Friday, July 23, 2010

Chicken Chettinad

Now this is a really convenient and healthy chicken dish for all of you. No coconut, not too much oil. Perfect for those health conscious guests. This dish is made from ingredients that are easily available at home. So it can be made even when you have unexpected guests coming over.

This dish is essentially a semi-gravy dish...if thats a word! Do not try and make it into a gravy dish by adding water, as it looses a lot of its taste. Have been told that if you add a can of coconut milk this turns into a nice gravy dish. A great idea, but then, doesnt make sense if you want to keep it healthy. You could try fat free coconut milk....but well, lets keep that for some other time!

Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of theTamil nadu state in South India. It is known to be one of the spiciest and most aromatic cuisine in India. 

Now that you are enlightened enough, lets get to making this dish now...:)

Serves: 4 people
Level: Easy

750 gms boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp mustard seeds
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
2 inch cinnamon sticks
4 black peppercorns
3 green cardamoms
4 - 5 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped
15 curry leaves
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
Coriander to decorate

Step 1 : Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppercorns, bay leaves and green cardamoms. Immediately add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds till they turn brown.

Step 2 : Add turmeric powder. Stir for a few seconds and add the onion. Do not let the turmeric turn brown. Saute the onions till they turn brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir well, till the ginger garlic paste looses its raw smell. Add tomatoes, red chilly powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Stir well. Cook till the tomatoes are completely broken down and cooked and oil starts to leave the mixture.

Step 3 : Add the cut chicken and mix well for 5 mins. Cover and cook for 8 - 10 mins or till the chicken is cooked. Stir occasionally. Add 3/4 cup of water just in case the dish seems too dry. You do not want to make it runny. Just a thick gravy. Add black pepper powder and mix everything once. Decorate it with coriander leaves.

Serve hot, with any bread or with rice.

This is a fairly spicy dish. If you want to make it less spicy, eliminate the black peppercorns in the oil, reduce the amount of green chillies or just avoid them, as we are adding red chilly powder ahead and reduce the quantity of black pepper powder sprinkling in the end. 

If you think its really very spicy once its done, well add some coconut milk to get milder flavors..:).



  1. I am going to try this today. Hope this turns out well!

  2. Shamali...i tried this recipe today...turned out the way you've mentioned the quantity of ingredient...keep the good work going!!