Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chicken Roast With A Kuttanadan Touch !

I still remember how those fragile, wrinkled and shriveled hands reached out to me from the crowd, on the day of our wedding and how her eyes welled up with tears of joy, looking at me and CJJ as a couple and how she kept telling that she would include us in her daily prayers………the warmth and comfort I felt when she held my hands in hers, was quite re-assuring for some reason…….I don’t know why………but after that day, it took us 2 years before I could really spend some quality time with her…..all those days, whenever CJJ used to wax nostalgically about the days he spent with her…how she used to feed him… scrumptious her food was, somewhere I was missing my grandma……and the fact that both of them shared the same name and hailed from neighboring towns, somehow made me more close to her …….

On our vacation in Kerala last year, we were lucky to have CJJ’s grandma at his place…….and whenever we were there at his place, we kick-started our day, saying good morning to her, with a cup glass of tea and then listening to the myriad of stories she had to share …..her school days…..the books she read……what amazed me was her memory power even at the age of 80’s………and the clarity and diction with which she used the English words……..and it did crack me up when she proudly said, she was using a blender from ‘Braun’!! She used to blush with embarrassment when CJJ used to tease her for some silly reasons…… Her face used to beam up when she found me talking about cooking ……and the relief on her face when I came wearing a Salwar Kurta, to go to church.....I am sure she was anxious that I would wear some modern outfit to their very orthodox church.
When our mothers were glued to television watching those soap serials, she was more interested in watching the news and getting updated on the local political scenario! Though a very fragile woman, she does not like to stay with her children…she likes staying on her own, sitting by her window, enjoying a glass of tea in early mornings, listening to the radio and then slowly starting the day with her prayers …….. she has a routine of her own…..and the only thing she demands from us is 2 days from our next vacation, to stay with her at her place, so she can cook and feed us and then show around the neighborhood in Kuttanadu!

Yes, I do want to stay with her…..listen to her stories…..taste her food and ofcourse enjoy the natural beauty of Kuttandau, "the rice bowl of Kerala", a place near Alappuzha and as I have already mentioned in one of my posts, I have never been to Kuttanadu, and from what I have gathered from CJJ’s vivid descriptions, this place is laced with palm fringed canals and small rivers… lush green paddy fields……locals traversing in small country boats……. men herding a flock of ducks and the tail wagging and quacking of ducks !! It’s not just my husband who makes me go crazy with all these details… it is as though, my brothers-in law have also taken their vows to tickle my imagination….when one claims that it is heaven, then the other goes one step ahead and sends me the picture of mouth-watering duck roast their grandma makes!! I had no other option but to call her up and learn to make the chicken roast…..and I was quite surprised to learn that her famous chicken and duck roast is made with very few ingredients. I had to double check with her if there was no need to add coriander powder, chili powder and tomatoes which is generally used in chicken roast preparations, which are either curried and then pan seared or deep fried and then roasted but this preparation is based on grandma’s recipe! I have already blogged her Pepper Fish Fry, here’s another one!

Step 1: Ingredients to marinate chicken:-
  • 1 ½ lb chicken cut into small pieces (Around ½ to ¾ kg)
  • 3 ½ tbsp Masala Powder* (Recipe follows)
  • 1 ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1tsp vinegar
  • 3 finely chopped green chilies
  • 2tbsp Oil, preferably coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp water
Step 2: Ingredients to roast the chicken:-
  • 2 cups thinly sliced small red pearl onions/shallots
  • ¼ cup finely chopped ginger
  • ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1 sprig coarsely chopped curry leaves + 2 sprigs
  • ¼ tsp Masala Powder* (Recipe Follows)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • Wash and cut the chicken into small bite size pieces with slits on the flesh. Make a paste with masala powder, pepper powder, turmeric, vinegar, green chilies and salt with 1-2 tsp water and marinate the chicken well and leave for 30 minutes in the room temperature. This helps the marinade to penetrate into the meat.
  • Heat oil in a large pan and sauté small onions until they turn transparent and then add green chilies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook until they are soft. At this stage add the chicken and sprinkle 1-2 tbsp water and cook for around 20 minutes in low heat or until the raw smell goes. Transfer this chicken masala to a pressure cooker and I generally wait for 3-4 whistles.
  • When steam goes and cooker cools down, transfer the pressure cooked chicken with the gravy, back to the large pan and in medium heat, bring it to a boil. There is no need to add more oil at this stage. Sprinkle ¼ tsp masala powder ( to get the aroma of the spices) and adjust the salt and generously use 2 long sprigs of curry leaves and then reduce the heat to low and let the slow cooking begin. Keep stirring, until the gravy is well coated with the chicken and completely dry, making sure that the gravy does not stick to the bottom. This slow-cook-dry-process will take 15-30 minutes depending on the amount of the gravy. Serve hot with rice/Chappathi/Appam.

