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Chicken Mappas

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Total Time: 60m
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Traditional Kerala Special Chicken Mappas Recipe. Recipe adapted slightly from Mrs.K.M Mathew Cookbook.



For the Chicken Mappas Spice Powder

2 cardamom
4 cloves
2 inch piece cinnamon (cassia)
1/2 of a star anise
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 tablespoon coriander powder

Other Ingredients for Chicken Mappas

3 tablespoon coconut oil
1.5 cups onions, sliced
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 inch piece ginger, julienne
5 cloves garlic, chopped
5 green chillies
1 teaspoon salt
750 grams chicken, bone-in
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups thin coconut milk
1 cup thick coconut milk

Tempering Chicken Mappas

1 tablespoon ghee
5 shallots, sliced
2 sprigs curry leaves


First, we shall make a spice powder for the mappas. Take a small chutney jar to grind. Add in a couple of pieces of cardamom. No need to roast the spices before grinding as we will fry them in oil later. Add in some cloves, a small piece of cinnamon, half of a star anise, half a teaspoon of fennel seeds, a teaspoon of black pepper powder, a teaspoon of turmeric powder and three tablespoons of coriander powder. Grind everything to a fine powder. We add the powders along with whole spices so it grinds evenly to a fine texture. Grind everything to a really fine powder. Set aside.

I have used a clay pot for making the chicken mappas. Heat coconut oil in the pan. Let the oil become hot. Add in the onions. I have sliced the onions thin for this recipe. Add in the curry leaves, Add in the ginger. Ginger has been cut into thin strips also called julienne, add in the chopped garlic, the green chillies and the salt. Adjust the number of green chillies according to your taste. There is no red chilli powder in this recipe. So green chillies are what is used to spice up the curry. So adjust the chillies according to your taste. Saute till the onions are light brown in colour. It will take anywhere between 5-6 minutes. Keep sauteing so it browns evenly.

Once the onions are slightly brown, add in the prepared spice powder to the pan. Add all of the prepared spice powder. Saute the spice powder so the hot oil nicely coats them and it becomes very aromatic. Saute for a few seconds.

Add in the chicken at this stage. Bone in chicken is preferred while making Indian style curries as the bone has a lot of flavour. Mix well to combine so the chicken is well coated in the masala. Cook for about a couple of minutes.

Add in a little vinegar at this stage. I have used plain regular vinegar for this recipe. Add in the thin coconut milk also called the second pressed coconut milk. I have used homemade coconut milk for this recipe. Home made fresh coconut milk flavour cannot be beat for this recipe. But, if you are hard pressed for time, you can dilute the canned coconut milk and use it in this recipe. It’s ok. Mix everything well and cover the pan with a lid. Let the chicken slowly cook on a low flame for about thirty minutes. Cooking the chicken on a slow flame brings out the flavours well.

The chicken should be well cooked after 30 minutes. Add in the first pressed thick coconut milk and let the curry simmer for a couple of minutes. Do not cook for long after adding the thick coconut milk.

While the curry is simmering, make a tempering as follows.
Heat ghee or coconut oil in a small  tempering kadai. Add in the sliced shallots and the curry leaves. Saute for a couple of minutes till the shallots are golden brown.

Add the tempering to the curry and mix well. Our delicious chicken mappas is now ready.


Potatoes can be added along with the chicken for a variation.

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 45m

Keywords: chicken mappas