Chettinad Chicken Curry Recipe
Chettinad chicken curry is something we’d order at restaurants and rarely cook at home. In fact, I don’t think my mum has ever cooked it back in the day. I discovered it myself in Chettinad style restaurants in Bangalore. I think it was Anjappar. Ever since I’ve seen it being made on many Indian cooking shows by several chefs and home cooks. This style of curry is right up my alley because I love roasting whole spices and grinding it with coconut to make a base for the curry. Just like we do in Mangalorean style of cooking.
This one uses more of peppercorns and coriander seeds. I used more coconut for more curry. Roasting the whole spices, as you’d know, brings out the oils in the spices and makes them aromatic. Roasting the coconut makes it nuttier and gives the curry its colour. Simmer the chicken in this curry base for a very rustic looking and tasting chicken curry. I say rustic tasting because it sure is spicy but you can also taste these spices. The peppercorns and coriander come through beautifully.
Chicken – 700 gm on the bone, curry cut
Coconut oil – 3 tsp
Onions – 2 medium, sliced
Tomato – 2 medium, chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece minced
Garlic – 3 cloves minced
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Water – 2 cups or more depending on how thin you like your curry
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish
Coconut – 1/2 cup grated
Dried red chillies – 4-5 (I used Kashmiri and deseeded them)
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cardamom – 4
Cloves – 1/2 tsp
Star anise – 1/2
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Peppercorns – 1 tbp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Peppercorns – 2 tsp crushed
Lemon juice – of half a lemon
Marinate the chicken in the ingredients mentioned for 4 hours or overnight.
Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned in the ground masala except for the coconut. Once fragrant and toasted keep aside. In the same pan dry roast the coconut till it smells nutty and is toasted.
In your mixer jar, blitz together the spices and coconut with water till you have a smooth paste.
Heat a large pan with coconut oil and saute the sliced onions until translucent. Add a pinch of salt to speed the cooking process.
Add the ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Mix well.
Add the ground masala and mix.
Drop the chicken pieces in along with the marinade. Add water and salt. Give it all a good mix.
Let it come to a boil and then lower the flame. Cover and let it cook for 20 mins. The chicken would be cooked by now.
Give it one good stir and check for seasoning and adjust.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with rice.