Chettinad is in Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India.  Chettinad used to be Merchants, Bankers, Lenders, Traders’ city many years back.  Chettinad cuisine is spicy and has many delicious dishes, Chettinad Chicken is one of them.  Try cooking this dish at home and you will love it. 



  • Dry Whole Masalas : Mustard seeds – 1 tbs; Saunf  (Fennel seeds) – 1 tbs; Black Pepper – 1 tsp; Cinnamon stick – 2 inches; Fennugreek seeds – 1 tsp; Coriander seeds – 2 tbs; Hing (Asefoteda) powder – Half tsp; Stone leaves – one inch; Star Anise – 2 pieces; Green Cardamom – 3 pieces; Black Cardamom – 1 piece; Clove – 4 pieces; Khas Khas (Poppy seeds) – 1 tsp; Urad Dal (White Gram) – 1 tbs.
  • Shallot (small onions) – 250 grams – roughly chopped.
  • Curry leaves – Half a cup.
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece – finely chopped.
  • Garlic – 10 cloves – finely chopped.
  • Green Chillis – 3 pieces – finely chopped.
  • Onions – Large Size – 2 – finely chopped.
  • Tomato – 3 medium size – finely chopped.
  • Cooking Oil – 4 tbs.
  • Chicken – with bones – 1 kg – chopped in 1 X 1 inch pieces.
  • Tumeric powder – 1 tsp.
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tbs.
  • Salt to taste.


  • Take a Deep Pan or Kadai and add cooking oil.  Heat it up.
  • Add all dry whole masalas and fry it for 2 mintues.  
  • Add half of the curry leaves to the frying masalas and keep stirring.
  • Add chopped ginger and garlic to the Kadai.  Keep frying it for 2 minutes.
  • Add chopped Shallots (small onions) into the Kadai.  Keep stirring on high heat until the Shallots are golden brown.
  • Add little salt so that the Shallots are fried quickly.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Drain the oil out of the fried masalas.  Donot throw this oil.
  • Remove the fried masalas on a plate.  Allow it to cool
  • Grind this fried masalas in the mixer-grinder into a fine paste by adding required water.
  • Add this grinded masala mixture to the chicken and mix them well.  Allow it to marinade for atleast 45 minutes.
  • Pour the drained hot oil back into the Kadai and heat it up.
  • Add chopped onions and fry it until it turns golden brown.
  • Add remaining curry leaves and fry them.
  • Add chopped tomatoes to the Kadai and fry it well until the tomatoes are cooked to perfection.  This will take around 4 to 5 minutes on high heat.
  • Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and mix them well.  Cook them for another two minutes.  Add little water to de-glaze the Kadai.  Keep stirring.
  • Add marinaded chicken to the Kadai.  Keep stirring / mixing continuously on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Bring down the heat to minimum and cover the Kadai with a lid and allow the chicken to cook for 8 to 10 minutes with closed lid.
  • Add water (for thick consistency gravy) to the chicken and increase the heat to high.  Keep stirring/mixing.
  • Cover the Kadai with a lid and bring down the heat to medium and allow it to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes until the chicken are completely cooked.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Chettinad Chicken is ready to eat.  Serve hot and garnish it with chopped fresh coriander leaves.  Chettinad Chicken goes well with Steamed Rice and or Chappati.