White chicken curry | Chicken Vellai Kuruma

White chicken curry | Chicken Vellai Kuruma

White Chicken Curry – Chicken vellai Kuruma , is a creamy coconut milk based chicken curry spiced with black pepper and green chillies and indian spices.

This Chicken vellai Kuruma (White Chicken Curry) recipe is inspired by my vegetable kuruma recipe I make for appam. I was wondering why not make the same for chicken curry ?

This Chicken curry is made without adding any tomatoes or red chilli powder which makes the curry white. So, It looks and tastes so unique.

There are many ways to make Chicken vellai kuruma (white chicken curry) in india. The north indian white chicken curries are made with cream and lots of yogurt as base called safead murgh.

Kerala and Tamil style recipes use coconut milk as a base. 

Love from coconut

In general, I like to use coconut milk or coconut products in my recipes, because it is naturally high in good fats. Traditionally, in southindian cooking coconut will be ground and added with fibre in India, which made every recipe very healthy as it reduces the Glycemic Index.

Sometimes, it is strained and only the thick coconut milk is added when the recipe is to be made more indulgent and creamy. But, I am using canned coconut milk in this recipe.

two brown coconuts
Photo by Robert Goldenowl on Pexels.com

Jist of recipe :

A paste is made with cashews, poppy seeds, Cumin, coconut and green chillies is used as a curry base to make this white chicken curry (Chicken Vellai Kuruma) . This paste is the base for the curry and adds the richness to the final dish. 

Chicken is marinated in ginger garlic paste, yoghurt, turmeric powder and salt for about 30 minutes. 

The marinated chicken pieces is then cooked with onions, whole garam masalas and pressure cooked until tender ( you can also cook it on a stove top)

Then cashew & poppy seed paste is then added to the curry and simmered until all are combined. 

If one must be bored of eating regular chicken curry, this is a lovely variation to weekday recipe.

Check out my other chicken recipes below,

White chicken curry

Tips :

  1. Cashews can be replaced with almonds, soaked in water and the skin peeled. 
  2. The spice in this curry comes from green chillies, if you don’t prefer too much spice, add lesser green chillies. I also like to add little pepper to bring a subtle heat to the curry. 
  3. I like to add a bit of yoghurt to the recipes, as it retains the softness of the chicken while cooking. 

Shelf life and storage : 

This curry is best eaten fresh and may be good in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

How to Eat it : 

I like to eat this curry, with Rice or Roti. It tastes great even breads or even plain basmati rice. 

Prep work before you begin : 

  1. Clean chicken pieces, with little salt and turmeric and keep it ready for marination. 
  2. Finely Chop the onions , slit the green chillies (Use the spiciest variety because we don’t use any red chilli powder in this recipe. 
  3. Prepare ginger garlic paste. 
  4. Soak, poppy seeds, cumin, and cashews in little water to help in grinding into a smooth paste. 

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and share a picture and tag it #soulsomecooking on Instagram or facebook so I can see it.

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White chicken curry

Chicken Vellai Kuruma (White Chicken Curry)


  • To Grind
  • 1 tbsp Kasa kasa or poppy seeds
  • 10-12 no.s whole Cashews
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup Grated Coconut
  • Water to grind to a smooth paste
  • 2 Green chillies spicy variety
  • To Marinate
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 tbsp Yoghurt
  • 500 gms Chicken pieces with bones
  • Salt To taste
  • To make the curry
  • 5 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 1 and 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 no. Star Anise
  • Curry Leaves a few
  • 2 Green chillies spicy variety
  • 1 large Onion Finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp Yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp Chicken Masala or Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups Water
  • Corriander leaves For garnish


  • First marinate all the ingredients mentioned under to marinate that is ( cleaned chicken pieces, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, yoghurt (4 tbsp), salt and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Take a blender , add all the ingredients, mentioned under to blend (Presoaked poppy seeds, cashews, cumin seeds, green chillies, grated coconut with little water and grind it to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a pressure pan, add oil, once hot, add the whole spices, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise and saute for a few second. Next add the chopped greed chillies ( 2 no.s ) and curry leaves and saute in the oil for a few minutes.
  • Next add the finely chopped onion, some salt and saute until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Next add the marinated chicken pieces and little salt and water (1/2 cup) for the chicken pieces and mix it in.
  • Then goes in the spice powders ( Coriander, cumin, black pepper powder) once added, mix it in throughly.
  • Add yoghurt ( about 2 tbsp ). Mix well and partially cover and let it cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. You’ll notice that the chicken has started to cook and has left out water. Now cover the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistle ( No. Of whistles depending on the size of your chicken pieces) The chicken should be 80 % cooked.
  • Wait for the pressure to be released and once it is remove the lid and add the coconut poppy seed paste we had prepared earlier and some more water to adjust the consistency and partially cover and cook until all the chicken pieces are cooked to tender.
  • Next add chicken masala or Garam Masala which ever is available and bring it to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with poori, chapathi, parotta, idiyappm Etc.

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