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Chicken Ishtew

Jul 15, 2020

  • Serves: 4

Pala, Kottayam these places are synonymous with Syrian Christian in Kerala. I have had plenty of friends from there who have invited me to their home and hearths and kitchens.

This was one particular trip I had taken to the hinterlands of Kerala to attend the baptism ceremony of one of my friend’s son.

His mom, the child’s grandmother was one of those typical mothers with such warmth and love .The “stew” or the “ishtew” can be made with both chicken and mutton .Here is my version trying to duplicate what she made, of course I couldn’t add so much love and affection but I am sure you can for your loved ones.


  • Chicken -500 gm
  • Big onion (sliced)-1 cup
  • Garlic (chopped) -1 tbsp
  • Green chilly (slitted)-5 to 6 no’s
  • Potato (diced)-1 cup
  • Ginger (chopped)-1 tsp
  • Curry leaf-few sprigs
  • Coriander leaf (chopped)-1 tsp
  •  Pepper powder-1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cinnamon -1”piece
  • Cardamom -2 to 3 no’s
  • Clove- 4 to 5 no’s
  • Coconut milk
    • 1st extracted -1 cup
    • 2nd extracted – 1 cup
  • Coconut oil -4 tbsp
    For garnishing:
  • Shallots (chopped)-1 tbsp


  • Place the cooker on medium flame, once heated add 1 tbsp of coconut oil.
  • Add cinnamon, cardamom, clove.
  • Add sliced onion, slit green chilies and sauté it.
  • Add chopped ginger, garlic and sauté it, till onions turn translucent.
  • Add diced potatoes, mix well.
  • Add chicken, mix it.
  • Close it with lid, cook for 1 or 2 whistles or till the chicken is done.
  • Place cooker back on medium flame.
  • Add 2nd extracted coconut milk.
  • Mash the potatoes to thicken gravy, let it boil.
  • Once boiled, reduce to low flame, add 1st extracted coconut milk and mix well.
  • Add black pepper powder, curry leaves.
  • Sauté shallots or small onions in a pan, once sautéed add to the gravy that is slightly bubbling.
  • Finish it by adding chopped coriander leaves.
    Pro’s tip:
  • Chicken stew tastes delicious when served with ghee rice or appam.
  • Never allow the gravy to boil in high flame ,once the 1st extract of coconut milk is added.

In this Recipe

Video Recipe

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