chettinad chicken curry recipe | chicken chettinad recipe

chettinad chicken curry, based on the authentic recipe many modern versions have been derived, especially by the restaurateurs. Over the years, I got to taste a few which almost tasted same except the texture and the hint of spices. It is one of the most flavorful chicken dishes from the south Indian cuisine.
The recipe shared here is the one I felt close to the restaurant style chettinad chicken curry. After several trials I arrived at this and can say this is one of the best flavorful and delicious curry.
chettinad chicken curry
This recipe is roughly adapted from a cook book. chettinad masala is usually prepared with red chilies , but I somehow did not get an appealing color, so I replaced them with red chili powder.
There is also a chettinad chicken varuval recipe on the blog, which is a dry chettinad style chicken fry.

chettinad chicken curry recipe with step by step photos

1. To make chettinad masala powder, On a low flame dry roast coriander, saunf, cumin, pepper corn, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. When they begin to smell good, switch off the stove. To the hot pan, add red chilies, coconut, poppy seeds or potukadalai. When the poppy seeds turn crisp. Transfer to a plate and cool them. Powder them first and then make a fine paste with little water. Set aside this paste in a bowl. In the same blender, add tomatoes and puree.
2. Marinate chicken with turmeric, chilli powder, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and salt. You can use yogurt instead of lemon juice to tenderize the chicken.
3. Heat a pan with oil and bay leaf if you desire, i skipped it. Add onions and fry till transparent to golden. Golden gives a good taste to the curry, since i cooked in a stainless steel pan, they don’t turn to golden.
frying onions in pan for chettinad chicken curry
4. Add chicken and fry for about 4 to 5 minutes for the raw smell of the ginger garlic to go away.
addition of marinade to pan for chettinad chicken curry
5. I prefer to filter the pureed tomatoes. You can skip that.
6. I used red chili powder since i did not use red chili for the chettinad masala. Add the tomato puree, red chili powder, salt and turmeric as well.
addition of tomato puree to make chettinad chicken curry recipe
7. On a medium flame, fry till the mixture begins to leave oil. This takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chettinad masala paste and curry leaves. Fry again for 2 to 3 minutes.
addition of ground spice paste for chettinad chicken curry recipe
8. Add water as needed.
addition of water to make gravy for chettinad chicken curry recipe
9. Cook covered till the chicken is fully cooked, soft and tender. I garnished with fried curry leaves.
garnished with curry leaves chettinad chicken curry
serve with rice or phulka.

find complete recipe of chettinad chicken curry below

5.0 from 2 reviews
chettinad chicken curry recipe | chicken chettinad recipe
Prep time
Cook time
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Chicken curry from South India's popular chettinad cuisine. Cooked in flavorful , freshly ground mixture of spices
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: south indian
Yield / Serves: 3
Ingredients (240 ml cup used)
  • 500 grams or ½ kg chicken
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice or yogurt (yogurt helps to make the chcken soft)
  • 4 garlic cloves + 1 “ginger or 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • Salt as needed
Chettinad masala (roast and grind)
  • 1 tbsp. Poppy seeds or pottukadalai or 6 to 8 cashews
  • ¼ cup of grated coconut
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper corn
  • 3 to 5 red chilies (or 1 tsp red chili powder)
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  1. Marinate meat with marination ingredients. Set aside
  2. Dry roast all the ingredients lightly one after the other, listed under roast and grind for chettinad masala. Set aside to cool
  3. Grind poppy seeds to a smooth powder without water, then add 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 pan, add bay leaf, onions and fry till they turn translucent, golden is better.
  6. Add chicken, fry for at least 4 to 5 mins
  7. Filter pureed tomatoes to the pan, add turmeric, salt, chili powder. Mix well & fry till the oil begins to separate.
  8. Add the ground paste and curry leaves. Fry for 2 to 3 mins.
  9. Add 1 ¼ cup water. Cover and cook till it is fully done, soft and tender. The gravy becomes thick by then. If not cook the without a lid and evaporate some water. Add more water if needed to get the desired consistency. cook till the chicken gravy thickens. Garnish with fried curry leaves.
  10. Serve chettinad chicken curry with rice or phulka.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 Protein: 125 grams

for more chicken curry recipes, check
andhra chicken curry
kerala chicken curry

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  1. Vidya says

    Very delicious recipe….I tried for a party at my home and everyone loved it. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  2. Margaret Desouza says

    simple but delicious recipe. I put cashew nuts instead of poppy seeds. Highly recommend this recipe

  3. jamuna says

    My mother prepares same I stopped ringing her and began to make from ur blog. Tastes the same, we also add potukadalai. Thanks delicious, I’m happy

  4. 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.