Appetizers/ Chicken Dishes/ Curries/ Non Vegetarian/ Quick and Easy/ Recipes

Chettinad Chicken

The first recipe we posted on this site was a Chettinad Mutton Curry.  I’m coming a full circle by posting one for Chicken.  This recipe is loosely based on a Madhur Jaffrey recipe.  This is a quick, dry dish and could also be served as an appetizer.


  • Whole chicken - 3 lbs
  • Shallots (or onions) medium sized, finely chopped - 3
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp, divided
  • Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal (split black lentils) - 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chillies (Byadgi) - 10, broken into halves
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Cilantro - 1 small bunch, finely chopped
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste



Skin and clean the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.


Marinate the chicken with some salt, turmeric powder and 1 tsp ginger garlic paste for a couple of hours. The longer, the better!


Heat oil in a pan.


Add the mustard seeds and when they start to sputter, add the urad dal.


When the urad dal starts to brown, add the fennel seeds, red chillies and the curry leaves


Stir for a few seconds taking care that the chillies and the seasonings do not burn.


Now add the onions and cook them till they brown slightly.


Add the remaining ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes.


Add the chicken and salt and cook on medium-heat.


Don't add water to the chicken, as it cooks, it releases its juices. Continue to cook the chicken till the juices evaporate.


Add the pepper powder and cook till the chicken browns slightly, stirring intermittently.


Garnish with Cilantro leaves.


Serve hot with rice or roti.


This is a dry dish but if you prefer you can stop the cooking process when there is still some moisture left in the pan.  The cooking time really depends on the type of chicken you are using.  I've noticed that the broilers cook faster than the "country" chickens. I've used byadgi red chillies in this recipe.  Byadgis are typically less spicy, if you use a spicier variety of dried red chillies, adjust the number accordingly.  I would probably use 6.

Chettinad chicken curry



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