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chicken Chettinad curry with gravy.

Chicken Chettinad curry needs no introduction as most Indian restaurants serve the chicken curry as part of their menu.

This south Indian chicken curry with its distinctive flavors is made up of quite a few aromatic spices.

They are coriander powder, poppy seeds, fennel, cumin, cardamom, cloves, star anise, cinnamon seeds, peppercorns, dried chilies, and toasted coconut.

The end result is a chicken curry recipe you’ll enjoy tucking into with a bowl of rice or some homemade garlic naan bread or homemade poori

What is chicken chettinad curry?

Well, the dish takes the name from the regions and the community it’s named after.
The Chettinad.


There’s a vast array of popular dishes that’s hit the world and once you’ve tasted this Chettinad curry, you’ll understand why this particular cuisine is gaining popularity.

The spices, the thick Chettinad gravy in this dish make it one of the popular Indian chicken curry dishes out there.

Most Indian curry dishes are a little complicated for a cook who’s just starting with the basics.

Not because of the difficulty in making them but they usually have a few steps or shall we say building blocks to complete the dish.

Classic chicken Chettinad- make a pot of this curry and taste a little bit of India and Chettinad cuisine right at your home.  elegant, spicy yet sublime in its flavors.

How to prepare chicken chettinad(The first steps).

As mentioned earlier, most Indian curries like chicken Chettinad have layers of flavors.

These can take the form of a spice blend that needs to be made fresh, leaving the meat in a marinade for a few hours, or most often the method of cooking which helps to build up the flavor profile layers.

Taste is everything…

Taste is one thing all these popular dishes and curries have in common.

They stand out because of their taste and today’s dish, the classic Chettinad chicken is one such curry.

chettinad chicken curry. Make a pot of this south Indian chicken curry and bring the flavours of Indian cuisine right into your home. An elegant, spicy yet sublime in its taste.

Tips for making the best chicken Chettinad curry.

  • Before you even give this recipe a try, have all the ingredients to this Indian chicken curry ready.
  • With all the aromatic spices used for the Chettinad chicken, the curry needs to be slow-cooked so that the meat has enough time to absorb all the flavors.
  • Take your time and don’t increase the fire of the stove to cook the curry quicker.
  • I usually leave out the amount of salt to be added to the reader(you), so make sure you do a bit of taste testing as you cook the curry.
  • The combination of dry red chilies and chili powder can be too spicy so reduce the number of chilies you use to suit your level of heat.
  • There are three essential steps to make this Chettinad chicken curry.
    • Heating and grinding some of the spices and scraped coconut.
    • Making a wet spice mix to add additional flavor to the gravy.
    • Leaving the chicken to slow-simmer in the wet masala gravy. 
chettinad chicken curry. Make a pot of this south Indian chicken curry and bring the flavours of Indian cuisine right into your home. An elegant, spicy yet sublime in its taste.

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chettinad chicken curry. Make a pot of this south Indian chicken curry and bring the flavours of Indian cuisine right into your home. An elegant, spicy yet sublime in its taste. #curry #Indian #chettinad #spicy #chicken #slowcooked

Kitchen appliances and utensils needed

  • You will need a coffee or spice grinder.
  • Non-stick pan to roast the spices
  • large pan or wok to make the curry
  • lid to cover the pan.
Frequently asked questions about this chicken curry recipe
  • Can I add coconut milk instead of water to make the thick gravy?
    • Yes, instead of water, add 1 cup of thick coconut milk and slow simmer till you have a thick gravy or the consistency you prefer. This would also reduce the spiciness of the chicken curry.
  • How can I reduce the spiciness of the chicken Chettinad curry?
    • The spices that add heat are red chilies, red chili powder and peppercorns reduce them in half. reduce the number of cloves as well. If the chicken curry recipe is still hot, then pour in some coconut milk as well.
More Indian chicken curry with gravy recipes

Butter chicken

Mughlai chicken

Chicken pasanda(almond chicken curry

Chicken vindaloo

RECIPE DIFFICULTY-LITTLE CARE IS NEEDED

Chettinad chicken curry with a spicy gravy

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

Ingredients

The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

To make the Chettinad masala spice

1 tablespoon of oil

2 tablespoons of coriander seeds

1 teaspoon of poppy seeds(there are times that I run out of this ingredient and cook without, so you can make this an optional ingredient but if you want to stick to the authentic recipe then poppy seeds is a must).

