Chicken Chettinad
Chicken Chettinad
5 from 1 vote
Experience the bold and aromatic flavors of a South Indian classic with this fiery chicken dish. Packed with fragrant spices and an intense depth of flavors, this recipe promises a tantalizing taste journey that will leave your taste buds craving for more. Give it a try and spice up your mealtime!
Chicken Chettinad

Chicken Chettinad is a beloved South Indian dish that hails from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. This flavorful and aromatic curry is a culinary masterpiece that has stood the test of time. The history of Chicken Chettinad can be traced back to the Chettiar community, known for their love of spicy and robust flavors.

The dish is characterized by its rich blend of spices, including black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise, giving it a unique and unforgettable taste.

Originating from the land of temples and vibrant culture, Chicken Chettinad is a true reflection of the region’s culinary heritage. The preparation of this dish requires a skillful hand and an understanding of the intricate balance of flavors.

While the recipe may seem daunting to some, with the right guidance and patience, anyone can create an authentic and delicious Chicken Chettinad.

The key to mastering Chicken Chettinad lies in the art of balancing heat, spice, tang, and sweetness. The result is a curry that is bold, fiery, and downright addictive.


Chicken Thighs: High-quality chicken thighs are used in this recipe to provide a rich and flavorful base for the dish. The dark meat of the chicken adds depth to the curry and cooks to tender perfection.

Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for sautéing the onions, garlic, ginger, and spices. It helps to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pan and adds a subtle flavor to the dish.

Onion, Garlic, Ginger: These aromatic ingredients form the base of the curry. The onion adds sweetness, while the garlic and ginger provide a spicy kick to the dish. When cooked down, they create a flavorful foundation for the other spices.

Green Chillies: Green chillies add heat and flavor to the dish. The level of spiciness can be adjusted according to personal preference by adding more or fewer chillies.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes add acidity and sweetness to the curry, balancing out the spicy and savory flavors of the other ingredients. They also help create a thick and rich sauce.

Spices: These key spices add depth and complexity to the dish. Turmeric provides a vibrant color, coriander powder adds citrusy notes, and cumin powder contributes earthy flavors.

Whoe Spices: This blend of whole spices enhances the curry with their aromatic and warm flavors. Each spice adds a unique element to the dish, creating a well-rounded taste profile.

Curry Leaves: Curry leaves are a staple in South Indian cooking and provide a distinct flavor to the dish. They add a citrusy and slightly nutty taste, enhancing the overall aroma of the curry.

Salt: Salt is essential for seasoning the dish and bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients. It helps to balance the flavors and enhance the overall taste of the curry.

Fresh Coriander Leaves: Fresh coriander leaves are used as a garnish for the finished dish. They add a pop of color and a fresh, herbal flavor that complements the rich and spicy curry.

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Serving Suggestions and Variations for Chicken Chettinad:

  • Serve the Chicken Chettinad with steamed rice or naan bread for a complete meal.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  • Pair the Chicken Chettinad with a side of cucumber raita or onion salad to balance out the flavors.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving to enhance the tanginess of the dish.
  • For a richer flavor, you can stir in a tablespoon of coconut milk towards the end of cooking.


  • For a spicier version, increase the quantity of green chilies or add a teaspoon of chili powder.
  • You can substitute chicken thighs with chicken breast or a mix of both for a different texture.
  • Add boiled potatoes or bell peppers to the Chicken Chettinad for a twist of flavors and added vegetables.
  • Try using ghee instead of vegetable oil for a more traditional touch and richer taste.
  • If you prefer a milder taste, reduce the number of whole spices used in the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chicken Chettinad?

Chicken Chettinad is a spicy and flavorful dish originating from the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu, India. It is a classic South Indian curry made with a blend of aromatic spices, coconut, and chicken.

What spices are used in Chicken Chettinad?

Some of the key spices used in Chicken Chettinad include black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red chilies. Additionally, traditional Chettinad masala may include star anise, black cardamom, and curry leaves.

How spicy is Chicken Chettinad?

Chicken Chettinad is known for its bold and spicy flavor profile. The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit individual preferences by varying the amount of red chilies used in the dish.

What is the best way to serve Chicken Chettinad?

Chicken Chettinad is typically served with steamed rice, biryani, or naan bread. It can also be enjoyed with parathas or dosas. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice for added freshness.

Can I make Chicken Chettinad vegetarian?

Yes, you can easily make a vegetarian version of Chicken Chettinad by substituting chicken with paneer, tofu, or mixed vegetables. The same spices and flavors can be used to create a delicious vegetarian alternative.

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Chicken Chettinad

Chicken Chettinad

by Nabeela Kauser
Experience the bold and aromatic flavors of a South Indian classic with this fiery chicken dish. Packed with fragrant spices and an intense depth of flavors, this recipe promises a tantalizing taste journey that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 381 kcal


  • 500 g Chicken Thighs boneless, skinless
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 inch Ginger grated
  • 2 Green Chillies slit lengthwise
  • 2 Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Coriander


  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add finely chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
  • Stir in minced garlic, grated ginger, and slit green chillies. Sauté for another minute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft.
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. Mix well.
  • Add boneless, skinless chicken thighs to the pan. Stir to coat the chicken with the spices.
  • Pour in a little water, cover the pan, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.


Adjust the quantity of green chillies according to your spice preference.
Serve hot with steamed rice or chapatis for a satisfying meal.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 22gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 764mgPotassium: 530mgFibre: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 644IUVitamin C: 25mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Chettinad, Chicken Curry, Cooking, Curry, Food, Indian, Indian Food, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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