Kerala Style Chicken Roast


This is a delicious Kerala style chicken roast. It is Chicken pan fried with caramelized onions, laced with the freshness of curry leaves and delicious bits of ginger and garlic. it is scrumptiousness in each bite!

This recipe is cooked in 2 steps and it is more of a cooking technique than an actual recipe. You can use this same cooking technique for almost any meat or sea-food with spices and combinations of your choice. It is so versatile.

The chicken pieces are cooked separately with the powdered spices and then pan fried with an onion masala. This is a dish that I make very often and the best part is, you can prep the chicken beforehand and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days before cooking it. Alternatively, you can also freeze it in a suitable freezable container for up to a month. That way, this dish can be made under 15 minutes and makes for a great weekday dinner.

For this dish, I like using chicken with bone-I think, it simply tastes better that way but if you want to use boneless, thats fine too, but care should be taken that they don’t overcook as the cooking time will reduce depending on size of the chicken pieces.

Also, all the ingredients used in this dish, I usually have at hand. But if there is one ingredient without which I won’t cook this dish is curry leaves. In my opinion, if you don’t have curry leaves, you can add everything else, but the taste will not be the same. I fry some curry leaves while cooking and also reserve some to scatter on the dish once it is cooked. Besides the curry leaves, using coconut oil for this dish gives it the traditional Keralan food flavour, but if you don’t have it at hand or don’t like it, you can use any other oil as well.

I wash the store bought curry leaves and leave it to dry on some cotton cloth/towel, once its dry, I store it in zip-lock bags-it stays fresh for weeks in the refrigerator. I learnt this from my mom.

Now, for the recipe,

Total Time taken: 30 minutes

Prep time- 5 minutes

You will need:

  1. To cook the chicken
  • Chicken- 500 gms, cleaned and cut in 1 ½- 2 inch sized pieces
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1-1 ½ tsp (you can use as much or as little as you like)
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Salt- ½ tsp
  1. For the roast
  • Onions- 2 nos, sliced lengthwise (no need for it to be fine)
  • Ginger- 1-1 ½ inch, crushed
  • Garlic- 6-7 cloves, crushed
  • Curry leaves- 3-4 stems
  • Green chillies- 2-3 (optional)
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder- ½ tsp
  • Coconut oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- ½ tsp


  1. In a small deep bottomed pan, add all the ingredients under “to cook the chicken” with 3-4 tbsp water and cook covered for 10-12 minutes covered on medium heat. The chicken will let out some water, so more water is not needed. The chicken should be cooked through-check to see the doneness. Also, while cooking, keep checking to make sure the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan. Once the chicken is cooked, let it remain covered until needed. (If you want to refrigerate or freeze the chicken, once it has cooled to room temperature, it can be done).
  2. To make the onion masala, place a skillet on medium- high heat and add the oil. Add the sliced onions to the skillet with the salt and fry until the onions are translucent. This should take 4-5 minutes
  3. Add some curry leaves, crushed ginger and garlic to the sliced onions and give it a good mix. Fry till the raw smell from the ginger and garlic goes away. This should take 2-3 minutes.
  4. Now, add the cooked chicken with the cooking liquid, if any, to the skillet and fry for 7-8 minutes or until you see that the chicken is browning a little. Add some more curry leaves at this point. Check for seasoning. Add more salt if required.

5. Finish with a good sprinkle of crushed black pepper and garam masala. Add slit green chilies (see note),mix well, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Enjoy!

Note: I added the green chilies towards the end because I only want the flavour and freshness from them, not the heat. I usually poke the chilies with a knife and then add it to the chicken or add it as garnish.

Have this chicken roast as a side dish to a nice Malayali meal or even with simple rice and dal!


I hope you try this dish and if you do, comment and let me know if you like it!

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Susan A



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s