Nadan chicken curry or nadan kohzi is a peppery chicken curry from the Kerala region of India. It’s got all the big South Indian flavours going on. Pepper, green chilies, coconut and curry leaves. Just really tasty.

You see nadan chicken curry on South Indian inspired restaurants. Funkier places. It’s getting more popular. And it’s about time. South Indian cuisine has it going on.

I’m not saying give up on Madras and chicken tikka masala. But I am saying there is more. Way more. And you need to try it.

This is homestyle nadan curry. Traditional. It’s about the caramelization of the onions. That’s always critical in Indian cooking. Take your time doing it. You don’t want them to burn. A nice brown colour. This will take about 20 minutes. But you have to do it. Or it won’t work.

After that it’s easy. Add some garlic and ginger. Spices go in next. Fry that up to bloom the spices. Then it’s just come coconut milk and chicken. Let it simmer until the chicken is done and eat.


Nadan chicken curry or nadan kohzi is an Indian curry with big coconut, spice and green chili flavours.

Nadan chicken curry and rice in a bowl from above.


I don’t really understand why Indian restaurants all insist on being the same. You could pretty much order off one menu in another restaurant. It’s just odd.

Imagine if all Italian restaurants only served 15 dishes. That would suck. And yet Indian restaurants all seem to be following pretty much exactly the same formula. See what I mean?

Makes. No. Sense.

And yet we put up with it. We don’t have to. It’s time to be heard.

Make nadan chicken curry. And then go to your local Indian restaurant and ask them. “Hey! Where’s the nadan kohzi?” See what they say. I’m betting you’ll be seeing it on their menu soon after that.

Bet you didn’t know nadan chicken curry could start a revolution…

Nadan chicken curry in a black bowl from above.

5 from 3 votes
Nadan chicken curry in a bowl with rice.
nadan chicken curry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Servings: 4
Author: romain | glebekitchen
Spice mix
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
Nadan chicken curry
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs - each thigh cut in half
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups red onion - finely diced
  • 3 tbsp garlic ginger paste or equal amounts of garlic and ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 green chilies - coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
Final seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 15-20 fresh curry leaves
Nadan chicken curry
  1. Combine the coriander, kashmiri chili, garam masala, black pepper, turmeric and salt. Set aside.

  2. Place a pot over medium low heat. Add the coconut oil and onion and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are well cooked and starting to turn golden. This takes about 20 minutes. If it takes less your heat is too high.

  3. Add the garlic ginger paste or minced garlic and ginger along with the green chilies. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. 

  4. Stir in the spice mix and continue to stir. Watch that the spices don't burn. Cook for 1 minute.

  5. Add the chicken, chicken stock and coconut milk. Cover and simmer until the chicken is nearly done. About 15 minutes.

  6. Remove the lid and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes. 

  7. Add the final seasoning mixture and serve with rice or Indian flatbread. 

Final seasoning
  1. While the chicken cooks, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. 

  2. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to crackle. 

  3. Mix in the shallots and curry leaves. Cook until the shallots turn brown. 

14 thoughts on “nadan chicken curry

  1. Just made this and its my favourite so far .I was a bit hesitant with the final seasoning because of the curry leaves (i didn’t think I could eat them haha) but it took it to another level ..oh and I was a bit confused where the 4 chillies fitted in (either im blind or they aren’t mentioned )…so i just threw them in with the red onions .. it never affected the taste was superb!!! X

    • Tracey – I’m glad you like it. It is one of my favourites as well. You have caught a mistake on my part (that is now corrected) but it seems you figured it out anyway!

  2. Loved the curry , it’s got to be one of the best , if not the best curry I’ve tasted 10/10 .
    The only problem I had was couldn’t get any fresh curry leaves ,I need to go shopping.
    Of to the curry house tonight and ask for a nadan .

  3. This is the best curry recipe I’ve ever tried. The flavours are awesome. It was worth the effort of finding all the ingredients. A firm favourite in this house.

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