Print Options:


Yields3 ServingsPrep Time15 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time45 mins

Hardly a week that goes by without chicken being served for atleast one meal in my house. There are hundreds of different ways one can cook chicken…. Tiny little variations to age-old recipes or completely new creations, chicken is a great ingredient to experiment with. This recipe is not an experimental though, Chicken Varattiyathu or roast is one of the most commonly made dishes in Keralite homes. Although it is not really roasted in the oven, that is what the translation works out to be. The same recipe is used for boiled eggs, mutton and beef (red meat is usually pre-cooked in pressure cooker). This is one of the easiest Indian recipes for chicken. No marinating, no dry roasting, grinding… no long winding methods of cooking. Just simple, spicy, easy-to-make, yummy chicken!

 3 tbsp vegetable / coconut Oil
 3 medium Onions – sized sliced
 8 pods Garlic – chopped
 1 inch piece Ginger – chopped or grated
 3 Red chillies – sliced
 3 Dry red chilli – whole
 few Curry leaves
 1 tsp Chilli powder
 ½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric powder
 2 tsp Dhania/Coriander powder
 1 tsp Pepper powder
 1 tsp Garam masala powder (as per preference of spice)
 800 g Chicken – washed and cut into medium size pieces
 Salt to taste
Directions in a nutshell
 Fry onions till golden brown. Then add the dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, red chilli, curry leaves and sauté for around 2 minutes.
 Then add the powders and fry for another 2 minutes. Add salt to taste.
 Now add the chicken and mix well. Cook on medium flame with closed lid. Stir occasionally. Cook till done and the consistency is almost dry.
 Serve hot with chapati or porotta.

Wash and clean chicken. Use medium sized pieces. I prefer to use pieces with bone as they give more flavor and the chicken gets cooked in its own juice.


Thinly sliced onions. Use red onions or pearl onions as they are spicier and cook well alongwith the chicken.


Lots of garlic, ginger, dried red chilies and fresh red chiles. Traditionally, this is a very spicy preparation so all types of chili and even pepper powder is used.


Fry the sliced onions till golden brown. Then add the ginger, garlic, chilli, curry leaves and saute for around 2 minutes.


Add all the spice powders and fry for another 2 minutes. I love the peppery taste to my chicken, so I tend to be heavy handed with pepper. If you prefer a peppery taste too, then increase the quantity and adjust the other spices accordingly.


Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the mixture. Cook on medium flame with closed lid till the chicken is cooked through and the consistency is almost dry. A lot of people temper this dish with mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves at this stage. You can try it, or simply enjoy as it is.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 3