Malvani Chicken Curry

Malvani Chicken Curry

Malvan is a small region on the shoreline spread on the west coast of of Maharashtra with the mountains conjuring up in a distance, as you wind down the Sayadhari ghats. This less known place conceals so much beauty and serenity that lures everyone to it. Malvan is one priceless jewel complete with live coral reefs and unexplored beaches. The cuisine of this region is popularly known as Malvani cuisine. The true taste of Malvani cuisine is very distinctive. A superfluous use of a local fruit Kokum (Garcinia), chillies and coconut marks the deep colored gravy and bright fish curries. Although Malvani cuisine is predominantly hot, spicy and non-vegetarian, there are many vegetarian delicacies.

This is my humble attempt to recreate Malvani Chicken Curry. The recipe is made in 2 steps – first making the Malvani masala and then making the spicy curry. I have listed ingredients and method in the order of it’s making. As always this was super fun to make and a firecracker on the plate. We totally completely enjoyed relishing this with Malvani Vade – deep fried puffed bread made from rice flour. It is traditionally served with it and thus called β€˜Kombdi (Chicken)Vade’. I will cover the procedure for the Vade is another post. For now savour the Chicken Curry – The Malvani way! πŸ™‚


For Malvani Masala:

8-10 Kashmiri red chillies

2 tsp whole coriander seeds

4-5 cloves

1/2 tsp peppercorns

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black cumin seeds

4-5 green cardamoms

2-3 black cardamoms

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup dry coconut, grated


To prepare Malvani Masala

  1. In a pan dry roast all the ingredients mentioned above.
  2. Be extremely careful and keep stirring while roasting the spices so you don’t burn them.
  3. Roast till the grated dry coconut changes to a beautiful brown.
  4. Once roasted set them aside to cool.
  5. Once at room temperature, grind to a fine powder. Do not add any water to this.
  6. This recipe will make more masala than you require for the curry so you can store in an air tight jar and refrigerate until your next use.


For the gravy:

Β½ kg chicken, on the bone and cut into small pieces

Β½ cup coconut, fresh and grated

1 tsp cumin seeds

Β½ cup coriander leaves

2 onions, large chopped

Β½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tblsp roasted coriander seeds

2-3 green chillies

3 garlic pods

2 tbsp ginger paste

2 tbsp garlic paste

3 tbsp malwani masala

2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

Water, as needed


To prepare the Gravy

  1. In a pan roast the grated fresh coconut and whole red chillies.
  2. Grind this roasted mixture with the garlic pods, cumin seeds, roasted coriander seeds, green chillies, chopped coriander and water.
  3. Add Malwani masala and grind it again into a coarse masala paste.
  4. In medium saucepan heat oil, add ginger and garlic paste, chopped onions and cook for a while.
  5. When the onions turn translucent, add turmeric and cook for few minutes.
  6. Add the freshly ground masala paste to the onions.
  7. SautΓ© this mixture of onions and masala paste until the oil oozes out.
  8. Add the cut chicken pieces and mix until the chicken pieces are well coated with the masala.
  9. Cover and cook on a medium flame till the chicken is cooked right through approx. 15-20 minutes.
  10. Add water as needed to make the gravy of your desired consistency.
  11. Let it come to boil for 5 minutes
  12. Serve and enjoy hot with Malvani vade or roti / rice! It tastes delicious with sides like sliced raw onions and lemon wedges.

Hope you enjoy making this recipe.

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Love & Hugs,


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