Chettinad Chicken | Recipe for Spicy Chicken Curry | Chettinad Chicken Gravy


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Chettinad Chicken recipe basically belongs to Chettinad cuisine which is a subdivision of South Indian cuisine. Chettinad cuisine is the community of Nattukotai Chettiars of Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most eminent cuisines of South India. They have given many popular vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to the nation.

Recipe for chettinad chicken is prepared in two different ways.
  • Chettinad Chicken Gravy
  • Chettinad Chicken Gravy

Today, I am going to share the Chicken Chettinad gravy or Chicken Chettinad curry recipe with you.

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Chettinad chicken gravy is rich in flavour and texture. In this preparation, soft juicy chicken pieces are dunked in spicy flavoured gravy and nothing can beat the taste of it. Chicken Chettinad is a traditional recipe of south indian chicken curry. But the modern improvisation of cooking due to availability of the ingredients has created different variations of Chettinad Chicken, especially by the restaurants.


Chettinad Chicken and its popularity

  • The supreme flavour of the dish makes it unique and immensely popular not only in South but in the whole nation.
  • It is one of the most versatile chicken curries which can be served with dosa, appam, plain rice or with any kind of flat bread.
  • Any south Indian theme party or south Indian non-veg restaurant’s menu is incomplete without Chettinad chicken.
  • It can get prepared without investing much effort and time. In short, it is a handy recipe for chicken curry.

The recipe of Chettinad chicken Curry is simple and moderately easy to make. Different ranges of spices are required to prepare the spicy chicken curry. But, all of them are quite regularly used ingredients in Indian kitchen. It does not take much time to get prepared which makes it a great option for small parties and get togethers.

I am very fond of south Indian cuisine because of its authentic flavour and perfect usage of spices. Chicken Chettinad recipe is really very special to me. I never had the dish before until my husband prepared the Chettinad Chicken for my surprise birthday dinner. I simply loved the dish and couldn’t stop myself to devour. I have learnt this south Indian delicacy from him.

Chettinad Chicken recipe with step by step photos and instructions have been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section of the recipe. If you follow the recipe step by step, then you will surely get the restaurant style Chettinad Chicken Curry.
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How to make Chettinad Chicken?

To prepare the Chettinad Chicken recipe, I have used boneless and skin off chicken thigh fillets. This portion works great for this Indian chicken curry recipe. But, bone in pieces can also be used for the recipe.

To marinate the chicken for the Chettinad Chicken gravy, I have used lemon juice, ginger garlic paste other than salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. I have marinated the chicken for half an hour. Yogurt can also be used instead of lemon juice. But, as I have used tomatoes in the gravy for Chettinad Chicken recipe, so I have skipped yogurt.

Then I have prepared the masala for the chicken curry. First, I have dry roasted the whole spices - cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, dry red chillies, black peppers, star anise, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds for the curry and allow it to cool off.

Then I have taken grated coconut into a separate pan and dry roasted in medium flame until the coconut starts releasing oil and colour has changed to light brown. I have used desiccated coconut for the recipe, but fresh coconut can also be used. Then I have kept it aside to come to room temperature. After that, I have grinded the roasted spices and coconut together until smooth.

To prepare the Chettinad chicken curry, I have used onions, tomatoes and ginger garlic paste. I have used finely chopped onions for the gravy. In the traditional recipe, they are very specific about the size and shape of the cutting the onions. They always use finely chopped onions for the recipe to get the specific texture. I have followed the same to uplift the traditional recipe.

For the spicy chicken curry, I have used red chilli powder other than dry red chillies in the homemade spice. In the authentic recipe, red chilli paste is used instead of chilli powder to make the dish fiery. Green chillies are usually not used in this recipe.

In traditional Chettinad Chicken recipe, Kalpasi (Black Stone Flower) is used to flavour up the curry but I have excluded it because of its unavailability. I have used curry leaves for the tempering of the dish. It complements the flavour of the dish.

The gravy for Chettinad Chicken is moderately thick. I have used 2 cups of water for the recipe. You can adjust the amount according to your desired consistency.

Many recipe for spicy chicken curry have already been shared in my previous posts. You can check few of them.


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Ingredients:

To marinate the Chicken
  • Chicken Thigh fillets, medium pieces boneless and skin off
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon red Chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic paste
  • ½ Lemon, freshly squeezed juice

For the Chettinad Masala
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 3 Cardamoms
  • 1 Cinnamon stick, 3 inches broken
  • 5 Cloves
  • 3 Dry Red Chillies
  • ¾ teaspoon Black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoon Poppy seeds
  • ½ cup Coconut, grated

Rest of the ingredients for the Curry
  • 3 Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 2 Tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 10-12 Curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red Chilli powder
  • 2 cups of Water, for the Gravy (Quantity may vary according to preferred consistency)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking


Instructions:
    To Marinate the Chicken
  1. Wash and clean the chicken pieces and keep them in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add Ginger Garlic paste, Salt, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and freshly squeezed Lemon juice into the chicken.

  3. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly so all the chicken pieces get coated evenly with the spices.
  4. Cover the bowl and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

    For the Chettinad Masala
  5. Put the pan on flame and let it become completely dry.
  6. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, dry red chillies, black peppers, star anise, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds into the pan.
  7. Dry roast them in low flame for 2 minutes.
  8. Add poppy seeds into the pan and give a nice mix.
  9. Toss all the spices in medium low flame for another minute until a nice aroma comes out.
  10. Switch off the flame and transfer them on a plate.
  11. Let the masala cool down.
  12. In the same pan, add grated coconut and dry roast it in medium low flame until it starts releasing oil and colour of the coconut turns light brown.


  13. Transfer it on a plate and allow it to cool off.
  14. Transfer the whole spices and coconut into the jar of a grinder.
  15. Grind them for a minute and keep the masala aside.

    For the Curry
  16. Add Oil into the pan and put the flame in high.
  17. Once the oil is hot, add curry leaves and cook it for few seconds.
  18. Add finely chopped onions and cook it in medium high flame for 5 minutes. Stir in between.
  19. Add salt, turmeric powder and give a nice mix.
  20. Cook it in medium flame for another 5-6 minutes until the onions become mushy. Stir when required.
  21. Add ginger garlic paste and give a nice stir.
  22. Cook it in low flame for 5 minutes. Stir in between.
  23. Add tomatoes into the pan and mix it well.
  24. Cover the pan and cook it in low flame for 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes get mushy. Stir in between.
  25. Add red chilli powder into the pan and give a nice stir.
  26. Cook it in low flame until the masala starts releasing oil.
  27. Add the marinated chicken (Step 4) into the pan and mix it with the masala.
  28. Cover the pan and cook it in low flame for 10 minutes.
  29. Add the Chettinad masala into the pan and mix it nicely.
  30. Cover the pan and cook it in low flame for 10 minutes.
  31. Open the lid and give a nice stir.
  32. Add water into the pan and stir it properly.
  33. Cover the pan and put the flame in high until the gravy simmers.
  34. Put the flame in low and cook it for another 5 minutes.
  35. Switch off the flame and put the pan down.


Serving Instruction
Transfer the Chettinad Chicken into a serving bowl or on a serving plate. Always serve hot or warm to enjoy the best taste of it. Pair up the South Indian Chicken Curry recipe with plain Rice, plain Dosa or with Paratha and enjoy the South Indian delicacy.

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