Food for Soul :)

I am currently based at a place where network is a luxury, forget internet! Still luck has been by my side and I am writing my 11th blog in 20 days of blogging. Not bad… not bad at all considering the kind of network I am getting. 😛

I started my blog with the recipe of an Indian desert I enjoy (The festival of colours ) and this will be my second recipe post. 🙂

As a child i would sit for hours in the kitchen and watch mom. The kitchen smelled heavenly! I am so glad I inherited my mom’s passion for cooking.

Cooking makes me happy and having guests over makes me happier! I love feeding people 😀

So today’s recipe is about a dish I made for a bunch of friends I invited for South Indian styled Sunday brunch. This dish was a hit and I am more than happy to share the recipe.

The name is  Chettinad Chicken.

Chettinad is a famous region in Tamil Nadu and it’s quite popular for its fiery hot delicious cuisine. This dish is meant to be hot and real spicy, but can be tamed by reducing the chillies to suit your own palate and I did just that! I am not a big fan of spicy food so I reduced the spice and the recipe is that way.

This recipe is my adaptation from some of the cook books and internet recipes I searched randomly. There are no ready-made Chettinad masala available in the market (according to my knowledge) so I have made this with freshly roasted and ground spices.

Do try this and let me know if you like it 🙂

Chettinad Styled Chicken (Gravy)

Ingredients : For –  1/2 kg Chicken

1. For marination of Chicken –

  • Lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red chilli powder ( I used 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt

Wash the chicken pieces and slit them with a knife. Now add in the marinade and coat the chicken well in them. Cover it and let this marinate for at least 1 hour.

*I marinated the chicken for 4 hours in a refrigerator.

2. Spices for Chettinad Masala : Dry roast –

  • Freshly grated coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Dry red chillies – 2/3
  • Star anise – 1
  • Mace – 1
  • Sauf/Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cloves – 2
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Cinnamon – 1/2″
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • coriander seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Chana daal – 1 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 4/5

Dry roast these spices in low flame  except the grated coconut. Add the coconut once the spices are roasted and you get a lovely aroma. Stir the spices with the coconut for a few seconds and turn off the flame. Let the spices come to room temperature then grind them into a smooth powder. Be careful not to burn the spices while you roast them else they will turn bitter.

3. Seasoning / Gravy –

  • Oil – 2 tbsp ( I used sesame oil )
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Dry red chilli – 2
  • Onion – 1 cup ( finely chopped)
  • Ginger & Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato – 1 cup (roughly chopped)
  • Coriander and Mint leaves – 1 cup (1:1)
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water.

Method –

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the bay leaf and dry chillies and saute for a few seconds.
  2. Add the onions and fry them in medium flame till translucent.
  3. Add the g&g paste and mix well and let it cook in medium flame till the raw smell vanishes.
  4. Now add in the tomatoes and coriander and mint leaves and cook till oil separates.
  5. Now add in the freshly ground chettinad masala and mix well. Let it cook for a minute in high flame.
  6. Now add in the marinated chicken pieces and cook in high flame for two minutes stirring continuously.
  7. Now lower the flame to medium and add in the chilli powder and check the salt.
  8. Lower the flame and cover the lid and let the chicken cook. After 5 minutes add 1 cup of water , mix well and cover the lid again and let it cook in low flame. ** you can add 1/2 cup water more if you see the gravy drying up.
  9. Once the chicken is done turn of the heat.
  10. Garnish with fresh curry leaves and serve hot!

Best enjoyed with Paratha/ Roti/Coconut Rice.


Do try this dish and dont forget to drop in a message if you like it 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!!


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