Go Back
+ servings

Chicken Chettinad (South-Indian Chicken Curry)

Juicy, succulent chicken pieces in a spicy masala. Chicken Chettinad is a classic recipe of a fiery hot chicken curry from Southern India. It is just as easy to make at home.
Servings: 2


  • 500 gms chicken curry cut
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 5 sprigs curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Chettinad masala

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 4 whole red chillies
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 pcs stone flower (lichen flower)
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 pc mace
  • 1" pc cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 10-12 cloves of garlic
  • 2" pc ginger
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)


  • Begin by marinating the chicken. In a large bowl, take the curry cut chicken pieces. Add in salt, turmeric powder, and lemon juice. Mix well and keep aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare the Chettinad masala. Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan. Add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Mix.
  • Add in the peppercorns, cloves, green cardamoms, black cardamom, and star anise. Mix well.
  • Add the cinnamon, mace, bay leaves, and stone flower. Saute until they crackle keeping the flame medium to low.
  • Add in whole red chillies with the stems removed. Saute for a minute. Remove to a plate and keep aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, roast the grated coconut until it browns. Remove to a plate and keep aside to cool.
  • When cooled, transfer the masalas and the coconut into a grinder jar. Add in garlic, ginger, tamarind paste, and fenugreek seeds. Add a bit of water. Blend into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan. Add in chopped onions and 3 sprigs of curry leaves. Saute until the onions are browned.
  • Add in the marinated chicken and saute until it is seared.
  • Add in the chettinad masala paste. Add a bit of water and mix well. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked.
  • Check the salt and add more if required. You can adjust the gravy as per your taste. I prefer the semi dry version.
  • The Chicken Chettinad is ready to serve. Garnish with fried curry leaves and serve with Malabar parathas.