chettinad chicken curry

chettinad chicken curry
chettinad chicken curry

                       Based on the authentic chettinad chicken curry recipe, many modern versions have been derived, especially by the restaurateurs. Over the years, I have tasted few.
Today’s recipe is the one that I felt close to the restaurant style chettinad chicken curry and it is from Nita Mehta’s 101 nonveg recipes cookbook.  I have cooked different versions of chettinad chicken curry and was not very impressed with the outcome, but the one from Nita Mehta’s cookbook is a truly treasurable recipe as it tasted great and the gravy was really finger licking and the aroma was outstanding.  
The only change I made to this chettinad chicken curry recipe is I used red chili powder instead of dry red chilies, as I did not get a good deep color when I prepared this earlier with red chilies.


chettinad chicken curry recipe below

400 gms chicken (cut to 6 pieces)
3 to 4 tbsps. oil
1 onion finely chopped
Fistful of curry leaves
2 medium tomatoes (pureed and strained)
¾ tbsps. poppy seeds (khus Khus) + 6 whole cashewnuts
½ cup of milk (optional to use just before serving)
1/8 tsp turmeric
¼  tsp chili powder
2 tsps lemon juice
4 garlic cloves + 1 “ ginger or 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Chettinad masala (roast and grind)
¼ cup of freshly grated coconut
1 tsp coriander seeds
½  tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper corn
3 red chilies (I replaced with 1 tsp red chili powder)
2 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 “ cinannamon stick


step by step pictures on chettinad chicken curry

1.   Marinate the chicken with marination ingredients. set aside
2.   Dry roast all the ingredients, listed under roast and grind. set aside to cool
3.   Grind poppy seeds to a smooth powder without water, then add cashews along with the spices, powder to fine and add water and make a smooth paste. set aside
4.   grind tomatoes to smooth 
5.   heat oil in a tawa, add onions and fry till they turn translucent
6.   add chicken, sauté for atleast 4 to 5 mins
7.   filter pureed tomatoes, add turmeric, salt,  chili powder.mix well &  cook till the oil begins to separate

8.   Add the ground paste and curry leaves. sauté for 2 mins

9.   Add 1 ¼ cup water. Cover & cook till the chicken is fully done. The gravy becomes thick by then. if not cook the chicken without a lid & evaporate some water

10.                just before serving add the milk and simmer till it begins to bubble. This is optional
Note: the first pic is before adding milk, the last pic(below) is after adding milk

chettinad chicken kulambu
chettinad chicken kulambu

For more chicken curry recipes check my andhra chicken curry, punjabi butter chicken , nadan chicken curry

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  1. says

    It looks like delicious… Please don't scream… Do you think it's the same if I put curry in powder and not in leaves? Consider it's for us, Italians… Thank you, kind regards!

    • says

      Hi Patty! Thanks for visiting. The main aroma in this curry comes from the fresh curry leaves, iam sure if you use curry leaves powder made from dried leaves, the taste and aroma alters. you can try with a powder made from fried curry leaves, if available.

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