Now, you might be tempted to think that Varutharacha Kozhi Curry is spin-off of the Chettinad Chicken Curry version because both the recipes involve dry roasting spices along with coconut. But, despite the striking similarities, these two dishes originate from two different states of India. Chettinad cuisine has its roots in Tamil Nadu whereas the former chicken recipe is authentic to the Kerala cuisine. The Varutharacha Chicken Curry is more subtle in flavour and the recipe requires fewer ingredients.

Give this chicken curry recipe a shot! It’s totally drool worthy.

Varutharacha Kozhi Curry is reminiscent of the good-old days, those days when grandmothers would dart into the kitchen, at the sound of greatly loved family members at the doorstep to prepare special kozhi curry, only to run to their trusted grinding stone resting in that corner of the kitchen. The latter would have fondly witnessed the grandmother walk into the house, decades ago, as a newly married young woman and this camaraderie would continue till the grandmother’s frail hands can no longer caress the coconut pastes with the heavy stone roller. The kids at home would scamper to the dark musty storeroom to hand-pick that perfect coconut. The heavenly smell of roasted coconut mixed with the spices would softly waft into every neighbour’s home like an uninvited yet beloved guest. Moments later, that happy little pudgy legged chicken that was frolicking in the backyard would turn into a delightful feast for the guests at home. This chicken curry was then, a very extravagant affair laced with fine memories of abundant love.

Chef Suresh recreates this magic in this kitchen in his version of Varutharacha Chicken Curry. Pair it with Idiyappam or Appam and the combination is simply irresistible.

Ingredients for Roasting and Grinding:

  • Grated Coconut
  • Chilly Powder
  • Coriander Seeds (or Coriander Powder)
  • Pepper Corns
  • Garam Masala


Dry Roast the ingredients listed above on low heat and grind to a fine, smooth paste
Fry onions (you can use shallots for extra flavour) till golden brown on medium heat
Add thinly sliced coconut pieces (thenga kothu) as well as finely chopped tomatoes
Add the cleaned chicken and then the masala paste. Add salt to taste
Add water to the gravy as per requirement
Cook till the gravy thickens and the chicken is well cooked
Garnish with fried curry leaves and dry red chillies.
Please note: You can also coat the coconut pieces with turmeric and salt and then fry it lightly before adding it to the curry.
You can add ginger and garlic for extra flavour. But adding too much of the same will overpower the delicate flavour of the ground spices.

About the Author:

Chef Suresh Pillai, from Kollam, went on to create history when he became one of the very few Indians to participate in the globally acclaimed TV show— ‘Masterchef: The Professionals’. Suresh Pillai is as passionate and proud about his humble roots as much the culinary journey, spanning over decades, that eventually catapulted him to the pinnacle of fame when he cooked Kerala’s very own ‘Meen Curry’ on the Masterchef show. Not only did Suresh win the hearts of Malayalis across the globe but also the novel presentation of the traditional South Indian dish piqued the interest of a global audience. Suresh’s culinary talent coupled with love for authentic simplicity of dishes and subtle flavours had taken him from his hometown in Kollam to working in some of the most renowned kitchens across the globe before returning to Kerala to fondly don the cap of Corporate Head and Exec Chef at The Raviz Ashtamudi Resort with the vision of promoting Kerala cuisine across the globe.