*To Make the Masala Powder: - (Approx. measurement shown in the picture)
  • ¼ cup fennel seeds/perinjeerakam
  • 12-15 cinnamon/karugapatta
  • 8-10 cloves/grambu
  • 2 cardamom/Elakkaya
How to: Grind all the ingredients together until it becomes a fine powder. Use sparingly as per the measurement listed in the recipe. There is no need to roast the the masala powder before marinating the chicken.

Note: The taste of this dish mainly depends on the masala powder used and also on the fresh ingredients. Hence, to get the authentic taste, it is better to stick on to the masala powder recipe given above and also stay away from using big onion instead of small onions and store bought ginger-garlic paste instead of finely chopped fresh ginger and garlic. Also there is no need to add tomato. I have personally tried out all these variations and alternatives, but it does not come anywhere near the original recipe. So trust me!

Verdict: Husband does the ‘taste-test’ and comments (or recommends?),” hmmm…….it has the authentic taste……A ‘naadan’ taste……” He takes one more bite and tells the wife, “…mm…really good…..hey, why don’t you blog this?”!!!! Should I add anything more than this?:)

For more of grandma's Kuttanadan recipes, CLICK HERE.


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.


  1. Wow! Adipoli..The colour of ur Roast tells the taste of ur dish..njandu tharumbol ethum tharaneeeeee..I will try this this week it self..No words to explain the beauty of ur picture...Kuttandan specials ellam portte..

  2. Ayoo oru karyam marannu...ehrayum nalla karide koode entha vella chore...Nalla matta rice use cheyyuuuuu

  3. Grandmoms are special!Nice post here makes me want to meet ur g'ma!

  4. Your post bings out such nostalgic moments!! :) Its truely beautiful. :)

  5. Hi Shn...
    I guess you forgot to mention the measurements for small onions and ginger and garlic...

  6. ~sigh~ grand ma's are always special and i feel blessed to have one:) like ur granny even my grandma likes to read and watch news rather than some soaps... i cam almost visualise Kuttanadu my ur explaination shn...beautiful post as usual... made me nostaligic...

  7. Lovely posts, Shn. I clicked back to read about your grandma, too. Thank goodness for the meals that keep our loved ones close wherever they are.

  8. Shn lovely..!!!i'm sure me & my family r gonna love it ..a must try..husband always insists on nadan taste ..he'z gonna love this ..ur glss pintings r excellent u still do them post more pics of them as well..

  9. Such a nostalgic post. Next time when you go to Kerala you should take these posts in print form to show CJJ's grand ma.

    I loved this chicken fry, going to try this sans the c. oil, soon

  10. I felt like I was in Kerala by your grandma!!:)) Great memories shn.That chicken looks so delicious.I love the presentation and love you too:)

  11. You write so well...Shn. Thanks for sharing your treasured memories with us all.
    I love the way you presented the dish...too lovely.


  12. woh!!! an amazing trip down the memory lane. Its always wonderful to read something like and as for the recipe, its absolutely delicious!!

  13. your post took me back to my grandma too!

  14. Shn, that chicken roast is so delicious and since it is grandma's it is that much more special. I am cooking this soon.

  15. It's soooo nostalgic. Feel like experiencing the beauty of kuttanad and then hoping for an invite from CJJ's grandma to taste that authentic taste..hmmm... :D

  16. your presentations are always so amazing. I can see your beautiful efforts in presenting a recipe and the write ups on them. lovely!!

  17. beautifully written about grand mom's and kerala, I have to go visit " God's own place" sometime during my next visit.

