Coconut Lemon Chicken Curry

by Leena Kohli (@leenakohli)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

Coconut Lemon Chicken Curry is the perfect way to explore new and exotic flavours! With a blend of fragrant spices, tender chicken pieces, and a thick, luscious gravy, this dish is sure to become a family favourite. Enjoy the subtle sweetness and hint of citrus as you savour every bite.


5 Servings
  • 1kg
    Chicken (curry cut pieces)

For Spice Powder

  • 1tbsp
    Rice (Basmati)
  • 5
    Green Cardamom
  • 1tsp
    Black Mustard Seed
  • 1tbsp
    Coriander Seed
  • 1tsp
    Cumin Seed
  • 1/2tbsp
    Black Peppercorn
  • 1
    Black Cardamom
  • 5
  • 1/2tbsp
    Fennel Seed

For Gravy

  • 1/2cup
  • 2
    Bay Leaves
  • 2
    Onion (medium-sized)(chopped/ground)
  • 2
    Green Chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1in
    Cinnamon stick
  • 1tbsp
    Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 1/4tbsp
    Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 2tbsp
    Curry Leaves (dry)
  • 1cup
    Tomato Puree
  • 1tbsp
  • 1tsp
  • 3cup
  • 3tbsp
    Lemon Juice
  • 3tbsp
    Coconut (desiccated)


For Spice Powder

  1. Heat a flat pan or tawa on low to medium heat. Add rice and green cardamoms and dry roast for 3-4 minutes or until rice turns slightly brown.

  2. Add black mustard, coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cardamoms, cloves, and fennel seeds and dry roast them until they release their aroma and turn lightly golden.

  3. Take them onto a plate and let them cool.

  4. Grind the roasted spices in a grinder to a fine powder. Keep aside.

For Gravy

  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed deep pan or kadhai on high heat and add the bay leaves.

  2. Add the finely chopped onions and green chillies and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.

  3. Add cinnamon stick and ginger garlic paste. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add kashmiri red chilli powder, around 2 tbsp of prepared spice powder, and dried curry leaves. Stir and cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. If the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add two tablespoons of water to prevent it from burning.

  5. Add tomato puree, salt and sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes until oil starts to ooze out.

  6. Add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat them with the masala or gravy.

  7. Cook the chicken over medium to high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring at intervals to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

  8. Add lemon juice, water, and desiccated coconut and bring it to a boil.

  9. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pan. Cook the chicken curry for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is tender, stirring occasionally.

  10. Check the seasonings and adjust them to your taste.

  11. Add garam masala, stir well and switch off the heat.

  12. Let the chicken curry rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld together.

  13. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Do not burn the spices while dry roasting; it can make the dish taste bitter.

  2. Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking. Add more or less pepper and lemon juice to get the desired heat and tangy flavour.

  3. Adjust water as preferred for the consistency of the gravy.

  4. If the curry is too thin, you can cook it on high heat until the required consistency.

  5. I have used dry curry leaves for this recipe. You can use fresh curry leaves also.

  6. Use fresh lemon, ginger and garlic for the best flavours.

  7. Cooking time and serves may vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces.

Leena Kohli
Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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