Ultimate Guide to Chicken Roast Kerala Style with Coconut Sauce

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine the aromatic spices of Southern India wafting through your kitchen as you prepare a traditional Kerala-style chicken roast. This dish, beloved in the coastal state of Kerala, is a symphony of flavors, featuring spices like cardamom, cloves, and black pepper that dance together in a rich, fiery blend. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience that transports you straight to the lush landscapes of Kerala with every bite.


Prepare to infuse your kitchen with the intoxicating aromas of Kerala using these carefully selected ingredients, which will help you replicate the fiery yet aromatic flavors of a traditional Kerala-style chicken roast.

For the Marinade

  • 1 kg Chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil

For the Coconut Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 large Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Green chilies, sliced
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • 3 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh coriander, chopped, for garnish
  • Coconut slices, toasted, for garnish

Required Tools and Equipment

To successfully prepare Kerala-style chicken roast, having the right tools and equipment is essential. This ensures your cooking process is smooth and your chicken roasts to perfection. You’ll need a few basic kitchen items, some of which may already be in your possession. Below is a detailed list and how to utilize each tool effectively.

Cooking Utensils

  • Heavy-Bottomed Skillet or Deep-Frying Pan: Opt for one that has a lid. This is critical for frying the spices and chicken, allowing them to cook thoroughly while retaining moisture.
  • Marinating Bowl: You’ll need a large bowl to marinate the chicken. Glass or stainless steel bowls are preferred as they don’t react with the spices.
  • Stirring Spoon: A long-handled wooden or high-heat resistant spoon is ideal to handle the heat and prevent any reaction with the spices.

Measurement Tools

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key in flavor balance, especially with potent spices. Use these to measure out your ingredients accurately.
  • Kitchen Scale: If you prefer using weight measurements, particularly for the chicken, a kitchen scale will be useful.

Other Tools

  • Cutting Board and Knife: For preparing the onions, tomatoes, and any other vegetables or garnishes like coriobcoriander and toasted coconut slices. Ensure your knife is sharp to make prep work easier and safer.
  • Blender or Food Processor: Useful for making a smooth paste of the tomatoes and onions, if you prefer a finer texture in your sauce.
  • Splatter Screen (optional): If you want to minimize the mess while frying, a splatter screen is helpful.

Preparation Steps

Now that you have your essential tools ready, let’s dive into the preparation of the Kerala-style chicken roast. Follow these steps to ensure your chicken is flavorful and perfectly roasted.

Cleaning and Marinating the Chicken

  1. Start by cleaning the chicken. Rinse the chicken pieces under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Prepare the marinade by blending fresh ginger, garlic, green chilies, and a handful of curry leaves into a smooth paste. Enhance the paste by adding turmeric, red chili powder, black pepper, and salt to taste. Include a spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice to help tenderize the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the marinade over them. Using your hands, ensure each piece is well-coated with the marinade.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for more depth of flavor.

Preparing the Aromatics and Spices

  1. While the chicken marinates, prepare the other ingredients needed for roasting. Thinly slice two large onions, mince a few garlic cloves, and slit two green chilies.
  2. Gather spices such as mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and a few more curry leaves. These will add the authentic flavor typical of Kerala cuisine.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop.
  4. Add the fenugreek seeds, followed by the sliced onions, minced garlic, and slit green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown, which will take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Crush a handful of curry leaves and stir them into the skillet. This step infuses the oil with a rich aroma and flavor, setting the base for your chicken roast.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your chicken is marinated and ready to go, let’s get cooking! Follow these steps carefully to ensure your Kerala-style chicken roast turns out perfectly.

Roasting the Chicken

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
  2. Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes. This ensures even cooking.
  3. Place the chicken on a roasting pan or a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  4. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the skin turns golden brown and the juices run clear. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
  5. Once done, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat, making it moist and flavorful.

Making the Coconut Sauce

  1. While the chicken is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of sliced ginger, cooking for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of coriander powder, and 1 teaspoon of red chili powder to the skillet, stirring well to combine with the onions and garlic.
  5. Pour in 1 cup of thick coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water, bringing the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  6. Allow the sauce to cook and reduce slightly for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasoning with salt to taste.
  7. Finally, once the chicken is rested and carved, arrange it on a platter and pour the prepared sauce over the chicken, garnishing with fresh curry leaves and slices of red chili for an authentic Kerala flair.

This combination of juicy roasted chicken with a richly spiced coconut sauce guarantees a delicious meal, imbued with the unique tastes of Kerala.

Assembly and Garnishing

After your chicken has reached a perfect golden brown and the rich coconut sauce is brimming with flavor, it’s time to bring your Kerala-style chicken roast together with finesse.

Place the Chicken

Start by carefully removing the roasted chicken from the oven. Use a large serving platter to showcase your dish. Arrange the chicken pieces neatly on the platter, ensuring each piece is visible and attractively presented.

Add the Coconut Sauce

Slowly pour the aromatic coconut sauce over the roasted chicken, making sure to cover each piece evenly. The sauce should be hot and fragrant, enveloping the chicken in its creamy texture and rich spices.


For the final touch, garnish your dish with freshly chopped cilantro and fried curry leaves to enhance the flavor and add a splash of color. This not only adds a layer of texture but also infuses an additional burst of freshness to the dish. Optionally, sprinkle some thinly sliced red onions or a few lemon wedges around the platter for extra zest and visual appeal.

Serve your Kerala-style chicken roast immediately while it’s hot and the flavors are at their peak. Enjoy the blend of spices, the tenderness of the chicken, and the creamy richness of the coconut sauce all in one bite.

Serving Suggestions

After carefully preparing and assembling your Kerala-style chicken roast, pairing it with the perfect sides and presentation can elevate this delicious meal into a truly memorable dining experience. Here are some tips on how to best serve this flavorful dish.


Choose sides that complement the rich flavors of the chicken roast. Simple steamed basmati or jeera rice works beautifully by balancing the spices without overwhelming the palate. For a more traditional approach, serve with fluffy appams or ghee-laden parathas to soak up the creamy coconut sauce. Include a side of tangy pickles and a fresh cucumber salad for a refreshing contrast.


Presentation is key in transforming a regular meal into a feast for the eyes. Lay the roasted chicken pieces neatly on a large platter. Drizzle the aromatic coconut sauce generously over the chicken to ensure every piece is enveloped in its rich flavor. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the top for a burst of color and freshness. If desired, garnish with fried curry leaves, which add a crispy texture and a hint of unique flavor.

Additional Tips

For an extra touch of elegance, consider adding lemon wedges around the platter. The citrus adds a bright note that guests can use to adjust the flavor to their taste. Sliced red onions on the side can offer a crisp, sharp bite that complements the dish beautifully.

Serve this delightful Kerala-style chicken roast warm to ensure your guests enjoy the full spectrum of flavors and textures that this dish has to offer.


So now you’re all set to dazzle your guests with a delectable Kerala-style chicken roast that’s sure to impress. Remember the joy is in the details—from the marination to the presentation. Embrace the process and watch as your kitchen fills with the aroma of spices and roasted chicken. Don’t forget to serve it warm and enjoy each bite of this flavorful delight. Happy cooking!

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