Keralan chicken curry in a serving dish

Keralan chicken curry

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Also know as 'chertha kozhi kari', this chicken curry has classic flavours from Kerala, with ginger, green chilli, whole fragrant spices and a light, creamy gravy enriched with cashew nuts


Try this Keralan chicken and cashew curry, then check out our chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, chicken korma, Sri Lankan chicken curry and more easy chicken curry recipes.

Chicken on the bone gives this curry so much more flavour, so try to use bone-in cuts if you can, but chicken thigh fillets or turkey would also work.



  • chicken thighs and drumsticks 900g, skin removed
  • greek yogurt 2 heaped tbsp
  • ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • cinnamon stick 2cm piece
  • whole cloves 6
  • onion 1 medium, finely chopped
  • cardamom powder ½ tsp (see cook's notes)


  • cashew nuts 75g, soaked in 100ml just-boiled water
  • ginger 4cm piece, peeled and roughly chopped
  • green bird's-eye chillies 2, stalks removed


  • vegetable oil 1 tbsp
  • cashew nuts a handful
  • black mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • fresh curry leaves 10-12


  • Step 1

    Put the chicken in a large bowl with the yogurt, turmeric and pinch of salt. Mix well. Chill for 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

  • Step 2

    Put all the cashew paste ingredients into a blender, along with the cashew soaking liquid. Blitz to a smooth paste and set aside.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oil in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat, and sizzle the cinnamon stick and cloves for 1 minute. Add the onion and fry, stirring for 10-12 minutes until softened and turning golden brown. Add the chicken and left-over marinade and fry for 8 minutes, turning the chicken to seal as you go. Reduce the heat and season. Add 100ml of water, cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

  • Step 4

    Add the cashew paste, remove the lid and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened slightly and just coats the chicken. Add the cardamom powder, cover and turn off the heat. Leave until ready to serve.

  • Step 5

    Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Fry the cashew nuts for 2-3 minutes or until starting to brown. Scoop into a bowl with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to the pan. As soon as they begin to splutter, pour everything over the chicken, along with the cashew nuts.

*This recipe is gluten free according to industry standards

Cook's notes

If you don’t have cardamom powder, grind cardamom seeds with a pestle and mortar to a powder to make ½ tsp. Don’t throw away the pods – you can use them to make chai tea, or put them in a pot of sugar to subtly flavour it.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 523
  • Fat 35.2g
  • Saturates 7.8g
  • Carbs 8.9g
  • Sugars 4.7g
  • Fibre 2.1g
  • Protein 41.8g
  • Salt 0.7g