Spicy, Aromatic Chettinad Chicken Curry

Spicy, Aromatic Chettinad Chicken Curry

This Chettinad chicken curry recipe is from one of the most aromatic and spiciest cuisines of India – Chettinad! Chettinad cuisine, from the Chettinad region of the South Indian state Tamil Nadu, is known for its distinctly aromatic and spicy style.

Chettinad cuisine is distinctly aromatic, spicy, and fiery. It has a lot of flavours going on, so finding the perfect blend of spices is the key.

The base that adds character to most of the signature Chettinad curries is made up of freshly ground (and sometimes fried) spices, tomatoes, chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and coconut.It is needless to mention the specialty of this item in chettinad cusine. The mouth watering taste of this dish is known all over the world .All non-vegetarians in Asia for sure would have tasted this at least once. There are hundreds of recipes for chettinad chicken on the net written by almost all food bloggers. I have tried to find out the original recipe from my mother and grand mother and has presented the authentic chettinad recipe. For the authentic taste, the masala has to be grinded in the hand grinder. Get high quality chicken, mutton & seafood from OYC Fresh across the city in 120 minutes like I did.


Chicken-750 gms

Small onion 30 or big onion 2


Garlic 20 pods

To grind No1

Ginger ½ inch piece

Small onion-10

Garlic-10 pods

Green chillies-2

Chillie powder-1 table spoons

Coriander powder-2 table spoons

To grind No2

Coconut grated-5 table spoons

Cashew nut-5 or kasa kasa-2 teaspoons

Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon

To season

Cinnamon-2 pieces

Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon



Birinji leaf-little

Mint leaf-handful

Curry leaf little

Cooking procedure

Traditionally chicken is not marinated before cooking in Chettinad chicken. As they used to cook in low fire for a long time in olden days the chicken will get the salt and hot taste once it gets cooked. These days the chicken we use is tender and gets cooked fast in gas stove. So I feel it is better to marinate the chicken for an hour before cooking. If you do not find time to marinate, then no problem.

To marinate

1 teaspoon kuzhambu milagai thool(the powder used for sambar)

Salt-1 teaspoon

Curd little

Ginger garlic paste-1 teaspoon

Mince the onion, garlic and tomatoes.

Keep the kadai in the stove. Season the curry with the items given in ‘to season’ in 2 tablespoons of oil.

Add the onions and sauté with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes.

When the onions turn transparent add the garlic, sauté for some time

Add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté till the whole thing gets smashed.

Add the grinded paste of items given in No 1. Sauté it for a while.

Now add the chicken pieces and nicely mix all the masala over the chicken pieces.

You can see lot of water coming out of the chicken. Reduce the flame and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Once you find that the chicken pieces are almost cooked increase the flame so that the gravy becomes thick.

Once the curry gets thick add the masala grinded with the items given in No2 and mix nicely

Cook for another 5 minutes.

If you need the curry to be little watery add the masala little earlier and switch off when the curry is in the desired consistency.

The curry should be cooked till the oil seperates. 

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