Chicken chettinad

I loved Chettinad dishes a lot when I was in India. It was on the menu of almost all the non-veg restaurants there. These dishes are spicy and very tasty. I started missing these when we moved to US. I haven’t seen it on the menus of any Indian restaurant here. So, when one of my readers asked for this recipe, I was more than happy to try it. But then, I had to wait for few days to cook it. I finally cooked this when I had invited one of my friend for dinner. It came out very good.

8-9 chicken pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup tomato
3-4 red chilies
5-6 black pepper
A pinch turmeric
1 tbl spn lemon juice
3-4 strands coriander leaves
2 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
1/2 tea spn fennel seeds(badishepi)
1 tea spn poppy seeds
3-4 cloves
1″ cinnamon
1/2 tea spn each chopped ginger and garlic
8-9 curry leaves

You can add more pepper if you want it to be hotter.

Heat a little oil and add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, red chilies, cloves, cinnamon, pepper. Fry for sometime and then add coconut. Fry till a nice aroma comes out and the coconut turns slightly brownish. Grind it to a paste with ginger and garlic.
Heat oil, fry onion and curry leaves. When they turn brownish, add the paste and fry for about 1min.
Add chicken pieces, fry for a minute. Add tomato, turmeric, salt and half cup water. Close and cook till done. Pour lemon juice, garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 20 mins

50 thoughts on “Chicken chettinad”

  1. Hi,

    I dont think this is chetinad recipe. I have friends who are chettiayars and their moms used to make authentic chetinad stuff.. and the primary ingredient for chetinad cooking is black pepper and methi seeds.. and ofcourse coconut and curry leaves which you have used. without pepper and methi seeds I doubt if this will taste the real chetinad.


  2. Oops I missed pepper mentioned above.. and usually usage of methi is half a tea spoon anyways.. so yeah this shud really taste the authentic chetinad.. I am book marking this.. a must try!!

    Shilpa: Anita, I had read quite a number of chettinad chicken recipes before posting this. I did not find methi in any of the recipes I saw. It is possible that different people have their own way of making some dishes. Believe me, it tasted great.

  3. Dear Shilpa,
    That Picture sure looks yummy.. 🙂 I have been trying your chicken recipes, they are good, surely this is next on my list…Hmmm.. When do u get time to do all this??
    Truly commendable i must say 🙂
    Bye and Thank you

  4. Gopal Nayak- 09448430185


    That Picture sure looks to good, but i dont think so if we try to do chicken recipes it will not become that taste and my mom also dont know how to clean the chicken…

    i have take this one in hotel only..



  5. Hi Shilpa,
    Did you use a whole chicken(small size) for this recipe or just thighs.
    Will have to surely give this a try.


    Shilpa: I used boneless chicken breasts because thats what I normally use in my cooking. It was precut and cleaned. I just used 7-8 small pieces of it.

  6. *****(5 stars)
    I vouch for this recipe. Slurp..Found a similar one somewhere on the internet few years back. Its been the favorite and the best Chicken Curry ever since. It has a very distinctive South Indian touch to it.
    I love to eat this with Paan Polo.
    Shilpa, totally agree with you that the Indian restaurants abroad should add these South Indian style recipes.

  7. Shilpa… I make this kind without the fennel seeds, poppy seeds and curry leaves. I guess all these three add a lot of flavor to it. I am going to try this one sometime next week. Sorry i cannot let you know the taste, but my hubby will let me know how it tasted.

    The picture looks gr8 and perfect. What you mention as 7-8 pieces is i guess a pound of it.

  8. Shilpa, This recipe looks delish, thanks for sharing. My father is very fond of Chettinad cuisine and I plan on making it for him for our Sunday dinner. Do you have any coorg chicken recipes to share? tia.

  9. I was so tempted to make this, i went to the stores and bought abt 1 pound of it. My hubby and my FIL liked it very much. According to my hubby, it is one of the “best recipes” in chicken made by me till date. It was a send off dinner to my in laws leaving for Mumbai tommorrow.

  10. Nice recipe.I definitely want to try this one.
    By 8-9 pieces, could you tell approximately how much weight do you mean by that?Can i try this exact recipe for half kg chicken?

    Shilpa: SK, it was about 3/4th pound of chicken. I used boneless chicken.

  11. hi Shilpa
    The recipe looks great..i have been trying a lot of your recipes and i bet every time it comes out wonderful:)
    I live in the bay area and I guessed you live in the US too! I wanted to know where you get the frozen coconut from? I dont have a coconut shredder and thus using it becomes a tough job…if you know of a place where i can get fresh/frozen shredded coconut please let me know…thank you

    Shilpa: Jui, I usually buy frozen shredded coconut from Indian store. They are available in freezer sections.

  12. This recipe is too good.I just loved it!!!! Thank you so much!!

    BTW,by now u must have realized that I am a regular at ur blog.I bookmarked the chettinad recipe and prepared today.I was happy I did it so fast,just a week after u posted.Now I visit ur blog to comment and I am ashamed of myself:( You have posted 3 more yummy recipes ,nothing too quick-to-prepare of course.I wonder how u get all the time and motivation to try new dishes so frequently.Esp when u r working full time too !!!
    But I am so happy u r sharing all ur dishes with us thru this blog.I like ur recipes and also ur write-ups make a very intersting read.I have visited quite a few food blogs(I am yet to start working here,so time pass 🙂 ), some of them are really good but urs is the Best.

