Kozhi Musuman | Whole Chicken in Chana Dal Sauce



Let me be frank here. I wanted to make a totally new curry for this Blogging Marathon #88 – Dazzling Dal series, so that I could leave my drafts untouched. I even made cholar dal once, but it didn’t turn out well, so I skipped clicking it. Then something happened, that whole thought of wanting to cook and click a totally new dish, really puts me off these days. If you see my camera now, my clicks are so wide spread. I cook new dishes and click them only if I am really in a mood for it. Otherwise, I just leave it at that. I feel glad that my drafts are feeding my blog without me having to worry about the next dish to post. During those times, I used to wonder why am I in a hurry to cook and click, and now I clearly understand the purpose of it. Truly, His ways are great… πŸ™‚


So after doing the Muringakka curry and the Dal Kabila, I was stuck on the third one, more of not wanting to cook, so I dug into my drafts, and came out with this delicious Kozhi Musuman I had made during a weekend. After so many deliberations, I decided it to be the third post for this theme.




This is one of the first recipes I had bookmarked from a favorite blog of mine, Kachu’s Delights. Hasna doesn’t blog anymore and I sincerely miss her lovely recipes. But then everybody has a reason to not continue with it. As per her post, this recipe belongs to her grandmother. I have made the Kozhi Nirachathu in two forms here and here, which is basically stuffed chicken, but this recipe was completely different. The chicken is cooked and then stuffed with a dal mixture, and cook in some more dal sauce.


I am really glad I got to try this recipe. The taste of the dish is amazing. I feel like it’s the reply of the Malabar area for the Murg Dhansak. We enjoyed it with some Masala Chor and a simple salad. The leftovers were mopped up with some khubz at night. I wouldn’t suggest to make this with chicken pieces. The thrill is in cooking it whole – that’s why it is called “Musuman”, which is the colloquial word for the Malayalam word, “Muzhuvan”, meaning “full”. The coconut paste and the slight sugar in it gives it a lovely after flavor. All in all, if you are in an elaborate mood, I would rate this a must-try! Off to the recipe…





4.88 from 8 votes

Kozhi Musuman | Whole Chicken in Chana Dal Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Rafeeda


  • 1 kg whole chicken skinned, cleaned and patted dry
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup chana dal bengal gram
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup grated coconut divided
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 4 pearl onions peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 pearl onions peeled and sliced
  • Coriander leaves for garnish


  • Combine the chicken with ingredients from onion to salt and rub well.
  • Place in a saucepan, pouring a cup of water, and cook on medium low flame, cooking by flipping the chicken till done.
  • While the chicken gets done, soak the dal for 15 minutes. Cook with water in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles till done. Drain and set aside. The dal should be cooked el dente.
  • To prepare the paste, heat oil and add 3/4 cup of coconut. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and saute till the coconut turns crisp and brown. Do not burn. Switch off and add the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut and mix. Allow to cool. Add a little water and grind into a smooth paste.
  • To prepare the filling, heat oil. Saute all ingredients except the coriander leaves till the onion is wilted.
  • Add the coriander leaves and 1 tbsp of the cooked chana dal, mix well and switch off.
  • Once the chicken is done, lift up and reserve into a plate. Fill the cavity with the prepared onion filling - just enough to fill. Tie the legs or prick with toothpicks to hold in place.
  • Into the gravy which is simmering (the one we cooked the chicken in), add the coconut paste, the remaining chana dal and the filling if any remaining.
  • Allow it to cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another minute. Switch off.
  • Heat ghee and fry the pearl onions till crisp. Pour over the gravy and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or pathiri.


You can fill the cavity with a couple of boiled eggs, but I avoided it, since the kids are not very fond of eggs, and it may cause the cavity of the chicken to tear, if overstuffed.


