Monday, June 20, 2011

Chettinad Chicken

I always thought chettinad preparation requires a lot of work. I was satisfied with the chettinad dishes from restaurants. But last weekend, I decided to cook chettinad chicken for a change and I should say restaurant chettinad chicken is no where near as good as homemade chettinad chciken. It was a big hit at home. The combination of flavors from all the spices filled the house. It was a perfect Sunday lunch!

All credit goes to Solai aachi. She has a wonderful blog with a whole bunch of chettinad recipes. When I googled for chettinad chicken, it is her blog that got listed first. And when I saw the number of comments for this recipe, I did not even care to look at other recipes. I followed exactly what is given in her blog for this dish except for the small onions part.

This chicken preparation for sure is not an easy one that you can make with few ingredients. It involves a lot of chopping, grinding and cooking. But the end result is worth all the time and effort.


1. Chicken - 1 1/2 pounds
2. Big Onions - 1 1/2 finely chopped
3. Tomatoes - 2 finely chopped
4. Garlic - 20 pods
5. Cinnamon - 2 pieces
6. Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
7. Clove - 2
8. Cardamom - 2
9. Birinji leaf - 2
10. Mint leaf - a handful
11. Curry leaf little
12. Oil - 3 tablespoons
13. Salt - as needed

For Onion Paste

1. Ginger - ½ inch piece
2. Onion - 1/2 cubed
3. Garlic - 10 pods
4. Green chillies - 2
5. Chili powder - 1 tablespoon
6. Coriander powder-2 tablespoons

For Coconut paste

1. Grated Coconut - 5 tablespoons
2. Cashew nuts - 5
3. Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon

To Marinate

1. Sambar Powder/ Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon
2. Salt - as needed
3. Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
4. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon


1. Clean and cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
2. Marinate the chicken with the ingredients specified under "To Marinate" and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Grind the ingredients specified under "For Onion Paste" into a fine mixture and keep it aside.
4. Grind the ingredients specified under "For Coconut Paste" into a fine mixture and keep it aside.
5. In a heavy bottomed kadai, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and add clove, cardamom, brinji leaf, fennel seeds, mint leaves and curry leaves. Saute for just a couple of seconds.
6. Add finely chopped onions and garlic. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
7. Add the tomatoes and desired amount of salt.(Make sure you add just enough for the gravy because we have used salt for marinating the chicken)
8. Let the tomatoes become soft and mushy. Add the ground onion paste and saute it till all the raw smell from the onions go away.
9. Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix it with the masala. Sprinkle little water if needed. But chicken will ooze out a lot of water by itself. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes.
10. Then add the coconut paste and let the gravy become thick.
11. Once the gravy reaches the required consistency, you can remove it from flame and garnish it with cilantro.

Add more water if you want a little more gravy and let it come to a boil before you remove from heat.


  1. I just feel like having a plate of rice with your chettinad chicken now!!! :D

  2. Likewise... I only eat this in the restaurants! It looks and taste very sophisticated. Thanks for the wonderful recipe... now I try making it at home and hopefully tastes as good or better then in the restaurants :)

  3. Love SOlai aunty's space very much, i tried so many chettinad dishes from her space,chettinad chicken looks incredible,flavourful and finerlicking..

  4. I have never added sambar powder in chicken preparation. Have to try soon. This dish is looking so spicy, flavouful and yummy !! All I need is a plate of rice with this

    Hamaree Rasoi

  5. perfect chicken!!looks spicy n tempting chicken!

  6. Nice recipe,flavorful and yummy chicken..drool

  7. very delicious n yummy chicken preparation..looks great..adding sambhar powder is new to me..:)..


  8. looks awesome dear..lovely recipe.

  9. Chicken chettinad looks spicy, yummy, delicious and tempting. Wonderful presentation.

  10. I love chettinad flavors - so yum! We usually order this chicken curry whenever we dine out, you have done a great job!

  11. Needless to say I love chettinad cuisine too...I like how different both our recipes are for this dish...:) love the color n' the rich look....:)

  12. One of my fav.. Looks so yummy. Will try this for sure. Bookmarked it. Thanks a lot for sharing..


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