Kerala Ishtu – Chicken and Coconut Stew

  • Servings: 3

This Indian chicken and coconut ishtu is a fragrant and spicy stew. It has its origins in the western heritage of Kerala. You can also make this stew with red meat or keep it entirely vegetarian.

With the addition of some vegetables, this creamy curry-like chicken will make a flavourful complete dish.


  • 6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs or any other chicken pieces of your choice
  • 100g of mange-tout or sweet peas
  • 2 green peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 thumb size ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 6 cardamome pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp of each: turmeric, black pepper, cumin, coriander
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube
  • Hot chili, to taste
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice or vinegar
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil
  • Salt, to taste


Step 1

Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and sauté until slightly coloured. Remove and put aside.

Step 2

In the same pan add the onion then the garlic, the ginger and all the other spices and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomato, the green peppers, the lime juice or vinegar and the mange-tout. Cook for another minute then add the stock cube, water, the green coriander and the chicken pieces. Pour the coconut cream then mix well.

Step 3

Adjust the seasonings, cover the pan with a lid and cook further, on a lower heat, until the chicken is cooked and the stew is creamy. Serve hot with an aromatic basmati rice, naan or just bread.

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