Check out theΒ Blogging Marathon pageΒ to see what the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#88


Join the Conversation

  1. Looks very tasty! What is chana dal (bengal gram) in English? Lentils? Split peas?

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Chana dal is basically split chick peas… It is very much used in our cooking… Thanks a lot Angie…

  2. this looks delicious Rafee!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Gloria…

  3. Stuffed whole chicken in dal sounds exotic and looks very tasty. A good one for this theme.

    Even I go through a phase where I do not want to click anything for the Blog. I have Couple of dal recipes in my drafts without pictures 😊.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Yes, it looks and is actually a bit labourous… but all worth it! There is no point in having recipes without pictures, we still have to make it again and click it… hehe… Thank you so much Usha… πŸ™‚

  4. oh my! lovely………………..looks like a lotta work rafee…….glad u had it in ur drafts! hehehe…………..but totally worth the effort!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Farah…

  5. Omg, this is fabulous, chicken in channa dal sauce wow thats amazing.. I just drooling over that ultimate dish. Now i have to give a try to this incredible dish. Thanks for sharing sis.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Priyakka…

  6. That is a lot of ingredients and a very elaborate recipe. But I am sure all that put together tasted great.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Varada…

  7. creamy n delicious sauce and perfectly cooked chicken..love to dig in with some garam rotis πŸ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Julie…

  8. 5 stars
    This looks delicious…True even I have clicked many a times and just kept in draft…but now I can see the use at times πŸ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Yes you can! Whenever you feel low to cook and click… thanks a lot Renu… πŸ™‚

  9. I like the spice paste that you have made, I am sure it can be used to make vegetarian dishes too. The flavors of the spice paste are awesome to make any dish delicious.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Vaishali…

  10. This combination is totally new and sounds so innovative!..I also mostly click when I make something new, but most times it is always in a hurry that I don’t like the clicks sometimes so I end up making it again for the blog!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Valli…

  11. 5 stars
    We make something similar with mutton and chana dal., but never tried it with chicken. Sounds so flavorful and delicious.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sandhiya…

  12. 4 stars
    Rafeeda many times I’ve clicked the photos and misplaced the measurements πŸ™ However, now I just click when I know I make the dish for blogging. That way don’t go frantic searching for the handwritten chits. And yes now it goes in one big book. If anyone offers me a diary at the beginning of the year I just take them to jot down the measurements. As to the chicken dish, what grandmothers made are the best dishes so am sure this must have been a hit dish at your home.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Writing it down in a diary is one of the fastest thing you can do… I usually write in chits and save it up in a big file, and over the course of the week, I update it into a draft and save it on WP, that way, it is saved up here and easily trackable. I also mark my pictures with the name and keep so that I don’t forget the recipe… hehe… Thank you so much Mayuriji…

  13. I totally understand the blogging block. I tend to go down that road often as well. I agree that such mood swings often fill up our drafts πŸ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Harini… πŸ™‚

  14. That is an elaborate dish but seems to be worth the while! In my case, my BM themes end up deciding the menu for the week…good you have draft folders to feed your blog.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      That sounds good… I wish I would do the same… Thank you so much Sowmya…

  15. 5 stars
    I have never tried chicken with lentils. This version of stuffing the whole chicken sounds amazing and need to try this. Even I do have some photos in the drafts which help me when I am in no mood to cook or click.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Gayathri…

  16. 5 stars
    What a delicious, flavorful and protein-rich dal this is Rafeeda. The dish needs a little bit of time to make, but I’m sure the amount of time spent is well worth the efforts.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Pavani…

  17. 5 stars
    Don’t think my comment went thro. Delicious chicken but unless I taste it …

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks Archanaji…

  18. 5 stars
    The dishes which takes more time and efforts to make are the ones taste super amazing and all the efforts are worth trying. Such a flavorful and tasty dish.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sapana…

  19. 5 stars
    love the thick texture here – looks absolutely delicious

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Mir…

  20. Wow.. amazing recipe for chicken lover.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks Preeti…

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