Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk

Kerala's very own coconut milk rich chicken and vegetable stew is something I grew up having with neychor aka ghee rice but apparently, F prefers it with vallappam! I was hesitating to share the recipe because it is not the authentic method but trust me the taste is not compromised at all. The appam pictured at the end of the post is my first attempt! InshaAllah, I will do it again and write up a detailed recipe. 
Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk

2019 is coming to an end giving birth to our first anniversary of relocating to UAE! My home is still bare because unexpected maintenance work went on till September 2019 leaving me hardly any time to step out sightseeing. Thankfully, it is winter now, so it's the best time to venture out and about! From the blogging front, this is my 24th post of 2019 which is much better than the 17 in 2018! :-) 

What is Kerala-style chicken stew?

Traditionally, it is a stew where the bone-in chicken and mixed vegetables are cooked with coconut oil, infused with whole spices and stewed in freshly extracted coconut milk. This stew is served with appam, ghee rice, ari dosha, or even Kerala porotta and is both staple and festive food of this land's dining table. 

Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk

Ingredients of chicken and vegetable stew with coconut milk

  1. Whole chicken, stew cut 
  2. Salt and Pepper
  3. Whole Spices like fennel seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  4. Ginger garlic paste, green chillies and curry leaves
  5. Red onion
  6. Full-fat coconut milk (made from powder or canned)
  7. Vegetables 
  8. Cashews

How to make this chicken and vegetable stew with coconut milk?

My method is not authentic but the taste and the aroma are not too far from the original. Traditionally, this stew is made with thin coconut milk and finished with thick coconut milk. While there may be some scientific food wisdom around that, I chose to do it differently which is more convenient for me and for those who do not have access to fresh coconut milk. Honestly, I abhor the task of extracting coconut milk, hence I shamelessly use coconut milk powder or canned coconut milk. 

Watch me making this stew on REELS. 

Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk

Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk made with powder


For the Chicken Stew
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 to 5 green chillies
  • 5 to 8 curry leaves
  • 1 large red onion, chopped finely
  • 800gms whole chicken, curry cut
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk (6 tbsp coconut powder in 2 cups warm water)
  • approx - 1 cup of water (enough to submerge all the contents in the pot)
  • 1 large potato, chunked
  • 1 to 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, soaked in water to bring to room temp
For tempering
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5 shallots, or half a medium onion, sliced
  • 8 whole cashews, broken
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves 


Prepare the stew
  1. Heat coconut oil in a deep stew pot on medium flame.
  2. Add all the whole spices and fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and curry leaves and fry until the paste turns golden. 
  4. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent.
  5. Add the chicken along with salt and pepper. 
  6. Cover the pot and cook on low to medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Open and pour the prepared coconut milk, water and chopped potatoes. 
  8. Cover the pot and cook on low to medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Add the chopped carrots and cook covered for 6 to 8 minutes. 
  10. Add the thawed green peas and cook for 5 minutes. 
  11. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. 
  12. Use the back of the ladle to smash some of the potato chunks to add creaminess to the stew.
  13. Switch off and prepare the tempering.
Prepare the tempering
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a small pan.
  2. Add the sliced shallots and fry until golden.
  3. Add the cashews, green chillies and some curry leaves. Fry until the onions are almost browned, curry leaves are crispy and cashews are golden. 
  4. Pour the tempering over the prepared chicken stew and give it a stir. Serve hot with appam or ghee rice or ari dosha!
You can make this stew with all vegetables or replace chicken with mutton. 

Have you looked at my Kozhi Nirachathu recipe and Undan Pori recipe yet?

Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk

Wrapping up 2019! Happy New Year to you and yours from us! 


  1. was short on peas and powder coconut milk but the chicken stew turned out really nice , thank you for sharing :)


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