Chettinad Chicken

This chicken preparation is an authentic spicy and aromatic dish from the Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu in South India. The culinary style with a judicious blend of spices is the speciality of the Chettinad cooking. This scrumptious chicken curry gets it flavor from two distinctive ingredients Kalpasi and Jaathipoo (although these ingredients can be considered optional). This curry though spicy is a much desired taste to tingle your taste buds.


  • 1 kg Chicken (washed and chopped into fine pieces)
  • 2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1½ tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1½ tsp Poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 2 twigs of Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 Onions (medium-sized)
  • 2 tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
  • ¾ cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2-3 Green Chillies
  • Salt to taste


  • 2 tsp of Kalpasi (optional)
  • 2 no’s Mace or petals of jathipoo


  • Smear the chicken pieces with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.
  • Now heat the oil in a large pan. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, poppy seeds, green chillies, and curry leaves and if available Kalpasi to it.
  • Sauté and take out the spices. Keep it aside.
  • Now add finely chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste in the remaining oil.
  • Fry till the onions turn golden brown.
  • Now add tomato, coriander powder, red chilli powder, sautéed spices and chicken to the above.
  • Add salt according to taste and fry the mixture for another 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water.
  • Put the lid and let the chicken cook for about half an hour. Occasionally add a little water if required.
  • When the chicken becomes tender, put of flame.
  • Chettinad chicken is ready to serve.
  • Serve hot with steamed white rice or Indian flat breads.

Preparation Time: 45-50 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Note:      Another variation of preparing this dish is with coconut to add to the thickness of the gravy. If required the same can be included in the ingredients.

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