  18. As always, Shn, your stories are as much a delight as your recipes. Thank you for taking the time to share :)

  19. mishy, when i read this post i knew that i had to try it. whole day i was dreaming about it. i made it tonight and we had it with dosa.

    this came out superb!!!!!! adipoli!!!!!! thanks for this yummiest chicken. CJJ's grandma is a lovely and wonderfu person.

    about the recipe: i didn't know if masala had to be roasted or not. i anyways roasted it.

  20. Nicely roasted,tempts me soo much..
    Zuccini thoran looks very good..hope it tates the same as well..
    Excellent presentation!..

  21. That looks so great, Shn! Wish I could have some!

  22. What a wonderful recipe! I will surely try this and report it back to you about the result.

  23. mm..another favourite dish of mine..i always believe the best dishes in kerala come from kuttanad and kottayam...

    am a bit relieved and little less envious seeing the snaps this time as i was devouring food like anythin during my vacation..this time I can bear to admire the snap without actually drooling!! ;-P

  24. The chicken looks delicious...coming from a grandma, that must taste really heavenly...

  25. I love your food
    I love your pictures
    I love your stories
    I love your memories
    I love, love, love it all.

  26. There is something special about grandma's cooking ain't it? :)

  27. grandmoms are special... i love the details. Next time you are there, take some pictures to share with us. and that chicken roast...absolutely incredible. wow...

  28. This is a heartfelt post; I really enjoyed reading it. Food is so much more special when it's connected to people we care about.

  29. SHn, Lovely post & delicious recipe :-) Thx. Would love to prepare this dish, Have a question though-

    1. Did u use up all the masala powder u prepared from the ingredients shown in preparing the dish ???

    2. Approximately how much ginger & how many cloves of garlic did u have to use here??


  30. Kitchenfairy,njandu aadyam enikku thaa, ennittu njan roast tharam :) hmm..try cheythu nokku...I feel you will like it :) matta rice eviduthe indian store-l kittilla....athondalle vella choru kazhikkunne....pakshe eppo ethu sheelam aayi ketto :)

    A Little light, I will tell her that she has got some fans out here :)

    Coffee, Thank you dear sweetie :)

    Rashmi, dont know how to thank you for pointing out that...I did not notice that I forgot to paste one whole paragraph itself. Thanks a ton :)

    Sia,none of my grand parents are alive now and this grandma from CJJ's side is the only one left for both of us now.

    Susan,hmm...I miss my grandma a lot...but after making that post on her, I feel quite relieved these's as though I let all my emotions out!!

    Deena, try and let me know for sure how it came out. Well, I have not done any glass paintings for almost 2 yrs now! Under the clutches of laziness :)

    Sandeepa, After reading this post, my mother was also wondering if she could read all this! I was thinking of sending her the pics....anyway, you try out and let me know , you can use olive oil or vegetable oil instead of coco.oil. There is not going to be much of difference since the amount of oil used is very less.

    Asha,hehhe...thank you so much. I will pass on your comments to our granny :)

    Trupti, thanks for the appreciation .....I just jotted down my thoughts...:)

    Padmaja, glad you liked the post..hope you try the recipe too :)

    Nanditha, :)

    Indosungod, hope you like this preparation, pls do let me know once you try out. A warm welcome to Mishmash!

    Pravs, guess what she will be the happiest person to have you over...she loves to entertain and will be quite happy if she finds out that you are an excellent cook :)

    Sharmi, thank you dear.....very few things which I really enjoy :)

    Gini, :)

    Sreelu, there are people who question the usage,"god's own country" but I strongly agree when I think of all its natural beauty :)

    Linda, I should thanks you for taking time to read through my sentimental knapsack :)

    Reena, Girl trust me, I couldnt believe myself when I read your comment...really, that was quite a fast move dear :) Very happy that you liked this preparation and as I had already written for you, there is no need to roast the masala. I have edited the post too. Thanks :)

    Bharathy & Sra thank you girlssss :)

    Anh, you might want to reduce the use of green it might be a bit hot for you. Hope you like our kinda preparation. Thanks for dropping by. A warm welcome to Mishmash!

