Famous Chettinad Chicken | Quick & Easy Recipe

Chettinad Chicken is one of the most authentic chicken curries from the South Indian cuisine known for its distinctly aromatic and spicy style. Originated from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, this chicken curry recipe curry has lots of freshly roasted spices and grated coconut which is then ground to a fine paste and added it to the chicken. While this easy Chettinad chicken curry recipe goes perfectly with Dosa or Appams, it tastes equally good with Parathas, Rotis, and even plain rice.

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  • Chicken – 500 g (skinless with bone-in, cut into medium-sized pieces)
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Onions – 1 cup (finely chopped)
  • Tomato Puree – 2-3 tbsp
  • Lemon – 1/2
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp (roughly chopped)
  • Garlic – 10-12 pods
  • Curry Leaves – 1 Spring
  • Red Chillis –  4-5 no.
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Bay Leaf – 1-2 no.
  • Black Peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
  • Green Cardamom- 2 no.
  • Black Cardamom – 1 no.
  • Stone Flower / Kalpasi – little
  • Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cloves – 4 no.
  • Cinnamon- 1” piece
  • Star Anise – 1 no.
  • Dry Coconut Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Coriander Leaves – 2 stems
  • Salt – to taste


Step1:Wash the chicken neatly until the water runs off clearly.

Step2: Add salt, turmeric, & squeeze half lemon to the chicken. Mix it well & marinate for at least 15 -20 minutes.

Chettinad Masala

Step1:Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan & fry coriander seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, red chilies & peppercorns.

Step2:When the coriander seeds begin to smell good, add garlic pods & coconut powder, fry until it turns light brown.

Step3:Cool all these. Grind all the masalas into a  fine paste along with ginger by adding some water.

Curry Preparation

Step1: Heat remaining oil in a non-stick pan, add curry leaves.

Step2:Add onions & fry them until they turn translucent.

Step3:Then add tomato puree & saute it until the oil oozes out.

Step4:Now, add the marinated chicken & Saute for 10 minutes.

Step5:Add ground masala paste, 1 cup of water, enough salt & mix well.

Step6:Cover with a lid and cook until done. Add more chilli & water if required.

Step7:Switch off the flame & garnish with coriander leaves.

Things to Avoid

1. The base that adds character to most of the signature Chettinad curries is made up of freshly ground spices. Take special care not to add more than the stipulated quantities in this recipe.

2. Don’t over fry the masalas as they give little bitter taste & also alter the flavor of the recipe.

3. Don’t cook the curry on a high flame. Always cook on medium flame.

Cooking Tips

1. When making any south Indian curry, make sure to use chicken in bone as the gelatinous juices from the bones that release while cooking are very flavourful.

2. Make this recipe in a Kadai /pan as it tastes better than the one made in a pressure cooker.

3.  The recipe has a lot of flavors going on, so finding the perfect blend of spices is the key.

4. If you like your Chicken Chettinad fiery, feel free to replace Kashmiri chilies with hot red chillies.

Serving Combination

Chettinad Chicken has a thick gravy, which tastes good when served with Appam, Rice, or Roti. You can also serve this dish with crispy dosa or neer dosa.

More Similar Recipes:

Ghee Chicken Roast Recipe

Creamy Butter Chicken Recipe

Chicken Afghani Kebab

Spicy Chicken Fry

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