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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.


  • 500 g chicken (thigh or breast) pieces 
  • 1/2 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 
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 2 1/2 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 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. 

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