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Chicken in Roasted Coconut Gravy – Varutharacha Kozhi Curry

Chicken  curry made with coconut  is  creamy and  delicious.   There are  many  different interpretations  to  this  combination  of   chicken , coconut  and  spices , all of them delicious.  Varutharacha  Kozhi curry is  a  little  more  elaborate  than the   regular  chicken  poached  in   coconut  milk .  The  flavors  are complex   definitely  fit  for  company !   Skip to the  video.


Varutharacha Chicken Curry

This is  definitely a mouthwatering  recipe.  The coastal regions of  south India,  especially Kerala  and  the  Kongan  region   features  many recipes    with  roasted  coconut.   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  the  dish .

This  recipe  requires a  little  more   effort  than the   regular  chicken  curry  with  coconut , but  is  absolutely  worth it .  Serve  it  with  Ghee  rice  or Paratha or  Appams   and  it  is  meal   to entertain  with .    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 Chicken Curry

Varutharacha Kohzi Curry

By Syama
This is a  delicious  chicken  curry  made  with  roasted  coconut  and  spices.    This is a  popular  method  of   creating  exotic   flavors  in  the  konkan  region .   This  is  one  chicken  curry  with  complex  mouthwatering  flavors !  Serve with traditional favorites like ghee rice, appam or  lachha paratha. 
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 2 lb Chicken (1 lb)Skinless
  • 1 C Grated Coconut Note 1
  • 1 Inch Fresh Ginger
  • 2- 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 Pearl Onions Small or 1 or 2 shallots
  • 1 Onion Medium
  • 1 Medium Tomato Note 2
  • 4- 5 Green Chili Note 3
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder To taste
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala To Taste
  • 3- 4 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Salt 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.


  1. Substitute 1/2 C dry/desiccated coconut  for  fresh  coconut 
  2. A  1 cm piece  of  tamarind  can be  substituted  for  tomato. 
  3. Leave  the  green  chilies  whole  to reduce  heat. 

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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Varutharacha Chicken Curry
Originally published on Aug , 2016. Updated with pictures.

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