Chettinad Chicken


Chettinad Chicken has become one of my favorites off late. In different restaurants, you will find different versions of chettinad chicken. However, one thing I have realized is that the basic flavor in all of them, is pretty much the same. For that matter, in most preparations, there is something that is unique and common. And in Chettinad preparation few of the ingredients that gives it that distinct flavor are fennel seeds, shallots, curry leaves, coconut paste and mint leaves. So even if you don’t follow the below recipe in the exact manner, ensuring that the above mentioned ingredients are added in some order or the other, the taste will be pretty much good 🙂

What I like about this chicken curry is that, it is different from the usual style of chicken curries we make otherwise. I love the flavor the fennel seeds add to this curry. It goes very well with any kind of bread, ghee rice, dosa, Kerala porotta, idiyappam or even plain rice 🙂 And for me, this is one of the comfort foods 😉 Somehow, I feel it is light to ones’ tummy 😀 I strongly recommend this curry if you are a fan of South Indian food and I guarantee that this will be as good as the chettinad chicken you get in restaurants. Am sure, everyone will like this awesome Chettinad Chicken curry!!!


Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Chicken(with bone) – 1 kg
Onion – 3 nos. small sized, chopped
Tomato – 3 nos. small sized, chopped
Garlic – 10-12 pods
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cloves – 3-4 nos
Cardamom – 3 nos
Bay leaf – 2 nos
Curry leaves – 2-3 sprigs
Mint leaves – 4 strands, chopped
Coriander leaves – 10 strands, chopped
Oil – 5 tbsp or as needed
Salt – to taste (apprx. 1 tsp)

To grind-1:
Ginger – 3/4 inch piece
Shallots – 5-6 nos.
Garlic – 10-12 pods
Green chilli – 3 nos
Chilli powder – 2.5 tsp
Coriander powder – 2.5 tbsp

To grind-2:
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cashew – 5-6 nos

1. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Put cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, mint leaves and curry leaf mentioned under Ingredients section. Once it splutters, add chopped onion and saute.
2. Once the onion turns light pink, put crushed garlic and saute for 2-3 mins.
3. Add chopped tomato and cook till the tomatoes cook well and become a paste.
4. Meanwhile, grind the ingredients mentioned under ‘To grind-1’ section into a smooth paste. Once tomatoes cook, add this mixture into the pan. Saute till the raw smell goes.
5. Then add the chicken and salt and mix it well so the masala is coated well on the chicken pieces.
6. Cook covered in medium flame till the chicken cooks well. Chicken will leave a lot a water. But if needed, add water for chicken to cook well.
7. Meanwhile, grind the ingredients mentioned under ‘To grind-2’ section into a smooth paste. Once chicken is cooked, add this ground paste into the gravy and mix well.
8. Let it cook for about 5 mins. Add water if you need more gravy. If you want a thicker gravy, cook in medium high flame till the desired consistency.
9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.