Kongunadu chicken curry

chicken curry for idli

Kongunadu chicken curry is a very popular dish from the Kongunadu region of Tamilnadu. Kongunadu is roughly the Western part of Tamilnadu which in this day refers to a region comprising the districts of Nilgiris, Tirupur, Coimbatore, Karur, Erode, Namakkal, Salem, and some regions of  Dindigul and Dharmapuri districts.

Just like the Chettinad region, this region also has unique and lip-smacking recipes which are simple yet flavourful. Kongunadu chicken curry is one such popular common dish that is generally made as an accompaniment for idli and dosa.

I am from Coimbatore which is one prominent place in this region and am well acquainted with most of the dishes from here. The basic ingredients are the same though there may be some changes here and there.

Since it is generally made as an accompaniment for idli or dosa, it is usually a thin curry so that it soaks up the idli when dipped. But it goes well with rice as well as other dishes like idiyappam or chapati.

I still have nostalgic memories of this curry which mom used to make for idlis on a Sunday morning. The leftover curry was reduced and had for lunch with rice.

This curry was on my bucket list for so long. Finally, when I made Kanchipuram idli a few days back I luckily had chicken with me and so tried this curry. Such a yummy combo.

Shallots or smaller onions work the best for this recipe. But if you cannot source it, you can use the regular big onions too.

Have you ever tried having idlis with chicken curry? If you haven’t then you definitely need to give it a try. You are bound to love it.

O’er to the recipe….

Chicken curry for idli
Spicy, flavorful and a lip-smacking combo for idlis or dosas
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Marination time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Tamil
Keyword: Kozhi kuzhzmbu for idli, Spicy chicken curry for idli and dosa
Servings: 2 people
Author: Hema Magesh

For Marination

  • 300 g chicken (Bone-in)
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder(or as needed)
  • a pinch turmeric powder
  • salt as needed

For the spice powder

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds (sombu)

To grind

  • ¼ cup grated coconut(25 g)
  • 1 tsp roasted gram dal (pottukadalai)

Rest of the ingredients

  • 100 g shallots (approx 30 nos)
  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 1 green chilly
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • a small piece of ginger
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1" piece cinnamon
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilly powder(or as needed)
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • salt as needed
  • 2 cups water

For garnishing

  • 1-2 tsp ghee(optional)
  • finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Clean, wash and marinate the chicken with the items given under "for marination" for at least half an hour
    Chicken curry for idli prep step1
  • Chop the onions, the chilly, the tomatoes and crush the ginger and garlic to a paste.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step2
  • In a pan take 2tbsp oil, add the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Next add the sliced onions, chilly, curry leaves, and the sugar and saute till the onion browns up a bit.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step 3
  • Then add the ginger-garlic paste, saute well and add the chopped tomato and half tsp of salt. Saute till the tomato becomes mushy and oozes out oil.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step 4
  • Now add the marinated chicken and give it a good mix. Add the coriander, chilly powder, turmeric powder, and salt as needed. Saute for 2-3 minutes and add 2 cups water and let the chicken completely cook.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step 5
  • In the meantime, dry roast the items given under 'for the spice powder" and roughly crush it using the mortar and pestle. Add this powder to the boiling curry.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step 6
  • Next, grind the coconut and dal to a smooth paste using water and add this also to the curry.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step 7
  • Taste test and add more spices as needed. Turn off the flame once the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the curry reaches the required consistency.
    Chicken curry for idli prep step 8
  • Garnish with ghee and coriander leaves and serve with idli or dosa.

Hema’s P.S

  • The consistency of the curry can be made to personal preference. Add or reduce water accordingly.
  • Coconut adds to the flavor and taste. You can reduce the quantity to half or even add a tbsp of cashew paste if you do not like coconuts.
  • Normally, we use poppy seeds. But since it’s banned here I have used roasted gram dal.
  • You can add more chillies if you are looking for a spicy curry.
  • Instead of crushing ginger and garlic, you can use 2tsps of ginger garlic paste too.

Hema Magesh signature



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2 Responses

  1. Shamine says:

    I tried this recipe today. It was absolutely finger licking delicious. Thank you so much.

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