My Kitchen Antics: Kerala Kozhi peralan


There are loads of ways to do the quintessential Kerala chicken peralan (a semi gravy of sorts), but i find this method the easiest. Sure its not a one pot prep, but a really quick one with the aid of pressure cooker. 

Serves 2 as part of main meal (Recipe loosely adapted from The Suriani Kitchen by Lathika George)

Chicken- 500 gms (Bone in pieces. Here I’ve used chicken thighs)

To marinate

Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder- 1/2 tbsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp

Ginger garlic paste- 1/2 tsp

Lime juice- 1/2 tsp

Salt- to taste

Curry leaves- a sprig

Oil- 2 tbsp

Curry leaves- a sprig

Onion- 1 medium, finely chopped

Garlic- 4 pods, finely chopped

Tomato- 1 small, finely chopped

Thick coconut milk- 1/4 cup

Garam masala- 1/4 tsp

Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp


Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients under the marinate section for about half an hour.

When ready to cook, transfer to a pressure cooker , add a sprig of curry leaves and 1/2 cup water and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes. 

You basically pre-cook the chicken till done (its also OK if its not completely cooked, as you can finish off the cooking in the next few steps, but it would help cut down on time significantly if the chicken is fully cooked).

Open the cooker lid once the pressure has released and keep aside. There should be about 1/2+ cup of gravy in the cooker. 

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the curry leaves for a couple of seconds.

Into it add the onion and garlic and continue cooking till the onion has wilted and turns golden brown.

Toss in the tomato and cook till the oils start to surface.

Pour in the gravy from the chicken along with the coconut milk and bring to a good boil. If you do think the gravy is too much, then cook to almost 1/2 a cup and then only add the chicken.

Once it becomes thick, like it coats the back of a spoon consistency, add the cooked chicken and mix it all well. 

Cook for a further 5 to 7 minutes, or till the gravy completely coats the chicken pieces. Keep doing this on medium heat without the gravy getting burnt or stuck to the base of the pan. If you feel the chicken hasn’t been completely cooked in the pressure cooker, then of course keep cooking till its done at this point.

Sprinkle the garam masala and freshly ground black pepper, give one final stir, and take it off the heat.

Cover and keep till ready to serve.


Notes: You can of course do the entire prep in the frying pan without precooking the chicken. Add the chicken after the tomato along cook till done. Then add the coconut milk and cook till the you get the semi gravy consistency. 

This dish doesn’t have a lot of gravy and so best had with a gravy accompaniment.

That said, if you did want a little more gravy, then don’t dry off almost all of the liquid, but keep enough to use as gravy. You can add more coconut milk also to get a thick gravy.

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