Chettinad Chicken Curry: A Flavorful South Indian Delight

Chettinad Chicken Curry is a signature dish from the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu, South India. Known for its rich and robust flavors, this curry stands out from others due to its distinctive blend of spices and use of aromatic ingredients. Let’s explore the recipe to recreate this mouthwatering dish at home.


For Marination:
  • 500g chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
For Chettinad Masala:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
For the Curry:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish



  • Marination: In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, and salt. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Chettinad Masala: In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add dried red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and poppy seeds. Roast the spices on low heat until aromatic. Add grated coconut and continue to roast until it turns golden brown. Let it cool and grind into a fine paste using a little water.
  • Curry: In a large skillet or kadhai, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the finely chopped onions until they turn translucent.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook on medium heat until they turn slightly brown.
  • Stir in the tomato puree and curry leaves. Cook until the oil starts to separate from the masala.
  • Add the ground Chettinad masala paste and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, adjust the seasoning with salt, and bring the curry to a gentle simmer.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  • Once the curry reaches the desired consistency, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve the delectable Chettinad Chicken Curry with steamed rice or Indian bread (roti, naan) for a delightful culinary experience.

Enjoy the explosion of flavors and the authentic taste of Chettinad cuisine right at home with this delicious and aromatic chicken curry!


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