Chicken in Roasted Coconut Gravy – Varutharacha Kozhi Curry

Varutharacha Chicken Curry
Video Recipe

This is  a   another mouthwatering  recipe  from  the  coastal regions of  south India ,  especially popular in  Kerala  and  the  Kongan  region .   Coconut is  is the  thickener cum flavor  enhancer of  choice  here.  The  simple  process  of  roasting  the coconut adds  a  whole  new  depth of  flavor to  curries .  This  recipe  requires a  little  more   effort  than the   regular  chicken  curry  with  coconut , but  is  absolutely  worth it .  Give it a   try and  you  will fall in love  with it  as well  -Chicken Curry with Roasted Coconut .

The  first  step is   to roast  the shredded coconut. Traditionally  freshly grated  coconut  was  used, but  more  often than  not  I end  up using  fresh frozen or  dried   coconut .   My rule  of  thumb is  to  halve the   quantity if  using dried  coconut  instead of  fresh.  Another important  point  to  remember is   that  the   fresh coconut  tends  to  stick to the  pan and  gets  unevenly roasted  and  burnt easily .  To prevent  this  add a little  oil to  the pan   and  keep  stirring  often .

Heat a frying  pan over medium heat and  dry roast  the   coconut .  If  using   fresh/frozen coconut  refer to the instructions  above.   Once  the  coconut  starts  to  turn  golden  add the  sliced onions , garlic  and  ginger pieces . Reduce  the  heat  and keep stirring  and  roast  till  the  coconut  turns  brown   and  the  spices  are  dry .  Turn off the  heat  and  add  the  spice  powders – coriander ,  chili , turmeric, garam masala  and  salt .  Set  aside to  cool.  Once  cooled   grind  to a  smooth paste  in a  blender .  Depending  on the  blender  one  might  have  to add  a  few  spoons  of  water  to facilitate  grinding.

Finely chop the  onions and   tomatoes .  Slit or cut  the  chilies .  Heat 2 to 3  tablespoons of  oil  in a  skillet over  medium heat .  When  hot  add  the  onions  and  cook till  it turns  soft  (looks translucent  as  well ) . Add  the   tomatoes  and  chilies stir  and  cover  with a lid .  In a  few  minutes  the  tomatoes   will soften  .  Remove the lid add  the  chicken  pieces .  Stir  and  cook for a couple  minutes  turning a  few  times .   Add  the ground paste   and  about 1/4  to 1/2 C  water  mix  and  cover   with a  lid . Cook over  medium heat  for  20 minutes .  Remove the lid and  taste . Add more salt  if necessary . If using curry leaves  sprinkle on top  and cook uncovered until  the  gravy reaches  desired  consistency. Turn off the  heat . Serve  warm .

Varutharacha Kohzi Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: serves 4 to 6

Varutharacha Kohzi Curry


Chicken - 1 Kg , Skinless
Coconut - 1/2 C dry or 1 C fresh
Ginger - 1"
Garlic - 2 to 3 Cloves
Pearl Onions - 4 small
Chili Powder - 1 Tsp (To taste)
Turmeric - 1/4 Tsp
Coriander - 1Tsp
Garam Masala - 1 Tsp (To Taste)
Oil - 3 to 4 Tbsp
Onion - 1 Medium
Green Chili - A few (Optional)
Tomato - 1 Medium
Salt - 1 Tsp (To taste)
Curry Leaves


Slice the pearl onions , garlic and ginger . set aside .

Heat a skillet and dry roast the coconut over medium heat stirring often . When golden in color add the pearl onions , ginger and garlic . Reduce heat to low and roast till the coconut turns brown. Stir often to avoid burning. Turn off the heat , add spice powders and 1/2 tsp salt . Mix and set aside to cool .

Transfer the cooled mix to a blender and grind to a smooth paste . If needed add a few tablespoons of water .

Finely chop the onions and tomatoes . Slit or chop the chilies if too big. Cut the chicken into pieces of desired sizes. Heat a skillet and add 3 tablespoons of oil . When the oil is hot add the chopped onions . Stir fry for a couple minutes till the onions become translucent . Add the chopped tomatoes and chilies . Stir and cook for a couple minutes till tomatoes become soft . Add the chicken , sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and stir to mix . Cover and cook for 5 minutes .

Add spice paste and 1/2 C water .

Cover cook for 20 minutes .

Uncover, check to see if it is done. If not cooked through place the lid back and cook on low till done. Taste , adjust seasoning . Add curry leaves and cook uncovered till the gravy reaches desired consistency.

Varutharacha Chicken Curry

Originally published on Aug , 2016. Updated with pictures.

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