    Mathew, so nice to have you back, young man :) hmm..I know you wont have that depressing cravings for some time now :)

    Sunita, why dont you try this might like it :)

    Cynthia, guggling and blushing...:))))

    Jyothsna, yes, there is :)

    Mandira, sure, I will get some pics of Kuttanad.Meanwhile you try and taste the recipe :)

    Susan, thank you hon ...glad you liked the post:)

    Aruna,thank you! Well, the measurements listed in the recipe will get you around 5tbsp of masala powder and after cooking this dish,may be around 1tbsp will be left, which I usually store it in an airtight container and use it for any chicken preparations instead of garam masala..Number of cloves and ginger might be confusing depending on the size of the cloves...thats the reason why I gave 1/4 cup of each....I think , if the cloves are small, may be one full pod is required...better to stick on to the measurement cup, if you are not very sure .Hope it comes out well for you. Let me know for sure and incase you have more doubts, pls feel free to ask me :)


  31. Kuttanadan chicken roast, name itself makes me drool.... and that picture, shn you are a whiz... I am making this soon for sure... Loved reading abt your grandma-in-law..

  32. Shn thanks so much for this treasured recipes.Loved its simplicity.Ammamayedu parayanum ketto nammalude blogworldil ammama oru celebrity annanu;)

  33. hi Shn..can i add u in my blogroll?>

  34. WOW wat a great feast....Grogeous plate..Love them all..excellent pictures...

  35. shn, hope your grandma-in-law can read this. it will warm her heart. great post.

  36. although i dont eat chicken ..your plating looks great ...Nice pics....

  37. Adipoli....yummy yummy and mouthwatering ..

  38. What great pictures I bet this tasted very nice :)

  39. when u transfered the chick to the pressure cooker, did u add water and if so how much water did u add. thanks & bye.

  40. WOW........Nice presentation with nice dish.
    Great work.:))

  41. shn, this sounds delicious, and the photographs are so beautiful! you could be a food stylist! ;]

  42. Shn, sorry I posted my msg in the pepper fish post, soory, could u please cut & paste it here???? Sorry!!!

  43. Shn, Thx for stopping by my blog, Loveeeedddd ur dish, I prepared it yday & it was delicious, tho I didnt add as much as ginger & garlic as u mentioned the end result was very tasty. Looking forward to many more recipes like this from u.....Thx Shn.

  44. Wow, it's great to be back! I love how you arranged the tomatoes, hee hee! I haven't been cooking for a month so will have to relearn everything!

  45. Wow! What a wonderful presentation! After reading yr post, I'm longing to visit Kuttanadu too :)This chicken roast sounds quite different. I'll try this out for sure and let you know. Thanks to you and yr grandma for sharing such a wonderful naadan recipe with us all.


  46. yesterday i tried this recipie.but i didnt get the dark brown colour as in your dis due to adding more oiland mine was very dry also

  47. Sig, thanks dear...why dont you try this out? :)

    Sumitha, pinnillathe....ammachi-kku bayankara santhoshavum...I am yet to talk to her!

    Deena, I guess you already did :)

    Sukanya, thank you so much :)

    Bee, thanks! I will send all your regards to her, she will be too happy to receive all the comments...:)

    Deepa, Thanks :)

    Prajusha, thank you and try and see if you like this preparation :)

    Jeena, it does taste good...try it for yourself :)

    Anonymous, there is no need to add water when you transfer chicken to the pressure cooker as chicken is moist enough to release some water in the first 20 minutes of cooking and so gravy is already formed before moving it to the pressure cooker.Make sure that first 20 mts cooking is in low heat

    kajal, Thank you :)

    Cinderelly, thanks dear...:)

    Aruna, glad that you and your family enjoyed this preparaption. I will pass on your comment to our grandma too :)

    Shilpa, thanks :) Nice to have you back :)

    Rg, yes, please try and let me know how it turned out. Nice to see you commenting once in a while :)

    Chinni, Thanks :)

    Priya, this is a very very dry roast you have roast it till all the gravy coats the meat well and by the end of this process only you will be able to get the dark colour.Wonder if masala was enough for the amount of chicken you cooked!


