Chicken Chettinad

  • Time
    40 mins
  • Servings
  • Nutrition
    350 Per Serving

Chettinad is a region within the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. The word “chettinad” actually denotes a social class of master chefs. The region is famous for their aromatic, spicy and bold dishes. Chicken Chettinad is loaded with bold spices typical to the cuisine like fennel, pepper, cumin, cardamom, and cloves. Coconut is a popular ingredient in Chettinad cooking and helps balance the heat of the spices with a subtle sweetness. The longer you cook this dish, the more the flavors infuse into the chicken. It’s one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day.'

Kitchen Tools

  • Large Pot
  • Medium Bowl
  • Small Pot
  • Pan or Toaster Oven
  • Oil
  • Salt



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Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, turmeric, juice of half a lemon, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow it to marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, start the sauce by heating a medium size pot over medium heat.

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Add 1 tablespoon of oil, half the curry leaves, and all of the coconut. Beware as the oil may sputter. Toast until the coconut begins to brown, then add onions and ginger-garlic paste to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions begin to caramelize.

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Stir in half the tomato paste (reserve the rest for another use), ¼ cup water, and salt to taste. Add chili powder to your spice level preference. Cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

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Add the marinated chicken to the pot and stir in the Chettinad Masala. Cook for 2 minutes until spices have mixed into the curry base and chicken is coated.

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Add ½ cup of water, cover and cook chicken curry for 20-25 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, start making the rice per instructions. While the rice cooks, chop the tomato into 8 large pieces. In a separate pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of oil, half the mustard seeds, the rest of the curry leaves and the green chili (chopped or split to release heat).

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Toast until the seeds begin to pop and then add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Serve the tomato pachadi with Chicken Chettinad and hot rice.

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