Payyoli chicken fry is a popular fried chicken dish in Kerala the credit for which I believe goes to the popular restaurant, Calicut Paragon in Kozhikode. This delicious fried chicken is my absolute favorite when it comes to Malabar chicken recipes. Why? Firstly, it is deep-fried in pure coconut oil! The Malayali in me is excited already. Secondly, the highlight of the marinade is the whole Kashmiri chilies which impart the gorgeous bright red color without any additional food coloring. Thirdly, the spiced grated coconut is fried along with curry leaves and green chilies. I bet you are drooling already!Jump to Recipe
The place of its origin – Kozhikode
Now, I am going to take this opportunity to talk about Calicut for a bit. Kozhikode or Calicut, the beautiful coastal city of my wonderful tiny little Indian state, Kerala has a very important place in my heart. I think I fell in love with it for the first time after watching Ustad Hotel (one of my favorite food movies) which depicted the beautiful culture of the city; the goodness of the people, the beauty of the beach, and above all the FOOD it has to offer. Okay, I think I am going to stop here and maybe talk about the dish. I will dedicate a separate blog-post just for why I love Kozhikode. FYI, I temporarily live there now. More about that later.
Payyoli Chicken Fry – Here’s how to make this!
This dish I will confess is a little tricky. Well, actually it’s a bit messy and not exactly tricky. It involves 2 marinades, applied one after the other. I will explain them in detail below.
Prep the chicken
After the chicken has been cleaned, I prefer using salt and vinegar to clean, cut them into small pieces. They should be smaller than the regular biriyani pieces, for reference you can check out my video recipe. This ensures that the pieces get evenly cooked and absorb all the flavor. So you need to remove as much water as possible. So I suggest you drain the pieces and later pat them dry with a paper towel.
First Marinade of Payyoli Chicken Fry
To the chicken, add ginger paste, vinegar, and salt. Massage really well and let it rest for 20 minutes. After resting, the chicken would have released more water, make sure you remove them before proceeding further.
Second Marinade of Payyoli Chicken Fry
While the chicken rests, prepare the second marinade. Fill a pressure cooker with water to 1-inch height and add Kashmiri chilies & dried red chilies. In this recipe, I have taken an equal number of each and you can adjust the quantity based on your taste preference. Kashmiri chilies will give a beautiful red color to the dish, so I insist you use more of it. If you don’t mind it being less spicy, you can increase the proportion of Kashmiri chilies so that it becomes ever redder in color. It will take only 1 whistle for the chilies to be cooked after which you can drain the water out and grind them well to a paste.
To this, add chicken or any meat masala, salt, coconut oil (enough to form a paste) and some ginger. Mix this well and keep a tablespoon of this marinade aside before adding the remaining to the chicken.
After the chicken has rested for 20 minutes, add the second marinade to the chicken and massage well. Let this rest for another half an hour.
This is the main highlight of this recipe. To the saved second marinade, add a few handfuls of grated coconut, curry leaves and chopped green chilies. Mix this well and keep aside.
Now comes the main part. Now, I will give you a quick tip. Use a light, deep saucepan with a handle for frying the chicken pieces. It is difficult to remove the fried coconut from the oil, so the easier method is to strain the chicken and coconut out using a stainless steel colander (do not use a plastic one since the oil will be hot!) with a bowl below to collect the oil.
So, to the saucepan, add coconut oil (never switch to any other oil) and let it become hot. Once the oil has become hot, add the chicken pieces and wait till that side turns crispy. Once that side has been cooked, flip the pieces over. This is when you have to add the coconut mix. After flipping the chicken pieces, add the coconut mix on the top and let the chicken and coconut mix get fried well. The coconut mix is added midway because chicken takes longer to cook and adding the coconut in the beginning will leave them burnt. So by the time, the chicken pieces get cooked, the coconut will also have been done. Now, strain the oil out from the chicken and coconut using a colander as I mentioned earlier.
That’s it! Payyoli Chicken Fry is ready to be served. You can have it with ghee rice, chapathi, Kerala porotta, biriyani, appam or basically anything. This is one recipe, I am sure everyone will love.
Payyoli Chicken Fry | Calicut Paragon SpecialCourse: Main, AppetizersCuisine: Indian, South Indian, Kerala, Malabar
Payyoli Chicken Fry is a popular fried chicken recipe from Kerala made using grated coconut and whole Kashmiri chilies and deep fried in coconut oil.
Chicken – 1 kg (cut into small pieces)
Coconut oil for frying
- MARINADE 1
Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
Vinegar – 2 tbsp
- MARINADE 2
Kashmiri chilies – 15 no.s
Dried red chilies – 15 no.s
Ginger paste – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Chicken or meat masala – 2 tbsp
- COCONUT MIX
Grated coconut – 4-5 handfuls
Curry leaves – 10-15 no.s
Green chilies – 4-5 (chopped)
- Clean the chicken and cut it into small pieces.
- Marinate the chicken with salt, vinegar, and ginger. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pressure the Kashmiri chilies and dried red chilies for 1 whistle and drain the water out. Grind them to a paste.
- To this, add chicken masala or any meat masala, ginger, coconut oil, salt and mix well. Keep 1 tbsp of this marinade aside.
- Once, the chicken has rested for 20 minutes, add this second marinade and massage well. Let this rest for another 30 minutes.
- To the remaining chili marinade, add grated coconut, green chilies, and curry leaves. Mix well and keep aside.
- Once the chicken has rested for 30 minutes, deep fry the chicken pieces in coconut oil on one side.
- When that side turns crispy, flip the pieces over, and add the coconut mix. Now, wait till the coconut and chicken gets fried properly. (REFER NOTE)
- Remove the chicken and coconut using a stainless steel colander and serve hot!
- Use a light, deep saucepan with a handle for frying the chicken pieces. It is difficult to remove the fried coconut from the oil, so the easier method is to strain the chicken and coconut out using a stainless steel colander (do not use a plastic one since the oil will be hot!) with a bowl below to collect the oil.
- The coconut mix is added midway because chicken takes longer to cook and adding the coconut in the beginning will leave them burnt. So by the time, the chicken pieces get cooked, the coconut will also have been done.
Lastly, if you try this Payyoli Chicken Fry recipe, do let me know. I always try to respond to every comment and message. Also, check out my Instagram page where I post the stories of my cooking (some video shots that are not there on YouTube video where I mentioned a few tips and tricks). You can find them under the story highlights. If you liked this recipe, do check out my Haleem recipe.