Chicken Chettinad Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Makes: 4-6 servings
  • Marinade
  • 1 lb. / pound Chicken thighs, cut into desired size
  • 1 lb. / pound Chicken drumsticks)
  • 2 teaspoons Chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • For the gravy
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon channa dal (split Bengal gram)
  • salt to taste
  • Spice / Masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper seeds
  • 7-8 Kashmiri chilli OR 15-16 Byadagi chilli
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 1 star anise seed
  • 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • For the tadka / tempering
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (kadipatta)
  • 2 red chillies
  • Finely cut coriander leaves for garnishing
  1. Marinate the chicken with salt and chilly powder (2 teaspoons) and set it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a medium sized pan and at medium heat, add all the ingredients listed in the masala section to the pan and roast it till an aroma emanates from it( which will happen in approximately 20-30 seconds). Add the desiccated coconut and roast for another 10 seconds and take it off heat.
  3. Transfer the spices / masala to a blender along with the tomato (use only one tomato) and grind it to a fine paste using water as needed. (Start with no water and add tablespoons at a time till you get a paste of fine consistency).
  4. Heat oil in a cooker kept at medium heat. Once heated, add onions and garlic and fry them. When the onions turn translucent, add cut tomatoes and fry them till they are mushy.
  5. Add chicken, channa dal and the ground masala from the previous step and mix well. Add water to get it to the consistency desired.
  6. Cover the cooker and put the vent on. Let the vent go off once before switching off the gas.Wait for the cooker to cool down before opening the lid.
  7. Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, add curry leaves and red chillies and switch off the gas. Add this tadka to the cooked chicken and blend it in.
  8. Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.
You can also make the Chettinad spice powder in large quantities and store it in an air tight container for future use.
Recipe by Simmer to Slimmer at