Chettinad Chicken Curry | Nagalakshmi Viswanathan

Chettinad chicken curry is the bomb dot com. Enough said. Learn how to make a ridiculously delicious Chettinad chicken curry – or maybe I should say Chettinad-inspired chicken curry – since I am not sure how authentic this recipe truly is but if you love your chicken curry, make this NOW.


chettinad chicken curry recipe

It’s not secret that I love Chettinad chicken recipes and have great success trying out a few, especially this Chettinad chicken masala and a Chettinad pepper chicken recipe. But those two recipes are more on the “dry” side and if you like Chettinad recipes, a chicken recipe has to be part of your arsenal.

Chettinad recipes are usually:

This chicken curry recipe definitely checks all the boxes above. Get chicken pieces with bones for best results. We used some leftover chicken wings to cook it up and weren’t disappointed.

Serve Chettinad chicken curry with cumin rice or chapatis.


  • 300 grams chicken pieces with bone
  • 2 tbsp curd / plain yogurt
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1-2 tbgp ghee or oil
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1 green chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup tomato, cubed
  • 2 tsp crushed kasuri methi / dried methi leaves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 flakes of garlic
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • A few cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • A small piece of cinammon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • Seeds from 2 cardamom pods

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash and clean the chicken pieces and set aside
  2. In a wide pan, dry roast the ingredients for masala paste until the chilli powder gets roasted and the mixture turns aromatic
  3. Cool and grind to a smooth paste with enough water and salt
  4. Add the ground spice paste along with the yogurt and curry leaves to the chicken pieces
  5. Mix thoroughly and set aside
    In the same pan, heat ghee or oil and add the sliced onions and green chillies (if using)
  6. Fry the onions until golden brown and add the tomatoes
  7. Give it a good mix and add the marinated chicken pieces
  8. Mix well and add 1 cup water
  9. Cook covered for 7-10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through
  10. Add crushed kasuri methi on top (if using). You can also use fresh chopped coriander leaves instead
  11. Drizzle cream on top. This is also optional but really enhances the taste of the curry. Adjust salt as needed

Serve hot with cumin rice or roti.

Note: For step-by-step instructions click here


NOTES (Do's & Don'ts):

  • Adjust the spice levels to your taste. This recipe makes a fairly spicy Chettinad chicken curry
  • You can grind the onions and tomatoes once roasted and then proceed with the rest of the recipe. This gives a creamier gravy
  • You can also omit tomatoes and add 1 tsp tamarind paste or 1/4 cup tamarind water to the chicken when cooking
  • The kasuri methi is optional and not typically used in Chettinad recipes. Omit or use as you wish.

Preparation Time:

15 Minutes

Cooking Time:

20 Minutes


4 People


About Chef:

I am Nags, the face behind Edible Garden, a food and recipes website for the busy (and sometimes lazy!) cook since 2007. My recipes are meant to be quick yet healthy and delicious - Nothing fancy, nothing too difficult. Follow Me On Instagram for real-time food and life updates.