Payyoli Chicken Fry (Calicut Paragon inspired)

Payyoli Chicken Fry (Calicut Paragon inspired) 

Haven't you tried the combination of Chicken with grated coconut yet? Sounds strange? Whether your answer is a yes or a no, this is one insane combination that defines Kerala cuisine. Payyoli Chicken is very commonly known among the mallu hommies as it is a popular dish of the well-known restaurant Calicut Paragon. It simply is scrumptious. Though the recipe is super simple, the touch of spicy fried coconut takes the chicken fry to a next level.

This is the perfect recipe if you are on the lookout to try some mallu style chicken fry. It was indeed a triumph when I made this for the first time and from then on has been a family favorite. Whenever I have guests over for dinner or lunch I make this chicken fry as it is super easy and delicious 😋.

Payyoli chicken can be served with any Kerala style curry, and chappati or simply as a starter. The chicken is preferably marinated twice for the marination to get absorbed well, where the rice powder is skipped and added right before you fry the chicken so that the chicken remains crispy from the outside and juicy from the inside. The chicken is first marinated in spicy marination and fried, which is then topped up with grated spicy coconut that is roasted in an iron Kadai (wok) which gives immense flavor dimension to the chicken fry. 

You have to be very careful when roasting the coconut, watch over very closely, the coconut may look like it's still not done, but all of a sudden it may change color and burn. The whole point is that the shredded coconut has to be crispy, fiery and not burnt with a beautiful dark reddish color. 

We begin the recipe by soaking the dried red chilies in hot water for 15 minutes, preferably Kashmir dried red whole chilies. Since I did not have the Kashmiri variety I used the normal dried red chillies. Also if you do not have any type of dried chilies at home you may use chili powder but the zing comes from the ground dried red chilies paste. Let's fry the chicken and top it with the crunchy roasted coconut. Let's get started!

Ingredients :

For the chicken marinade:

  • 700 gms bone-in chicken (small cut pieces)
  • 8 dried red chillies soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and made into paste
  • 2 tsp gg paste
  • 1 tsp meat masala/chicken Masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp maida/ all-purpose flour
  • Salt as required
  • 3/4 tbsp rice flour

For roasting coconut:

  • Coconut oil
  • Salt as required
  • 4-5 tbsp grated coconut
  • 3-4 green chillies (slit)
  • Curry leaves
  • 1-2 tsp of red chilli paste prepared earlier

Instructions :

  1. Grind the soaked red chilies to a paste.
  2. Marinate the cleaned, bone-in chicken pieces with the items under 'for the chicken marinade' title for at least half an hour to 2 hours.

  3. Reserve a couple of teaspoons of the chili paste for the coconut roast. The rest of the paste may be added to the chicken marinade.
  4. Right before you fry the chicken, mix in the rice flour and fry or med-high heat.
  5. Fry for 4 minutes each side for a total of 15-18 minutes or until well done and slightly crispy on the outside.
    Drain the chicken on a tissue paper.
  6. Grind the coconut with the reserved chilli paste and salt and set aside.
  7. Set aside some of the fried oil and fry the green chillies, and curry leaves in the same Kadai or pan.
  8. Next, fry the coconut chilli paste until crispy roasted. Be careful not to burn it.

  9. Scoop the fried coconut from the oil and transfer it onto a tissue paper.
  10. Serve your spicy chicken topped with your crispy roasted coconut, green chillies and curry leaves.


  • Keep a close watch when roasting the coconut, thus one step goes wrong and the whole dish isn't worth it.
  • Use coconut oil for frying the chicken for bringing out its 'naadan' flavors.
  • Always remember while frying chicken do not overcrowd the Kadai or pan, it makes the chicken soggy and the chicken might not get done from the inside.
  • Another tip for the coating to stay in place is to let the chicken cook at least for 3-4 minutes and flip so that the coating cooks and does not stick to the Kadai or pan. 
Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

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