Chettinad Chicken Curry

Chettinad Chicken Curry

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READY IN 45 minutes
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
SERVINGS serves 4 to 6

 Indian curries are rich in spices making them irresistible. Don’t be put off by the list of spices used, once the aroma fills the air you won’t regret the effort.

In comparison to other curries which are often made with a spice paste or ground spices and coconut milk or cream are Indian curries often made in two steps. First is making the spice mix and second is frying components, then adding the spice mix, meat and liquid which is usually water or yogurt.  

Try this South Indian curry and indulge in the lovely fragrance of spices and aromas 


  • For the masala:
  • • 2 (2 cm) cinnamon sticks
  • • 6 cloves
  • • 1 pc of star anise
  • • 5 cardamom pods
  • • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • • 1 tsp white pepper corns
  • • 5 dry chilies (reduce if you don't like the curry too hot)
  • • 1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • • ½ cup grated coconut
  • For cooking:
  • • 1 kg bone-in chicken pieces
  • • 12 shallots (sliced)
  • • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (made by pounding 2 parts ginger root and 3 parts garlic)
  • • 2 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  • • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • • 2 (2 cm) cinnamon sticks
  • • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • • 1 to 2 cups water
  • • 3 tbsp oil
  • • Salt


  • 1• Roast all masala spices (except for the coconut) on low heat in a dry skillet for about 2 minutes or until the aroma is released
  • 2• Add the coconut and mix through
  • 3• Grind the mixture fine. This works best in a coffee grinder or an up-right blender if you don’t have one. It’s a good idea to pound the cinnamon sticks prior in order to protect the blades of your machine.
  • 4• Heat the oil in a stockpot to low medium heat, add the shallots, cinnamon and fennel seeds and garlic ginger paste, fry until fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes
  • 5• Add the masala and turmeric powder fry for another 2 minutes.
  • 6• Add the tomatoes and mix through. Allow the tomatoes to soften on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • 7• Meanwhile season the chicken pieces with salt
  • 8• When the tomatoes have softened, add the chicken to the pot and mix with the spices
  • 9• Add the water, ensure the chicken pieces are about submerged and simmer on low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through.
  • 10• You can cover the pot while simmering, but ensure the curry does not become too soupy, if so remove the lid half way the simmering process to allow some liquid to evaporate
  • 11• Serve the curry with steamed rice