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Malabar Chicken

Malabar Chicken

The Malabar coast is known for its pepper and cardamom and I have combined these with additional local spices to make a wonderful spice coasted chicken. Accompany it with thinly sliced fruit such as mango or pineapple and a sweet, yet sharp, ginger, yoghurt and coconut cream.


  • 1 whole chicken or 4 chicken pieces
  • 1½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds (½ tsp ground)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1 green or red chilli, deseeded and diced
  • grated rind 2 lemons or limes
  • 3-4 tblsp oil

Ginger, Yoghurt and Coconut Cream

  • ½ cup unsweetened yoghurt
  • 2 tblsp coconut cream
  • grated rind one lime
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp tsp sugar
  • sprinkling turmeric for colour


  1. Cut the chicken into 4 portions if whole. Use a sharp knife to make 3-4 deep slashes into each chicken portion.
  2. Mix together the pepper, cardamom cinnamon, mace or nutmeg with the red chilli, lemon or lime rind and oil to make a very fragrant spice paste. Rub this evenly over the chicken pieces, pressing it firmly into the cuts. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. Fan bake at 200ºC for 25 minutes until the chicken is crispy and tender.
  4. Serve with thins slices of mango or pineapple, a few salad greens with herbs such as basil or coriander and topped with the Ginger, Coconut cream to accompany. Garnish as wished, I have used a little coriander, shredded ginger and chilli.

Ginger, Yoghurt and Coconut Cream

  1. Mix together the yogurt, coconut cream, lime, ginger and sugar and then colour gradually with a little turmeric until pale lemon in colour. Season with salt only if wished.

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