Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Chettinadu / Chettinadu Chicken Masala…!!

chicken chettinad

..So so..I thought I’ll make a dramatic ‘jhakas’ style entry or something after this almost-a-month-and-half hide..:p..But then ,as usual am having this starting trouble may be because I don't really know what to tell you guys or in another way I have lots and lots to tell..This one month or say…2 months have been so frigging eventful that I cant really, wholly put it out here..Big thanks to all of you who missed me and really got concerned,because this time it was not only from this space, but I indeed took a big break from all the social networking places as online existence..phew!!..can you imagine..:P..Well, cut short the long story I have been burning the mid-night oil all the while trying to find a job in my homeplace..and lemme tell ya..It was so bloody tough..!!!! I learnt or well…say put my hands on almost all software technologies related to my job ,studied more than I did for one whole semester of my Btech,attended interviews n talked to consultants all through out the day and fought one hard battle..The market is rejuvenating after the recession fiasco’s and so it was harder ...Through all these tough times,my partner shared everything equally and he taught,encouraged n consoled me all through,am blessed..!:)..So,finally our hard work got paid-off and am entering the second phase of my career on coming Monday..Thanks to all of you who wished me good-luck and I need that in tons in future too..:) that really makes a very strong excuse for my absence..aint it ?..I really missed you all,the usual food blog browsing ,drooling ,commenting ,reading your comments and the regular stuff..From my ordeal story,probably you might have guessed the cooking scenario at home..We mostly ate out or lived on simple meals and I never touched my cam..Now that I am going to be even more busy,mostly that’ll be the scene in future too..:P..I seriously wish its not,will have to dig a way out..:p

..And thinking about the coming days when my poor husband will have to really tolerate my one pot meals or take outs or salads,I thought of treating him with a special chicken dish,spicy as he likes it..Initially I thought of making Vindaloo,but then found out that it requires a lot of marinating time n stuff,so decided to go for this Chettinad dish from Sanjeev Kapoor ‘Indian recipe Khazana’ cookbook.Its a totally kick-arse kinda spicy chicken dish from Chettinad, a place in Tamil Nadu in South India.Their cuisine is famous all through-out the world for its authentic taste and spicy kick.They use aromatic and pungent spices for all their preparations and pair it with rice or rice based accompaniments like Dosa,Idli,appam etc..

I have seen two versions of this recipe- with and without coconut.I decided to go with the with-coconut version ,being a true-blue mallu..;)..Maria also has the same dish featured in her blog n our recipes are mostly same with some modifications I made to adjust my spiciness..Infact,because of our matching tastes n love for authentic spicy non-veg we have many recipes in common ..:)

So,here is the recipe for you to try..But careful guys,adjust the spiciness and use fresh/frozen grated coconut,not the dried ones for this as the fresh one gives this a subtle sweetness which pairs we with the spiciness of the dish.


  • Chicken – 1.5-2 lbs (almost 3/4 kg)
  • 2 tsp Vinegar n salt to marinate
  • Onion sliced- 2 cups
  • Tomato – 2 medium ,cubed
  • Grated coconut – 1 cup
  • chopped pearl onions/red onions – 3 Tbsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds– 3/4 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1.5 tsp
  • Cumin seeds– 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli – 6-8
  • Cinnamon stick – A 2 inch piece
  • Cardamom – 4
  • Clove – 3
  • Star anise – one small
  • Pepper corns – 1 tsp
  • Garlic minced – 1 Tbsp
  • Ginger minced – 3/4 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 Tbsp
  • A handful of Curry leaves
  • Kasuri methi – A small handful
  • Cilantro minced – A small handful
  • Salt
  • Coconut Oil


Marinate chicken n keep aside.

Take a pan add a tsp of coconut oil and throw in 4-5 curry leaves.

Also,pop in the cumin seeds,fennel seeds,poppy seeds,cloves,cinnamon,cardamom,anise,pepper corns,redchillies and coriander seeds.Fry them until fragrant under low heat.

Then,add the chopped small onions and fresh grated coconut.Fry them under med-low heat for sometime.

Chettinad Masala

I can really stand by the stove forever sniffing on and on..Its so sooo divine and one of ma favorite fragrances…All that spices n coconut slowly frying gives out some heavenly scent..

When they start turning golden brown ,throw in the ginger n garlic n quickly toss around and fry for some more minutes till everything turn dark brown.Take care not to burn.Keep aside to cool a little.

In a heavy bottom pan,heat coconut oil and some curry leaves followed by chopped onion.Sauté until soft .

Sprinkle turmeric powder and keep sautéing.

Meanwhile grind the roasted ingredients without any water and mix it with very little water to form a paste.

Throw this into the pan and mix n sauté with onions until the masala is cooked.

Now pop into the pan all the tomatoes and if you like,some potatoes..(I heart eating carbs and that too paired with chicken..:P)

Sauté for few more minutes.

Now pop in the marinated chicken n mix well with the gravy n cook it in high for 5 minutes .

Add a cup of water,close n cook in simmer till well-cooked.Adjust salt.

Toast the kasoori methi in MW or stove top skillet until its crisp n fragrant.(not a chettinad ingredient,but I just LOVE this thing..!!)

When the chicken is cooked,open the lid and sprinkle lime juice,some fresh curry leaves n cilantro.Also,powder the toasted kasuri methi with the palm of your hand and sprinkle on top of the dish.Close immediately n let it rest for an hour before using.

Chicken Chettinadu

Verdict : Finger-licking good..Those spices and coconut play their roles so well and the result is purely awesome..It was not too spicy for me,but you should check once the chicken is cooked and if its too much for you,can always add some coconut milk to mellow out, though that wont be a Chettinad chicken anymore.Also,wash your hands well after dealing with the ground spice mix and if you really missed it ,then some ice will help as it is really working with me now..;)

I’ll be back ,hopefully soon with new dishes and you all guys take care ..!:)


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