A Simple Chicken Mappas Recipe

chicken mappas with vellayappam

Chicken Mappas with Vellayappam

Today’s blog post is about a very delicious and comparatively easy to prepare chicken dish from Kerala known as “Chicken Mappas”. Mappas is a broad category of dishes which can be prepared with fish, chicken, mutton and even beef. I am unsure of the origin of this word “Mappas” but my best guess is that it is Middle Eastern. The reason for my guess is that when I was in Bangalore, I used to frequent a restaurant called Savoury Sea Shell in Bannerghatta Road. They had a rich collection of Middle Eastern dishes and one of them was an Arabian Chicken Soup. The bits of chicken were suspended in a thick whitish solution which I think was made of coconut milk. The gravy of Chicken Mappas sort of reminded me of it. Therefore I concluded that Chicken Mappas is a fusion of Middle Eastern and Keralite Cuisines. If you have some disagreement regarding what I said or have some information about the origins of this category of dishes, please let me know in the comments.


To prepare Chicken Mappas, you need the following ingredients:

Main Cooking:

  • Chicken (cut in small pieces) – 500 grams
  • Onions (long sliced) – 2
  • Tomatoes (sliced) – 2
  • Ginger (sliced) – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic (sliced) – 6 cloves
  • Green Chilli (chopped) – 6
  • Coriander Powder – 1 1/2 ½ Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – 1 Tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Pepper (crushed) – 1 Tablespoon
  • Coconut Milk (secondary) – 1 cup
  • Coconut Milk (primary) – 1/2 cup
  • Fennel Seeds Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves – 4 branches
  • Coconut Oil – 2 Tablespoons
  • Salt – 2 Teaspoons (can vary as per your taste)

Tempering (Tadka):

  • Coconut Oil – 1 Tablespoon
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 Teaspoon
  • Shallots (sliced) – 8


  • Wash the chicken pieces well (you may use turmeric while washing it) and keep it on a filter to dry
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon crushed pepper
  • Mix it well and let it marinate for about 15 minutes
  • Add 2 tablespoons of coconut into a frying pan
  • Add the onion slices and sauté in medium flame for about 2 minutes
  • Add the sliced ginger and garlic and cook until the onions change color slightly
  • Add the chopped green chilli and mix it well
  • Add the turmeric and coriander powder and mix again
  • Cook until the raw smell of turmeric and coriander fades
  • Add 1 branch of curry leaves
  • Add half of the sliced tomato and cook for about 2 minutes
  • Add the fennel seeds powder and mix
  • Add the chicken pieces and mix well
  • Add salt and mix
  • Add the next branch of curry leaves
  • Bring the mixture to the center of the pan and close the lid
  • Reduce the flame to low and let it sit for 5 minutes
  • Add the secondary coconut milk and mix well and close the lid
  • Increase the flame to medium and let it sit for 20 – 25 minutes (occasionally open the lid and stir to avoid charring)
  • Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon crushed pepper and mix again
  • Add the remaining sliced tomato and 1 branch of curry leaves
  • Mix well for a minute
  • Add the primary coconut milk mix for about a minute and turn off the flame
  • Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil into another frying pan
  • Add mustard seeds
  • Once the mustard seeds start bursting, add the sliced shallots
  • When the shallots turn brown, add 1 branch of curry leaves and mix well to form the tadka
  • Add the tadka to the mappas and let it sit for a couple of minutes
  • Transfer the mappas to your serving bowl

chicken mappasThere are a few things to keep in mind while preparing Chicken Mappas. The pepper shouldn’t be powdered. You must crush the black pepper seeds in a pestle. However, you may choose to use ginger-garlic paste if you don’t like slicing them. Coconut oil is what you need to use to prepare this dish. I haven’t tried other oils but you are welcome to experiment and let me know the results.

Chicken Mappas is exceptionally tasty and usually is eaten as an accomplice for Appam, Idiyappam or Ari Pathiri. You may also try it as a side dish for fried rice. Bon appetit!