  48. I am a regular visitor of your site and your posts are simply superb.What a great feast for us!!!!I tried this today and it came out really good. I didn't get the real dark brown color though.. Still it tasted yummy.. Please keep posting more recipes.

  49. Dear Mishmash! I tried this recipe and it came out well...But I took only less shallot .So it looks little different from urs..Aroma from the dish was super...Got that exact Naadan taste..My hubby's special Congrats to UUUUUU..Thank u very very very much for posting such super recipes...

  50. Tried chicken roast today...fell for the kuttanadan taste. When i opened the pressure cooker, the aroma was so good.

  51. Made chicken roast for lunch today..turned out quite well. shall post pics in my blog soon..

  52. Shilpa, Kitchenfairy, Pravs & Rachel...thanks a lot for coming back with feedbacks. I am so glad to know that your families enjoyed this dish. Thanks again, it means a lot to get such comments :)


  53. tried ur kuttanadan chicken roast today. came out very well. was a bit hesitant to add the mentioned quantity of masala powder. but was really tasty..thanks for the recipe.

  54. I just tried this dish today and it was AWESOME! I want to hug your grandma!(My husband's grandma is as sweet as her... Your story reminded me of her!) Thanks for this lovely dish and hope to try a few more of ur dishes! :)

  55. Hey there,

    Have been looking at ur site for about 15 mins now, and one recipe of urs leads me to yet another one..From ur desserts, to cakes to biryani to all kerala dishes, i think they are all awesome..

  56. hy i tried this roast yesterday , made some slight was very tasty. thanku for sharing

  57. This really looks good, and i am sure it will taste fantastic. Got to try this recipe.

  58. Hi! I just made this dish yesterday and was a bit hesistant since I always add coriander to meat. But there was no need! It turned out very delicious-thank you!!

  59. Amazing !!! I've been an avid reader of your blog ..... started when I was looking for the perfect
    "christmas cake" ..... since then i'm hooked ....

    keep em' receipes comin :-)

  60. Hi,

    I tried this receipe.. The chicken tasted very Yummy.. But i didnot get the same color as shown in picture. What should i do get that brown color?

  61. Hi shn,
    The recipe was simply awesome!!too gooood. yummmy:)..
    well.. this was my first experiment with chicken and it was greatly sucessful so i am on a cooking spree now.
    Thank u and keep up the good work.

  62. hi

    I have a doubt.wont the chicken be over cooked crumble by cooking for 20 min and then pressure cooking it for 3 whistles ,or have i understood it wrong.


  63. Ann, Anonymous 1, Remya, Anonymous 2, and Anonymous 3, Ajitha & Rashmi, Thanks for your feedbacks.....its nice to know that recipe worked out for you and you liked its taste too....thanks so much for coming back with a response...btw, if you could leave the names here, I could ve avoided this Anon 1, 2, 3 :)

    Maya, Thanks for your kind try and let me know....:)

    Mycomfort food, thanks :)

    Radhu, You re absolutely right provided u use the chicken (boneless breasts) from the american stores. The method I mentioned is for the ones we get back in Kerala and also the chicken (with bones) we get from the halal meat stores. Use your judgment when it comes to such details. Hope you like the dish:)


  64. hiii,

    Thanks a lot for the prompt reply.Its just i am very new to cooking have lots of doubts which might sound silly but cant help it.Ya i am using bonless chicken so i guess i will avoid the pressure cooker part and stick with rest of the recipie.

  65. radhu, I have been feel free to ask me any doubts u have, will try to answer if possible...yeah avoid pressure cooking.....

  66. hii

    i tried it and it came out great.It is supposed to be for dinner but i am already having it with chapathy . :))

    Planning to try ur chicken biriyani this week.

  67. Oh shn,i started preparing this and was going thru the comments.only when i reached the last comment did i see that there is no need to pressure cook the chicken which we buy from US.just then i heard my pressure cooker giving the first whistle.i turned it off and was a bit disappointed.but it came out very well. it was well cooked and smelled wonderful when i 'varatified' it :).excellent just waiting for my husband to come home for lunch :) kudos to u n ur grandma

  68. Hi Mishmash,

    Tried your recipe yesterday and it came out well.It was really yummy!Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe.

