Coconut Chicken Fry

  • Recipe courtesy of Anjum Anand

Total Time:
55 min
25 min
Inactive Prep:
30 min
6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods, whole*
  • 6 cloves, whole
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 12 curry leaves*
  • 3 to 4 whole green chiles
  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut into thin strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2-pounds chicken pieces (drumsticks and thighs), skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • Boiling water
  • 6 1/2-ounces freshly grated coconut
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Small handful chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • *Can be found at specialty Asian markets.


Packed with spices and flavor, this chicken supper dish is surprisingly simple to prepare.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods, and cloves, and fry for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant. Add the onion, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add the curry leaves, chiles, ginger, and garlic, and reduce the heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic has softened. Add the chicken pieces, and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Season the chicken, with salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the garam masala and enough boiling water to reach halfway up the chicken pieces. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to a low heat and simmer the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the lid from the pan, turn the heat up to a high heat, and boil off any excess liquid, stirring continuously.

Once the liquid has almost completely boiled away, add the grated coconut and the lemon juice, and stir well. Cover the pan again and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are tender, and completely cooked through.

Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro.

Cook's Note: Use drumsticks in this recipe to make ideal outdoor party food - the bones will also add maximum flavour to the dish.