Archive for the ‘TamilNadu’ Category

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Chicken, in any form and style, is one of my favorite food. Chettinad is a region in Tamil Nadu state in India and famous for its spicy and flavorful cuisine. I would love to visit this place to try other dishes of this cuisine. I have tried this recipe many times mainly with Chicken but also with Mushrooms and it has always turned out good with its bursting and tickling taste. I have never tried this dish at a restaurant but researched online before making it. Also, I don’t get good variety of food in Indian restaurant in our town. As always, the inspiration behind this recipe is the great chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Traditionally, the Chettinad cuisine offers spicy food with lot of red chillies and spices. The most important thing about this dish is the freshly grounded masala made of roasted spices and fresh coconut. For a vegetarian version, you can try this with Mushroom as they are as meaty and similar in texture as Chicken. Of course, my preference is Chicken over the Mushroom. Don’t let the long list of ingredient scare you as the end result will be very delicious. Enjoy this dish with ghee (clarified butter) rice or roti (whole wheat flat bread).

Ingredients :-

Chicken 1 pound (approx 500gm)
 Oil 2 tablespoon
Poppy seeds, soaked 2 teaspoon
Ginger, chopped 1 inch
Garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon
Cashew nuts, soaked 8-10
Onions, finely chopped 1/2 cup
Curry leaves 8-10
Tomatoes, finely chopped 2 medium
Turmeric 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper 1 teaspoon
Lemon Juice 1 teaspoon
Cilantro, finely chopped 1/4 cup

For Chettinad Masala :-

Coconut, scraped 1/2 cup
Coriander seeds  1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon 
Fennel seeds 1 teaspoon
Dried red chilies
6-7
Green Cardamoms 3
Cloves 2-3
Cinnamon 1 inch piece

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Method :-

  • Add a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice to the chicken. Keep it for marination for one hour
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan. Add the coconut, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and saute on medium heat for four to five minutes.
  • Cool and grind the above mixture with ginger, garlic, poppy seeds and cashew nuts and some water into a smooth paste. Put water as little as possible.
  • Heat the remaining oil in another non-stick pan.
  • Add the curry leaves and onion. Saute onion till golden brown.
  • Add the ground paste and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt  and mix well
  • Cook for five to seven minutes or till the oil separates.
  • Add the chicken, crushed peppercorns and saute for more five minutes.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

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    Notes :-

  • I have used here boneless chicken breast but you can try it with thighs or chicken with bone. The cooking time would differ.
  • You can decrease the hotness of this dish by reducing amount of red chillies.
  • If you can’t find fresh coconut you can use the dried coconut powder.
  • This curry is known for the flavors, the spice and the aroma due to its fresh grounded spices. You can get ready made store bought masala but it will not justify the real taste of this dish. 
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