1 tablespoon of cumin seeds

1/2 a teaspoon peppercorns

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

4 green cardamoms

3 cloves

1 piece of cinnamon(1-2 inches)

1 Star anise

5 whole dry red chilies

To make the Chettinad chicken gravy

1/2 a cup of scraped coconut(substitute with dessicated coconut)

2-inch piece of ginger chopped fine(2 tbsp)

6 cloves of garlic chopped fine(3 tbsp

3 tablespoons of oil

A sprig of curry leaves

1 large onion

3 medium-sized tomatoes

1 teaspoon of chili powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric

Salt to season

1 kg of chicken parts(you can use a mix of parts or boneless chicken as I have done)

2 tablespoons of lime

1 and 1/2 cup of water(see notes above if using coconut milk)

Fresh Coriander leaves to garnish.

Method

Gather all spices needed to make the Chettinad chicken curry before you begin making the curry.


Cut the onions(1 large sliced fine), tomatoes(3 medium chopped), ginger(2 “inch piece about 2 tbsp), garlic(6 cloves, about 3 tbsp).

Clean, wash and drain and pat dry the chicken once you’ve cut them into the required size.

Roasting the spices for chicken Chettinad.

Place a pan over low heat, pour a tablespoon of oil.

Add the coriander seeds(2tbs), poppy seeds(1tsp), cumin seeds(1 tbs), peppercorns(1/2tsp), cardamom(4), cloves(3), cinnamon(1 inch piece), star anise(1), fennel seeds(1tbs), red chillies(5 whole dry chillies).

Roast the following ingredient for 3-5 minutes over low medium fire until they release their aroma. set aside to cool.

Important: When you add the ingredients to dry roast(above instruction), add one spice at a time to the pan, leaving a few seconds in between adding the next spice.

Add the dry red chilies at the end, so the chilies won’t burn.

Once all the spices are roasted, transfer them to a bowl.

Wipe the same pan and place the pan over a low fire.

Add the scraped coconut(1/2 a cup, substitute with dessicated coconut).

Do not add oil but gently roast until the coconut changes slightly golden and look dry.

This should be done over low-medium heat for at least 5 minutes. set aside to cool.

Making the chicken Chettinad masala paste.

Once the roasted spices and coconut are cool, add them to the coffee grinder,  add the chopped ginger(1/2 inch piece) and garlic(6 cloves) as well.

Grind all the spices till you have a thick masala powder to make the Chettinad chicken gravy.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

How to cook the Chettinad chicken curry.

Place your preferred cooking pan or wok over medium heat and pour in oil(4 tbsp), leave it to warm for a few seconds.

Once the oil is warm, add curry leaves, onions(1 large sliced fine), tomato(3 medium chopped).

Red chilli powder(1 tsp), and turmeric(1 tsp).
Sauté the following ingredients until the onions and tomatoes turn soft.

Maintain medium heat, add the ground masala(spice mix)to the tempered ingredients in the pan.

Combine and cook all the ingredients in the pan until oil separates, this should take 5 minutes.

Add the chicken to the masala mix, season with salt and combine all ingredients together.

cook for further 5 minutes.

Pour in two cups of water, the lime juice, cover with a lid and let it slow-cook until gravy thickens and reduces to the consistency you prefer.

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chettinad chicken curry. Make a pot of this south Indian chicken curry and bring the flavours of Indian cuisine right into your home. An elegant, spicy yet sublime in its taste.

chicken chettinad curry with spicy gravy

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Chicken Chettinad curry needs no introduction as most Indian restaurants serve the chicken curry as part of their menu.

This south Indian chicken curry with its distinctive flavors is made up of quite a few aromatic spices.

