Chicken with Roasted Coriander in Coconut-Curry Sauce

Chicken with Roasted Coriander in Coconut-Curry Sauce Dakshini Murgh
Photo: Jake Stangel
Prep Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for dakshini murgh, a southern India-style chicken dish, is ideal for entertaining. Let the coconut milk sit undisturbed until you're ready to cook; then remove the thick layer of cream from the top to stir in at the end.


  • 3 tablespoons whole coriander seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 1 cinnamon stick (2 inches long)

  • 3 ½ pounds chicken pieces (from 1 whole chicken), skin removed, cut into small pieces

  • 2 medium onions, cut into thin rings

  • 5 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices

  • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger (from a 1 ½-inch piece)

  • 1 tomato, finely chopped (¾ cup)

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat coconut milk, such as A Taste of Thai

  • 2 fresh hot green chiles, such as bird's-eye, Indian long, or serrano, split lengthwise

  • Plain Basmati Rice, for serving

  • Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint, for serving

  • Fresh Cilantro Chutney, for serving


  1. Place a small, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes. Add coriander, fenugreek, and peppercorns. Cook, swirling pan, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool completely. Grind in a spice grinder.

  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add mustard seeds and cinnamon. As soon as mustard seeds pop, add chicken in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary). Cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Set pieces aside on a plate as they are done.

  3. Add onions and garlic to pot and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add ginger and tomato. Cook until tomato is soft, about 3 minutes. Add ground toasted spices, turmeric, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and lemon juice. Return chicken to pot, along with any accumulated juices.

  4. Remove thick coconut cream from top of coconut milk; set aside. Stir remaining contents of can into pot. Add enough water to fill can again (1 1/2 cups) and add to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, and stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

  5. Stir reserved coconut cream; add to pot along with chiles. Stir once or twice to warm through; remove from heat. Remove chiles and cinnamon stick, if desired. Serve, with rice, yogurt, and chutney.

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