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This Indian Jewish Chicken Dish Is Delightfully Easy to Make

A flavorsome, deceptively simple chicken dinner.

Jews from Cochin cook this dish regularly. It’s surprisingly simple to make, but filled with flavor. Serve it hot over rice or with chapati (whole-grain flatbread).

Reprinted with permission from “Bene Appetit: The Cuisine of Indian Jews” by Esther David. Copyright @Esther David 2021. Published by HarperCollins India, 2021.

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South Indian Coconut Chicken Curry

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5 from 1 review

A flavorful chicken dish from the Jews of Cochin.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x


Units Scale
  • 500 g chicken (thigh or breast) pieces
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • salt, to taste


  1. Wash chicken pieces and set them aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add onions and fry until they turn brown.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves and green chilies, stir and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the chicken pieces, coconut milk, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, salt and water and cook on a low heat until the chicken is tender. 
  • Author: Esther David
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Holiday


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

  • Jill

    I’m going to make this replacing chicken with crisped tofu xoxo

  • Bubbiesusu

    This dish is delicious. I halved the recipe to serve for two. The sauce initially tastes sweet and finishes with a delightful bite from the chili pepper. The only thing I would say is that the ginger and garlic paste are not included in the steps. I added them with the coconut milk, etc. Just before serving, I’ll add the cod and cook it in the sauce.

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