    Manju Nair

  69. hi mish..i tried this one was really tasty but i didnt get the colour as yours..;-(

  70. Do we have to pressure cook? Can I continue cooking in the same pan until dry(adding water if necessary)? I usually don't cook my chicken in pressure cooker. So I was wondering if I can do the same for this one too?

  71. Will U get this colour even though u are not adding any chilli powder or corriander powder. And about the masala powder ..the quantities of each spice mentioned .Will it be over powering.Thought i would clear it out before trying.

  72. Lovely blog Mish and your recipes are to die for. Love trying out your recipes.

  73. Thulasy Mary ElizabethAugust 14, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    I tried your Kuttanadan Style Chicken Roast.I used Onion instead of Chuvannully and as you said there is taste difference due to that.Anyway I am trying your receipes- simple ones, once in while but regulary visits your blog.Please do keep on blogging with wonderful receipes.

  74. Hi

    I am a regular visitor to your blog and love reading your posts. You really have a way with words. Love your recipes, though I have tried just one of them, the chicken roast, which is a great recipe. I am writing down all your recipes for future reference, in case you turn you blog into a personal blog and we won't be able to access it anymore. Thanks a lot for taking the time and effort to blog about such wonderful recipes. Keep up the good work.


  75. Do we need to cook the chicken in pressure cooker till 3- 4 whistles, will it be all mashed up,this chicken used is broiler or country grown?


  76. I too have the same question as above poster. Wouldn't 3-4 whistles in cooker after 20 mins of already being in stove turn broiler chicken mushy. The last time I tried this, I loved it, but my hubby felt that the masala was a bit too much. So just wondering if it is 3tbsp or 3tsp? Thanks. Great recipes, love them all and thanks for sharing your family treasures.

  77. Hi Shn,

    Tried this recipe of yours and had indeed made a link from my blog to yours... Urs was a roast, while i made a curry out of ur recipe..
    Miles to go Shn!!

  78. I tried this ..It was so tasty..But i didnt get that color :-(

  79. Hi,
    I tried making this chicken roast and it came out good. I did not pressure cook the chicken but allowed it to cook on sim for 30 min

  80. Thanks for the wonderful receipe...I tried this one and the taste was fabulous!!!! however it didnt turn dark brownish as shown in your pic..I had to add some chilly powder to get the color...Could you please tell me how to get the color as per your receipe?

  81. dear mishmash

    ive no words 2 thank u 4 such amazing recipes...
    in a weeks time ive tried d kuttanadan prawns, chicken roast, fish fry and fish pappas and all of them tasted fact im makn d chicken roast again 2nite...
    well i was introduced 2 d world of food blogging 3 months back,2 b exact when i got married...
    away 4m home an without mamas cukn an living in central us where u dnt even get fresh fish was a horror 4 me initially...but ive 2 say with all the food blogs out there ive been able 2 recreate our naadan bhakshanam
    i know this is more like a paragraph than a comment but i simply cant stop writing
    and this the first time im leaving a comment in any blog...well ur gr8 recipes compelled me

  82. Hey Mishmash,

    Thanks for this absolutely wonderful recipe...I too made a curry out of it and simply loved it

  83. Hi Shn,

    Tried your semiya payasam and chicken roast yesterday...they came out confidence level boosted...thanks for sharing..

  84. all ur recipies r awesome!i got a dark brown colour too.i gave some 2 my neighbour.she and her kids loved it.i'll make it again next week cause' my friends r coming home

  85. It is still cooking, but smells wonderful. Took me about 2.5 hrs, but looks like it is worth all that effort :-) But like some of your other readers, I too did not get that brown color. Mine looks a greenish yellow. Maybe I didn't fry the onions enough...


  86. kalakki..very u said, karyamayi oru ingredientsum ella, ennittum! Pinne oru suggestion, can u keep a printable version to ur post; allenkkil, I have to carry my laptop to the kitchen! Athil valla uppo mulako veenal, pinne enneayirikkum chattiyil ettu varukka :)

  87. Just tried this...somehow couldn't do without coriander powder, so added a little but still was very tasty...I think the secret is the pepper powder!

  88. wow.. chicken roast is tooooooo delicious and mouth watering.. try Chicken curry with tomatoes. It really tastes awesome..


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