  13. Hi Shilpa,

    I am one of the newest visitors to this website! Found it to be extremly interesting & useful! Since i am newly married,staying out of India and also not very well versed with our amchi cooking (in terms of cooking; & not eating,that am good at!), the recipes u’ve posted do come in very handy!

    Tried out chettinad chicken yesterday and served it with Ghee rice, my husband just loved it! Thanks to U!

  14. hi shilpa,

    The rice rotis turned out so well, without a minimal effort, i made them 3 times so far,, and also your rawa ladoos, also turned out well, without any waste this time,, we loved it,, thank you so much,, keep up the good word, bye for now

  15. Thank you dear Shilpa. It is really yummy. just what i was looking for.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  16. Hi Shilpa :

    The picture reminds me of the chicken I used to eat in the South Indian restaurants in Malaysia.

    Can I make this without the coconut? Can I use the flake cocunut which we get in bags in the baking aisle? Please advise.


    Shilpa: You can use the coconut flakes, but make sure it is unsweetened. Sweetened coconut is not suitable for this.

  17. Hi Shilpa
    Thank you 4 sharing this lovely recipe.
    I tried it this weekend, my hubby and I loved it.
    It was really yummy.

  18. Hey Shilpa

    I’m a daily vistor to your blog staying in New Zealand……last night i tried this recipe….i couldn’t believe it myself….it turned out fantastic…… partner loved this dish….he took the left over chicken for today;s lunch…… thanks a lot for posting this recipe …….you are just superb.


  19. hi shilpa,

    i tried this receipe at home, some other chicken receipes such as dry chicken and pepper chicken. all tasted great.

    thanks a lot for such nice receipes


  20. Hi Shilpa,

    I tried the dish this afternoon and it turned out to be wonderful an really yummy. My husband who generally does not like to have chicken curries or gravies, really liked the taste and everything about this dish.
    Thanks very much for the recipe. Great work!!


  21. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    I made it yesterday. I made it with a little more gravy and served it with dosa. It tasted great.


  22. Hi Shilpa,
    I tried this recipe yesterday and it came out very very tasty! Served it with Paan Polo..Loved it..Thanks a lot..

  23. Hi Shilpa,
    Tried your recipe for Chicken Chettinad,it was simply yummy:)was’nt expecting it to be so good!Would appreciate if you could post a recipe for chicken sandwiches.

  24. i tried this and it was excellent…my husband loved it so much, he was like this is the best chicken curry he has had so far, prepared at home..thanks for the recipe

  25. Hi Shilpa,
    I tried this recipe last night and it turned out just awesome..!!!!!The aroma of the curry is just fabulous…and my husband just loved it.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe..keep up your good work!!

  26. Hi Shilpa,
    I have tried this recipe about 3 times now, and each time it just tastes better and better. I cooked this chicken for my friends this weekend and they simply loved it!!
    Thanks so much for such a simple, yet such a flavorful recipe!!

  27. Hi. Excellent recipe and amazingly very simple. I especially like the idea of fry-roasting the spice seeds and then making them into a paste. I will definitely try this recipe! I’m a first-time visitor here so will come back to check out the other recipes. Thanks, Ajay.

  28. Thanks a lot for such a Superb recipe.I tried it on Sunday and it came out awesome.Everyone in the house liked it a lot.Keep up the good work.Thanks !!!

  29. what is sweetened and unsweetened coconut.coconut is sweet ,i havent seen a unsweetened one…..can i use coconut milk in this instead of flakes

    1. I think you are refering to my reply to one of the readers above. The one available in baking isles here has sugar mixed in it. This is used as topping for cakes etc. This requires normal coconut and not the one that has sugar. Use freshly grated coconut if available. Coconut milk will give totally different taste

  30. Hi Shilpa..I am a huge follower of ur neva found the time to compliment u for the wonderful dishes tht u keep posting..This weekend I had “Aayis recipe special”..tried many of ur recipes n as expected all of them turned of awesome :)..the best dish ws definately Chicken Chettinad :)..thanks for posting such amazingly delicious recipes Shilpa..gr8 going :)tc..

  31. Truely delicious, i had expected this to taste some what like kanda khobra masala(goan style) but it is very much different and tasty.

  32. Hey Shilpa, i love ur site n alwaz try somethn or the other posted by you… the dishes turn out toooo guuud ! thnx a loads. One small question, we live in Dubai- UAE and the use or sale or even carryn Poppy seeds (khus khus ) frm India is a crime here, so we nvr find them in the markets too. Whats the nearest substitute if any ? and if not used , will it cause the taste of the dish to change ??? My hubby loves home cooked food so i alwaz try to make somethn new for him at home. Thnx in advance n god bless u …. love n regards – Anjali

  33. Hey Shilpa, i m a huge follower of ur site n alwz try somethn or the other posted by you. Since my hubby loves home food , ur recipes alwaz come in handy since they are easy to prepare at home n turn out too gud. I have a small question, we live in Dubai – UAE and the sale/ distribution / or even carryn of poppy seeds (khus khus ) from india is a crime, so we never even see them in the market. whats the nearest substitute for khus khus if any ? and if nt used will it change the taste of the dish ?? Love n regs- Anjali

  34. Hey Shilpa, i tried this recipe, without the Khus khus … and it was tooo gud … yummy and hubby enjoyed it . The taste, texture and colour were purrrfect and restuarant style 🙂 Thanks a loads for all the lovely recipes . Regs – Anjali

  35. Hi Shilpa,
    Can I make this with whole chicken cut into pieces? Or does it have to be breast pieces only?
    I really want to give this a try today but we mostly buy whole chicken.

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