Ingredients

  • The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • To make the Chettinad masala spice
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds(there are times that I run out of this ingredient and cook without, so you can make this an optional ingredient but if you want to stick to the authentic recipe then poppy seeds is a must)
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 a teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 piece of cinnamon(1-2 inches)
  • 1 Star anise
  • 5 whole dry red chilies
  • To make the Chettinad chicken gravy
  • 1/2 a cup of scraped coconut(substitute with dessicated coconut)
  • 2-inch piece of ginger chopped fine(2 tbsp)
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped fine(3 tbsp
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Salt to season
  • 1 kg of chicken parts(you can use a mix of parts or boneless chicken as I have done)
  • 2 tablespoons of lime
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water(see notes above if using coconut milk)
  • Fresh Coriander leaves to garnish

Notes

Gather all spices needed to make the Chettinad chicken curry before you begin making the curry.

Cut the onions(1 large sliced fine), tomatoes(3 medium chopped), ginger(2 “inch piece about 2 tbsp), garlic(6 cloves, about 3 tbsp).

Clean, wash and drain and pat dry the chicken once you’ve cut them into the required size.

Roasting the spices for chicken Chettinad.

Place a pan over low heat, pour a tablespoon of oil.

Add the coriander seeds(2tbs), poppy seeds(1tsp), cumin seeds(1 tbs), peppercorns(1/2tsp), cardamom(4), cloves(3), cinnamon(1 inch piece), star anise(1), fennel seeds(1tbs), red chillies(5 whole dry chillies).

Roast the following ingredient for 3-5 minutes over low medium fire until they release their aroma. set aside to cool.

Important: When you add the ingredients to dry roast(above instruction), add one spice at a time to the pan, leaving a few seconds in between adding the next spice.

Add the dry red chilies at the end, so the chilies won’t burn.

Once all the spices are roasted, transfer them to a bowl.

Wipe the same pan and place the pan over a low fire.

Add the scraped coconut(1/2 a cup, substitute with dessicated coconut).

Do not add oil but gently roast until the coconut changes slightly golden and look dry.

This should be done over low-medium heat for at least 5 minutes. set aside to cool

Making the chicken Chettinad masala paste.

Once the roasted spices and coconut are cool, add them to the coffee grinder,  add the chopped ginger(1/2 inch piece) and garlic(6 cloves) as well.

Grind all the spices till you have a thick masala powder to make the Chettinad chicken gravy.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

How to cook the Chettinad chicken curry.

Place your preferred cooking pan or wok over medium heat and pour in oil(4 tbsp), leave it to warm for a few seconds.

Once the oil is warm, add curry leaves, onions(1 large sliced fine), tomato(3 medium chopped).

Red chili powder(1 tsp), and turmeric(1 tsp). Sauté the following ingredients until the onions and tomatoes turn soft.

Maintain medium heat, add the ground masala(spice mix)to the tempered ingredients in the pan.

Combine and cook all the ingredients in the pan until oil separates, this should take 5 minutes.

Add the chicken to the masala mix, season with salt, and combine all ingredients together.

cook for further 5 minutes

Pour in two cups of water, the lime juice, cover with a lid and let it slow-cook until gravy thickens and reduces to the consistency you prefer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 651Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 364mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 51g

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Sajan abraham

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Can I use your chicken chettinads image for my menu?

jehan

Thursday 11th of March 2021

I'm afraid not. all images and recipe posts on this blog are copyrighted.

Deepa

Saturday 6th of June 2020

Hey Jehan, I was looking for chettinad chicken recipe for a long time and the slow cooking aspect in this recipe caught my eye. Tried this out today and must say it came out excellent. Just the color did not come out as red as in the picture, maybe because I did not add chilli powder. Nevertheless, tasted great!! Thank you for the detailed recipe and tips.

jehan

Sunday 7th of June 2020

Hi Deepa, thank you or trying out the Chettinad chicken recipe. glad it came out well. don't worry about the color, my images come out much sharper and colors tend to be vibrant due to high-resolution shots. And you are most welcome. regards J

Jack

Saturday 29th of December 2018

It says roast the coriander seeds but they are not shown in the ingredients. What quantity is needed

jehan

Sunday 30th of December 2018

Thank you for catching this! just edited the recipes to include the amount it's 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds.

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