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Indian Classics - Chicken Chettinad

1 kg chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (or use 4 - 6 chicken thighs, cut into two pieces each)
1 - 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or any other oil, except extra virgin olive oil)
Around 8 - 10 curry leaves
1 large onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon hot cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 lemon, to squeeze over

Spice Paste:

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
4 cloves
A 3 inch piece of cassia bark
1 whole star anise
7 mild long red chillis
4 cloves garlic
250 ml coconut milk + about 50 ml extra, if desired


In a hot heavy pan, toast the whole spices for the spice paste one by one, until fragrant. Let cool, then transfer to a blender along with the garlic and coconut milk. Blend to a very fine paste.

Place the oil in a pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the curry leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the diced onion, and fry together for about 5 - 7 minutes, until the onion starts to brown around the edges.

Add the tomatoes and fry a few more minutes, until the tomatoes have softened.

Add the ground spice paste, turmeric and cayenne powder, and fry for another 4 - 5 minutes, until the raw smell from the spices disappears. Season with a little salt.

Add the chicken pieces to this masala and bring to a simmer.

Lower the heat and let the curry simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle over the sugar and stir.

Bring back the curry to a boil, and simmer rapidly, until you are left with a slightly dryish curry. This depends on your taste, you can make this with a thick sauce too, if you wish. If you want it with a thick sauce, then add the remaining 50 ml coconut milk at this point.

Readjust seasoning, and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, or to taste, and serve. This dish goes well with rice, pulao, biriyani or roti.

Recipe from: http://foodfootballandababy.blogspot.com/
Author: Michelle Peters - Jones
Please do not plagiarise