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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » 28 states: How to make Kerala's Irachi Ishtu

28 states: How to make Kerala's Irachi Ishtu

January 31, 2014 15:11 IST

Image: Irachi Ishtu
Photographs: Manju

We had asked you, dear reader, to share with us recipes and photographs of any of these wonderful dishes from the 28 states of India. Today we bring you the recipe of Kerala's Irachi Ishtu.

Nothing can possibly prepare you for the diversity of India and its cuisines.

Following up on a list by Storypick, we invited you, our readers, to share recipes from select dishes from India's 28 states.

Also see:
Maharashtra's Thalipeeth
Andhra special Gongura Pachadi
Masor Tenga, Assam's fish curry recipe
Gujarat's special Khandvi

We have, as always, been inundated with your responses. Today we bring you this recipe of Kerala's Irachi Ishtu (Chicken Stew) sent to us by Manju.


  • 1 kg Whole skinless, bone-in Chicken (cut into medium sized pieces)
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Two 1-inch sticks of Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Green Cardamom
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 large or 2 medium Red Onions (sliced or cubed)
  • 2 Green chillies (split lengthwise)
  • 1-inch piece Ginger (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 8-10 Curry leaves
  • 1 medium Carrot (cubed)
  • 1 medium (russet or gold) Potato (cubed)
  • 1/4 cup Green peas (optional)
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 can of Coconut milk
  • Salt to taste


  • If using canned coconut milk, do not shake it, instead open it and scoop out the thick coconut cream from the top (1st coconut milk).
  • Then pour about 1/2 cup of the coconut milk in a separate bowl (2nd coconut milk) and to the remaining coconut milk add 1/2 cup water and keep aside (3rd coconut milk) .
  • In a large cooking pan, heat the butter and as it melts add all the spice mix ingredients and saute until you can smell the aroma of the spices (be careful not to burn)
  • Next add in the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves along with a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is soft.
  • Then add the potato, carrots, green peas and Chicken pieces along with the 3rd coconut milk with enough salt and cover and let it cook on medium-low heat until chicken is almost cooked. You can stir occasionally.
  • To the 2nd coconut milk mix, add the garam masala and coriander powder, mix without lumps and add it to the stew.
  • Again cover and cook until the chicken is fully cooked and is bone-tender (it should come apart easily when pulled)
  • Finally take the 1st coconut milk (coconut cream), give it a stir.
  • Lower the heat to low and add the coconut cream to the stew. Stir well and turn off the heat.
  • Enjoy with hot lacy Appams

Some suggestions:

  • There is no need to add water for the gravy as the chicken itself will have enough moisture while it cooks and then there's coconut milk, however if you feel gravy is less after the initial cooking, then add some more water to the 2nd coconut milk mix along with spice powders.
  • You can add fried cashew nuts, fried raisins and/or fried onion to the stew.
  • I like my stew to have a bit of spice, so sometimes I add crushed black peppercorns as well, about two teaspoons. These are optional.
  • You can make the stew with just chicken and potatoes if you don't want any other veggies, but they add colour. And they are good for you.
  • Mutton or Beef can also be used instead of chicken to prepare similar stew.

Click here for more recipes and food features!

Love to cook? Care to share?

Here are the other recipes we are looking for along with photographs

Arunachal Pradesh: Smoked Pork In Sengmora Xaak

Bihar: Litti Chokha

Chhattisgarh: Dehrori

Goa: Bebinca

Haryana: Bajra Khichdi

Himachal Pradesh: Madra

Jammu and Kashmir: Kalaadi Cheese

Jharkhand: Rugda

Karnataka: Pandi Curry

Madhya Pradesh: Bhutte Ka Kees

Manipur: Khaman Asinba Kangshoi

Meghalaya: Jadoh With Pork

Mizoram: Sawhchiar

Nagaland: Nagaland Pork With Dry Bamboo Shoot

Odisha: Chhena Poda

Punjab: Makki-roti And Sarson-saag

Rajasthan: Malaai Ghewar

Sikkim: Phagshapa

Tamil Nadu: Kambu Koozh

Tripura: Awan Bangwi with Wahan Mosdeng and Khundrupui leaf

Uttar Pradesh: Baingan Ki Lonje

Uttarakhand: Bal Mithai

West Bengal: Daab Chingri


We are inviting you, our dear readers, to share with us your special recipes of these dishes.

Tell us how you make any of the dishes listed above.

Simply mail your recipes along with a photograph of the dish to with the subject line 'Indian Recipes'.

We will publish the most lip-smacking, mouth-watering and yummiest recipes right here in and India Abroad.