Chicken Chettinad

 It’s been a lovely weekend full of sunshine and relaxation, getting back from a road trip the need to have some spicy home cooked meal was strong. So settled into making this elaborate and authentic Chettinad Chicken from the land of the Chettiyars of Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India. Their cuisine is globally renowned for the spicy punch in them, which makes it aromatic and delicious, so if you are in for something spicy to taste over this long weekend, go on give it a try.For those of you spice challenged, go easy on the spices a bit, will save you a lot of trouble, like some friend of ours after tasting it said, they could feel the sweat glands on their head open up, though they loved the taste.It is not for the weak hearted for sure ! Enjoy !
  1. Chicken ( 1 whole) – cut in desired size pieces
  2. Cinnamon -2 ‘
  3. Cardamom pods crushed – 2-3
  4. Onion (finely chopped ) – 2 large
  5. Tomato pureed – 2
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Coconut oil – 4tbsp
  8. Curry leaves – a sprig
To be ground into paste
  1. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  2. 2 tsp black peppercorns
  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 4 dried red chilies
  5. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. 2 tsp ginger garlic paste


Method :
  1. Clean the chicken and pat dry  with a kitchen towel. Keep aside covered in a bowl.
  2. Dry roast fennel seeds, black pepper, cumin, red chilies, coriander seeds till fragrant and slightly darkened. Grind them in a mixer to a smooth paste using little water.
  3. Add turmeric and ginger -garlic paste to the freshly ground spice mix. Mix well and set aside in a bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a large thick bottomed vessel over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods, curry leaves and saute for few seconds till fragrant. Add the chopped onion and saute over low heat till onion is light brown in color.
  5. Next add the tomato puree and fry the masala for 10 minutes or so over low heat. The indication of masala being ready is  when oil starts separating from the mix.
  6. Now add the fresh spice paste to the vessel and stir well. Continue to saute the masala till the masala turns into a deep brown color and well roasted.
  7. At this stage add the chicken pieces, salt and stir coat the chicken pieces with the spice mixture. Add 1 cup of warm water, stir well and bring to a boil on high heat. Turn the heat to low and cook the chicken Chettinadu curry covered for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in between.
  8. Once chicken is cooked, remove the lid and let the chicken simmer over medium heat to thicken the gravy and for sauce to coat the chicken pieces.
  9. Turn off the heat. Serve Chicken Chettinadu Curry with steamed rice or Green Peas Pulav or flat breads like naan. 

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