Chicken Chettinad


Chicken Chettinad is a classic Indian recipe of chicken from Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu from Southern India.It is a fiery chicken curry with lots of spices and coconut that is high on chilies and is sure to ignite your taste buds.But before jumping on the recipe a brief introduction to the Chettinad cuisine is essential.img_20180623_195910200_hdr~21384652623..jpg

Chettinad cuisine is a cuisine of a community called Chettiars from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in Southern India .The dishes involve use of lot of spices and fresh ground masalas (spice mix ) which results in complex flavors but are appetizing.Dishes are loaded with peppers and heavy use of local spices like star anise,kalpasi(stone flower) and maratti mokku (dried flower pods.Chettinad cuisine offers lot of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes and are usually eaten with rice or rice based accompaniments like dosas,appams and many more which have mild taste to compliment the fierceness of the curries.

The recipe that I have made involves the use of boneless chicken and would suggest to alter the quantity of the chilies as per the taste without fiddling with the rest of the spices and ingredients to maintain its authenticity and complex flavors and can even use milder versions of chilies like paprika and Kashmiri chili powder that would impart a good color to the dish without making it too hot.img_20180623_203335000_hdr~2384803323..jpg


Serves: 4


For the curry:

  • 500 gm boneless chicken thigh cut into steak size pieces
  • 3 medium sized onions chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-5 tbsp oil
  • Chopped coriander for garnishing

For the spice paste:

  • 1 tbsp ginger chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 5-6 whole red chilies
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 green cardamom
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 ” cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp desiccated coconut powder/1/2 cup fresh grated coconut


Marinating chicken

  • Marinate the chicken with some salt and  lemon juice for minimum 30 minutes.You can also add little turmeric powder and red chili powder into the marination which I have not added here.img_20180623_190528988_hdr~21710798679..jpg

Preparing the spice paste

  • Fry all the ingredients except ginger and garlic in little oil till they are fragrant.
  • Once the fried ingredients cool down,grind them along with ginger and garlic into a fine paste.

Cooking the curry

  • In a pan heat oil.
  • Add chopped onions to the hot oil and fry till golden.img_20180623_191210295_hdr~2990445804..jpg
  • Add curry leaves and fry for a minute.img_20180623_192125653_hdr~2925305470..jpg
  • Add in the turmeric powder and red chili powder and give it a quick mix.img_20180623_192154680_hdr~21937445370..jpg
  • Toss in the chopped tomatoes,sprinkle some salt and cook till the tomatoes are soft and look like paste and the mixture starts leaving the oil.
  • Add in the ground spice paste,mix well and cook till it leaves the oil.
  • Now toss in the marinated chicken.Mix well and put on the lid.Cook for about 10-15 minutes or till the chicken is done.
  • You can add about 3/4 – 1 cup of water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.The gravy should be medium to thick in consistency.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve hot garnished with fresh coriander.img_20180623_195910200_hdr~21384652623..jpg


  • Chicken with bone can also be used in place of boneless chicken.
  • Picture below shows the dish served on appam.img_20180623_203322677_hdr~214058998..jpg




5 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey.. looks yumm but i have a question. Is 15 minutes enough for the chicken to cook? You see, i terribly fail at cooking chicken and hence the silly question. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi! Thanks
      Yes ….since I have used boneless chicken and that to the pieces are bite size which doesn’t take too long to cook.If you will cook it for longer duration the chicken will loose it’s juiciness even in the gravy.The best way to ensure if the chicken is cooked,cut the piece of chicken and it should be white from inside rather then pink.Otherwise also chicken does not take too long to cook even with bone if you are using broiler chicken.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s