Chicken Chettinad (Traditional Chicken Curry from Tamil Nadu)

‘Chettinad Chicken’ or ‘Chicken Chettinad’, is one of the most popular chicken curry from South Indian non vegetarian recipes. It is originated from the ‘Chettinad Region’ of Tamil Nadu, hence named after it. I love South Indian cuisine. I have tasted this dish quite a few times in different restaurants in Kolkata and outside. Though every time I found every preparation is slightly different from one another. So, tried to cook this dish differently few times, finally I found this recipe suits me best and close to the ‘Chettinad Chicken Curry’ I tried in restaurants. Here is my version of Chicken Chettinad …….


  • 700 gms Chicken – (With bone – curry cut)
  • 2 (Large-thinly sliced) Onions
  • 1 (Medium-cubed) Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 2 tsps Garlic Paste
  • A small handful Curry Leaves
  • 2 Tbsps Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Chilli Powder
  • To taste Salt
  • 2 Tbsps Lemon Juice
  • Coriander Leaves – For garnishing
For Chettinad Masala:
  • 3 Dry Whole Red Chilli
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Poppy Seeds
  • 3 Black Stone Flower – pieces (optional)
  • 4 Cloves
  • Cinnamon Stick – 2” stick
  • Pods – 3 Cardamom
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1/3 cup Grated Fresh Coconut


  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with a little salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and lemon juice for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Now make the ‘Chettinad Masala’. Dry roast all the spices except coconut in a pan/kadai till it turn golden and exudes aroma. Once it turns golden add grated coconut and roast till the coconut turns light golden. Remove them to a mixer and grind them to a smooth paste adding a little water if required.
  3. Heat oil in a pan/kadai, add chopped onion and sauté till it turns pink and translucent.
  4. Add in curry leaves, ginger paste and garlic paste. Sauté for few minutes till raw smell goes off.
  5. Add in marinated chicken and mix well. Add in cubed tomatoes and mix well. Cover the pan/karai and cook till the tomatoes are mashed and chicken is almost done with adding adequate water. Cook in low heat with lid on.
  6. Add the ground masala and mix well. Cover and simmer for another 7-10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.



~ It is difficult to find Black Stone Flower or ‘Patthar ke Ful’. If you do not find cook without it.


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