South Indian Chicken Recipes to Give Your Tastebuds a Treat

south indian chicken recipeChicken is one of the most loved meats in India, as their religion often does not allow them to eat pork or beef. It’s also great for you, full of nutrients, and is a wonderful source of lean, low-fat protein. It’s also packed with selenium, which is a chemical known for its fantastic anti-cancer properties. It comes as no surprise then that there are many different ways to cook this meat, as follows are some traditional recipes from southern India, that are all easy to cook, healthy and nutritious.

If you prefer following along with a course, this one is great because it walks you step-by-step through a wide range of tasty meals. You can also check out this recent post and discover ways to cook chicken from other ethnic origins.

South Indian Chicken with Pepper

This is a hot and spicy chicken curry that everyone will enjoy, and will be ready to eat in 45 minutes. If you’re a bit of a novice in the kitchen, check out this course and learn the fundamentals of healthy cooking.

  • 250g boneless Chicken (skin removed)
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 3 tbs black pepper seeds
  • 2 tbs cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbs of salt (adjust to your preferred taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3-4 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 a fresh lime

Chicken marinade:

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric


  • Prepare the chicken and marinate with the sesame oil and the turmeric, roughly cutting the chicken into medium sized pieces.
  • Add the black pepper and fennel seeds to a large pot on medium heat to dry roast them until the pepper starts to pop and there is a golden tinge to the fennel. This takes 5-6 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Add the cumin seeds and roast until you get a good whiff of cumin, and you see the seeds expand. This takes 2-3 minutes, and once it’s done turn off the heat.
  • Let the spices cool, and start preparing the vegetables and herbs.
  • Wash, peel and chop both the onion and the tomato.
  • Wash the curry leaves.
  • Wash and chop the coriander into small pieces.
  • Peel the garlic cloves, and remove the skin from the ginger.
  • Grind the garlic and the ginger in a mortar and pestle, without adding any water and keep aside.
  • Once the spices have cooled to room temperature, grind them in the mortar and pestle.
  • Pour the oil into a large pot on medium flame, and let it heat.
  • Add the onions and sauté them until they are clear. This takes about 5-6 minutes.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add the ground ginger-garlic paste.
  • Mix it all together, and cook for 2-3 minutes until you lose the “raw” smell of the garlic.
  • Add the chicken, and sauté the entire mix. Cook for around 5 minutes until the chicken is pale.
  • Add the salt and the turmeric powder, and mix well.
  • Add the water and mix well.
  • Close the lid of the pot, and let the chicken cook through. This takes 10-12 minutes.
  • Open the lid, and mix the content well, while you continue cooking until the level of water is reduced.
  • Once the chicken has absorbed the water, sauté for another minute or so, and add the chopped tomatoes. Mix it all well and cook until the tomatoes go soft (another 2 minutes).
  • Squeeze the juice from the lime into the mix.
  • Add all of the powdered spices, and continue cooking another 5 minutes.
  • Add the curry leaves and the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix well, and close the lid. Turn the heat to low, and leave the pot simmering until the juice from the tomato is absorbed by the chicken.
  • Once the chicken is dry, turn off the flame. Be careful not to overcook it as it can make the chicken very chewy.
  • Serve hot with rice and naan bread.

Murgh Malaiwala

This is a delicious chicken recipe marinated in garlic and ginger, cooked in milk with chillies, cream, saffron and a rose petal garam masala


  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 and a half cups of whole milk
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1/2 inch chopped ginger
  • 1/2 bunch chopped coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbs chopped almonds


  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbs garlic paste
  • 2 tbs white pepper

For the Garam Masala:

  • 1 black cardamom
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 1 piece of mace (javitri)
  • 2 tbs cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 dried rose petals


  • Start by marinating the chicken, place small cuts in the drumsticks and marinade in the combined mix of all three marinating ingredients.
  • For the Garam Masala, dry roast all of the ingredients in a pan on medium heat, and then grind in a mortar and pestle until a fine paste is formed.
  • Start on the gravy, by quickly sautéing the onions in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add the chilli and the cream, and cook for another minute or until the onions are soft.
  • Add the green cardamom powder, both the chopped and dry ginger, the coriander, the pepper, the garam masala and let it all simmer on a low heat.
  • Sauté the mix well, and let it cook for approximately 10 minutes.
  • If desired add salt to taste, and enjoy.

Kerala Chicken

This is a fried chicken recipe that uses chilli, onions and lemon juice to create a taste sensation!

  • 750 g skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 onions cut in thin slices
  • 1 large tomato, blanched, with the skin removed and then pureed
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (powder)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil


  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (vinegar can also be used)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 green chillies


  • Cut the chicken into medium sized pieces.
  • Put all of the marinade ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind it into a paste.
  • Cover the chicken pieces with this paste, and leave soaking for at least an hour.
  • Cut the onions into very thin slices and fry in hot oil. After cooked (3-4 minutes) take them out and keep them aside.
  • Using the same pan (with the same oil), add the chicken pieces and fry them until they are almost done. If you keep the lid on the pan it will cook the chicken thoroughly (not just brown the outside).
  • Remove the chicken from the pan, and add the green chillies and the curry leaves, sauté for a minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the chicken, and roast until it is dry, making sure that all the pieces of chicken are well covered in the paste (4-5 minutes).
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and the white pepper over the chicken, and mix well.
  • Add the lemon juice and mix well. You may add salt at this stage if desired.
  • Add the fried onions and mix well.
  • Enjoy!

If these recipes don’t get your mouth watering, try this course and learn how to make vegetarian delights that even the fussiest of kids will love. In line with this, if you’re cooking for a date you’ll benefit greatly with this short course, as you get guided through everything you need to know to navigate your way through a kitchen. Cooking isn’t hard, just follow one of the three recipes above and you’ll be making delicious Indian treats in no time!