A fiery hot chicken curry from the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu – this Chicken Chettinad Recipe will bring mesmerizing flavors to your dining table. This chicken curry dish is one of the most popular chicken dishes in India and one of the most ordered chicken curries in restaurants all over the world.

The secret spices are the real heroes of this recipe. Well, we have revealed that secret here, so you need not worry! Freshly ground spices are the reason why Chicken Chettinad Recipe is just irresistible. 

These three ingredients make Chicken Chettinad taste so unique and boasts its typical earthy and robust flavor. 

So, let’s see how you can make this Chicken Chettinad Recipe marinated in ginger, garlic, cumin, fennel, peppercorns, and red chilies and cooked with onions, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. 

Chicken Chettinad Recipe
Chicken Chettinad

Delicious Chicken Chettinad Recipe

Quick Stats: 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes 
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes 
  • Servings: 4 serves 


  • 500gms of with-bone chicken, cut into curry size pieces
  • One piece of cinnamon
  • Two green cardamom
  • 3 – 4 curry leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup tomato paste (grind two small-size tomatoes)
  • One teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Four tablespoons mustard oil

For Masala:- 

  • One teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • Two teaspoon black peppercorns
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Four dried red chilies, esp gundu milagai variety
  • One teaspoon coriander seeds
  • Four garlic pods
  • One tablespoon chopped ginger

Method to Prepare: 

For Making Masala:

  • To prepare this chicken recipe, you will need to clean, wash, and dry the chicken. Once it is dry, keep it aside in a bowl and cover it. 
  • Now, take fennel seeds, black pepper, cumin, red chilies, and coriander. 
  • Roast them until they are slightly dark and you smell the aroma leaving the spices. 
  • Now, in a mixer jar, add ginger, garlic, and grind them with water to make a smooth paste. 
  • Keep aside until required.

For Preparing Chicken:

  • Take a medium-sized skillet and heat oil over medium flame. 
  • Now, add in the cinnamon, cardamom pods, curry leaves, and saute them till fragrant. 
  • Then, add the chopped onion and saute it over low flame until the onion is light brown.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and sprinkle salt, turmeric and fry the masala for the next 10 minutes over low flame. 
  • When the oil starts separating from the tomato mixture, it will indicate that masala is getting ready. 
  • Now, add in the Chettinad masala paste and stir well to combine. 
  • Continue cooking the masala till they turn deep brown and are nicely roasted. 
  • Now, add the chicken pieces, salt, and stir coat the chicken pieces with the prepared spice mixture. 
  • Now, fry the chicken pieces until they are pale white. Do not add water to it. 
  • Cover the skillet and cook the chicken over low flame until it releases its juices and is fully cooked.
  • Then, open the lid and check the chicken for tenderness. 
  • If you want to make a gravy Chicken Chettinad recipe, add 1 cup of water, stir, and simmer the curry for around 8 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve this Chicken Chettinad Recipe with garlic naan
  • Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes: 

  • Bone-in meat pieces are the best to make the Chettinad chicken curry. Use a combination of bone-in chicken thigh and the leg piece.
  • Add red chilies and peppercorns as per your taste. 
  • You can add coconut milk to balance out the spicy flavors and to add a traditional touch. 
  • Store the Chettinad Masala for a week in the refrigerator in a sealed jar. 
  • If you can’t find the gundu milagai variety of red chili, you can use any variety of dry red chili.
  • If available, use Indian Shallots instead of red onion for an authentic taste.

Read More:- Kerala Style Pepper Chicken Recipe – Spicy, dry and roasted chicken

Final Words: 

One of the best chicken dishes to try at home – make this Chicken Chettinad Recipe and fill your home with amazing flavors! Bring some magic to your dining table and thrill your taste buds with this Chicken Chettinad recipe.