Kerala style chicken stew is a must for Kerala Christmas menu. It is a mild flavoured traditional recipe where chicken and vegetables are cooked in whole spices and coconut milk. Its goes well with appam, idiyappam, dosa, bread , kalappam etc.

It’s also called as Ishtu and is very easy to prepare. Chop and cook all the vegetables, chicken and whole spices. Add the coconut milk , curry leaves and finally drizzled with coconut oil to give a coconut flavour and chicken stew is ready. I have cooked in pressure cooker to hasten the process. This is cooked with or without chicken, it has options.


  • Chicken 100 gm
  • Onion medium 2
  • Potato medium 1
  • Ginger chopped 2 tbsp
  • Green chillies slit 2-4
  • Cinnamon 1 inch
  • Cloves 3
  • Cardamom 3
  • Coconut oil 1 tbsp
  • cornflour 1/2 +1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves a handful
  • Salt to taste


Peel the potatoes, ginger, onion and chop them. Slit the green chillies.

Add one and half cup water in a pressure cooker. Add the potatoes, onions, ginger, green chillies and chicken leg( you can add chopped chicken leg or medium pieces of chicken). Add the whole spices, turmeric powder and salt.

Cover the lid of the pressure cooker, put the weight and cook for 3 whistles. Turn off heat.

In a blender add 1/2 cup coconut and 1/4 cup water . Blend to a fine paste.

Strain in a strainer or put in a muslin cloth and squeeze out the milk. This is the first coconut milk. Add 1/2 tsp cornflour, mix it well keep it aside.

Again add the squeezed coconut into the blender, add 1/2 cup water. Blend and squeeze out the milk in a strainer or muslin cloth. This is the second coconut milk. Add 1/2 tsp cornflour, mix it well keep it aside.

Open the lid of the pressure cooker, turn on heat , keep on low flame and add the second coconut milk and cook till a boil comes.

Once a boil comes add the first coconut milk and cook on low heat till a boil comes. Check for salt.

Crush the curry leaves in your hand and add it to the stew. Drizzle a tbsp of coconut oil too.

Serve as an accompaniment with idli/dosa/appam /idiyappam or bread.

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