooo much u made my day. Your recipes are a savior for people like me.[i dint even know how to make rice a yr back when i got married!!!] one ques: y do u suggest frying the coconut b4 grindin it???

  26. Hey Shilpa…..

    ‘m from the most beautiful plc in the world-Coorg…Tried this recipe today, tasted just like the curry my mom makes. Thank you sooo much u made my day. Your recipes are a savior for people like me.[i dint even know how to make rice a yr back when i got married!!!] one ques: y do u suggest frying the coconut b4 grindin it???

  27. Hi Shilpa, I am a big fan of your site. I don’t have Sumeet / Indian mixer. I have a kitchen aid food processor that I use for grinding. No matter how long I grind the coconut remains coarse. Any tricks to get fine paste in American food processors?

    1. Rehana, I had the same trouble, that is the reason I had to buy India mixer. If you are using coconut that is cold, try using a little warm water while grinding. It might help a bit

    2. Thanks for the suggestion Shilpa. The curry picture reminds me of the chicken curry my mom makes back home. She is from Udipi and her cooking style resembles so mo much of yours. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes !

  28. Hello Shilpa,
    Tried this for the first time and it came out perfect. Recipe is easy to follow. This recipe is one for keeps.

    Thank you so much for such a delicious recipe. I going in for seconds

  29. Hi,

    I am not sure but is it really 1/2 lb chicken and for 4-5 people? What if the chicken is 1-1.5 kg? Does the coconut to be used then is 2.5-3 cups?

    In US, for making smooth paste of coconut use magic bullet type of mixer/grinders with little water.



  30. Hi Shilpa,

    Am a regular vistor to ur blog these days and i keep trying ur reciepes on a day to day basis. i came across this chicken curry today. I am coorgi n staying in coorg. we usually use a black thick juice called kachampuli, turmeric, chily and salt to chicken piece and keep it for sometime minus tamarind.

    Thanks for ur site, its a life saver for me.

    Wen u come to india do come to coorg, ur always welcome at my home.

  31. This has become our family favourite for the past 5 years ….along with the yellow flavoured rice!!!! Can’t thank you enough!!! I am a bong staying in bangalore….. love to try diff cuisines …this one inevitable makes my wife smile the broadest!!!!

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