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How to cook… Chicken Chettinad

Serves 4 as a main dish

Chicken Chettinad tis the trademark dish from the South Indian city of Chettinad, whole spices and coconut are dry-fried and ground, then added to a sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger to create a classic Tamil Nadu dish, with chillies providing the kick.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons sesame oil (you can use vegetable oil but will lose some of the flavour)
• 10 curry leaves
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 400g Base Curry sauce
• 0.5 teaspoon turmeric
• 0.5 teaspoon coriander powder
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
• A few coriander leaves for garnish

Spice Mix
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 4cm piece cinnamon stick
• 3 cloves
• 3 cardamons
• 6 Tablespoons desiccated coconut



How to make it
1. Dry fry the spices from the Spice Mix on a medium heat in a pan for 15 seconds then add the coconut until it browns (about 2 minutes). Keep stirring and be careful not to burn the Spice Mix. Grind the mixture and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in the same pan to a medium heat and fry the curry leaves for 15 seconds.
3. Add the garlic paste and fry for 1 minute.
4. Add the Base Curry Sauce and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add the Spice Mix, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder and salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
6. Add the chicken pieces and fry until all the pieces are cooked (about 10 minutes)
7. Serves, garnished with the coriander leaves.

CHEF’S TIP
If using an electric grinder it’s best to let your dry-fry mix cool down before grinding.



Chicken Chettinad is a popular dish from the heart of Tamil Nadu.

If you like this you should try our
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If you love South Indian dishes you should Chett this recipe out.

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