• 1 kg chicken, washed and cut into medium sized pieces
  • 200 gm cup shallots / small onions / sambar onions chopped finely
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 5 dry red chillies
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • Make a paste:
  • 2 green chillis
  • 8 garlic flakes
  • 1″ ginger
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds soaked in warm water
  • Roast and Grind:
  • 1/2 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 8 dry red chillies
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp oil
  • For Garnish
  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped

Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. The Chettiar community, who are a majority in this region, are a very successful trading community. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India.

Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas. 1 unique technique in Chettinad chicken is that chicken is not marinated.

In a frying pan heat 1 tsp oil and roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, red chillis, cardamoms, cinnamon and curry leaves stirring continuously for a minute. Remove from heat let it cool. Now grind it to a smooth powder. Keep aside.

Grind the ginger, garlic, green chillies and poppy seeds to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Now in a heavy bottom big frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped shallots, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Fry till the onions becomes translucent. Now add the ground paste of ginger, garlic, green chillies and poppy seeds. Saute till oil separates. Now add the chicken pieces and cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally.

When the chicken changes color and oil separates turn the heat to medium and add salt, turmeric powder and tomatoes and mix well. Cook the chicken for another 5 minutes. When oil separates add 2 cups water and cook on medium heat with a lid for 25 minutes or till chicken becomes soft.

Add the coconut milk and the ground masala. Cook uncovered till the gravy becomes thick. Turn off heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.