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Kerala Chicken Stew, How to make Chicken Stew, Chicken Ishtu

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4.8 from 4 reviews

Recipe for Kerala Chicken Stew made with coconut milk served with appam and idiyappam. Popularly called as chicken ishtu.

  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 persons 1x


  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 stick / 2 inches cinnamon
  • 1 cloves
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (sombu)
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, diced
  • 500 grams chicken with bone
  • 4 green chillies, slit
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk (second milk)
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk (first milk)
  • Note: If using canned coconut milk instead of fresh milk, 1.5 cups of canned milk


  1. Heat oil in a pan and add in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fennel seeds. Saute for a few seconds until the spices are aromatic. Add in all the veggies. Onion, ginger, curry leaves, potatoes and peas.
  2. Add in the chicken, green chillies and the salt. Add in half a cup of water to the pan. Cook for 3 whistles. It will take anywhere between 7-10 minutes. Switch off the stove and let the pressure from the cooker release naturally.
  3. Open the cooker and add in a cup of thin coconut milk (second milk). Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Then add half a cup of thick coconut milk and switch off the flame.
  4. Serve Chicken Stew, Chicken Ishtu with idiyappam or appam.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: South Indian
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