Our Chettinad Chicken recipe is named after the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu in south India where the dish originated. This region is well known for the spiciness of their food, and this chicken recipe is bursting with flavour.

The dish can be prepared as in a dry finger-licking style or with a sauce base – we’ve provided instructions for both methods below.

For a truly authentic flavour, use the Spice Yard Chettinad Spice Blend to create an intense paste. Once you’ve mastered this dish, you’ll be cooking it more often than you think!

Chettinad Chicken

Flavours of Tamil Nadu will ooze from this recipe, made all the more special with the Spice Yard Chettinad Spice Blend.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 3cm pieces cinnamon sticks
  • 150 g diced onions
  • 700 g skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into 3cm pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
  • 4 cm ginger, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp Chettinad Spice Blend
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100 ml water
  • boiled basmati rice to serve
  • freshly chopped coriander

Instructions
 

Method 1 (dry version)

  • Heat the oil in a sturdy frying pan or karahi over a medium heat
  • Add the fennel and cinnamon, fry for 1 minute
  • Add the onions and curry leaves and fry for 10 minutes until the onions are softened and golden
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, sugar, salt and all of the Chettinad spice blend
  • Fry for a further 1-2 minutes
  • Add the chicken and stir around for 1-2 minutes, ensuring the chicken is fully coated in the masala
  • Add the water, and cook for about 10–15 minutes, stirring often and adding more splashes of water if needed to stop it sticking to the pan, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick and reduced and clinging to the chicken
  • Optionally sprinkle with chopped coriander before serving
  • Serve with plain boiled basmati rice

Method 2 (tomato sauce version)

  • Heat the oil in a sturdy frying pan or karahi over a medium heat
  • Add the fennel and cinnamon, fry for 1 minute
  • Add the onions and curry leaves and cook for 10 minutes. The onions should be soft and golden in colour
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, sugar, salt and all of the Chettinad spice blend
  • Fry for a further 1-2 minutes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 8–10 minutes, stirring often. Let the tomatoes completely breakdown to give you a thick aromatic sauce
  • If needed, add more water to stop it sticking to the pan
  • Add the chicken and stir around for 1-2 minutes, ensuring the chicken is fully coated in the sauce
  • Let the chicken cook through
  • Optionally sprinkle with chopped coriander before serving
  • Serve with plain boiled basmati rice
Keyword Chicken

Alternative cooking suggestion

The star of this recipe is the Chettinad chicken, but it can be supported by a versatile cast of accompaniments. We’ve tried a grilled chicken alternative with dill & cucumber raita and crispy cumin potatoes on a bed of fresh salad. The results were impressive even if we do say so ourselves!

Alternative Chettinad Chicken Recipe

Recommended Spice Blends for our Chettinad Chicken Recipe

We highly recommend our Chettinad Spice Blend for a truly authentic Chettinad Chicken flavour.

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