Chicken Kulambu


  • Chicken 500g (1 lb) cut into small pieces
  • garlic 6 cloves, crushed
  • ginger 2 inch piece, crushed
  • turmeric powder 1 tsp
  • coconut – 3/4 cup
  • pepper 3/4 tsp
  • fennel seeds (sombu) 1/2 tsp (for grinding with coconut)
  • cumin seeds (jeera) 1 tsp
  • fennel seeds (sombu) 1 tsp
  • cinnamon 1″
  • cardamom 4
  • cloves 4
  • chili powder 2 tsp
  • coriander powder 2.5 tsp
  • Pearl onions – 1 cup, cut into big pieces
  • Pearl onions – 1/4 cup, cut into thin, small pieces
  • tomato 1/2 cup – cut into fine pieces
  • curry leaves 1/2 cup


o Grind coconut with pepper, fennel (1/2 tsp), cumin into fine paste with adequate water


  1. Boil 6 cups of water in a pot
  2. Add the chicken, the pearl onions that were chopped into big pieces, tomatoes, turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, little bit of salt, half the crushed ginger
  3. Cook in medium flame till the chicken is cooked; about 10 minutes
  4. Add the rest of the crushed ginger and the rest of the salt
  5. Add the ground coconut-pepper-fennel-cumin paste
  6. Once the gravy starts to boil add the garnish (look below for garnish) and turn off the stove
    • Garnish:
      • Heat 6 tsp of oil in a pan (use half cooking oil and half sesame seed oil for better taste)
      • Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, crushed fennel seeds, half the curry leaves to the oil and let it splutter
      • Add the finely chopped pearl onions and try till they start to turn light brown
      • Add the crushed garlic and rest of the curry leaves and pour into the gravy
  7. Once garnished boil the gravy for 2 minutes and then turn off the stove

Note: This dish goes well with rice, idly, dosa, Puri, chappathi, biriyani

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