Chicken Chettinad Recipe

Food connects people irrespective of race, religion, and culture. And in our Ukhrul Times Food Blog, we reach out to different food bloggers from across the country to showcase their skills and cuisine.

Here’s Sneh Thakur, a self-taught chef from Lahaul-Spiti (Himachal Pradesh), sending her Chicken Chettinad recipes all the way from the white majestic hills of the Himalayas to the Blue hills of the Northeast.

Here’s how to make this delicious Chicken Chettinad.


  • 500 grams Chicken
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion large, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 tomatoes medium, (pureed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp curd or yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt as needed

Chettinad masala (roast and grind)

  • 1 tbsp Poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup coconut grated
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 4 to 5 red chilies
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick


  • Add chicken, turmeric, chili powder, curd,salt and ginger garlic paste to a bowl. Marinate the chicken and set aside. 
  • On a low flame, dry roast coriander seeds and red chilies. When the coriander seeds begin to smell good, add elaichi, jeera, saunf, pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Roast till cloves smell good.
  • Next add poppy seeds. Quickly toss. Make sure not to burn the  masala. You can also set these aside to a plate before adding coconut.
  • Add coconut and fry until the coconut smells good.
  • Cool all these. Add them to a blender jar and pour little water. Make a smooth paste. Set aside the masala to a small bowl.
  • In the same jar, grind tomatoes to smooth. You can also use chopped tomatoes.

Making chicken chettinad

  • Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaf and onions. Fry till they turn translucent to golden.
  • Transfer the chicken and fry for at least 4 to 5 mins.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, salt and chili powder .Mix well and fry till the oil begins to separate.
  • Then add the ground paste and curry leaves. Fry for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Pour 1 ¼ cup water. I use hot water. Using cold water sometimes toughens the chicken. Cover and cook till it is fully done, soft and tender. 
  • The gravy becomes thick by then. If not cook without a lid and evaporate some water. Pour more water if needed to get the desired consistency. Cook till the chicken gravy thickens. Garnish with fried curry leaves.

Follow tinniecooks on Instagram


Sneh Thakur aka @tinniecooks is doing her Masters from TISS Mumbai. A self-taught passionate cook who have been cooking since the young age of 8yrs. Sneh plans to open a cafe in the hills in the near future.

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