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Chicken Chettinad

Chettinad is the region in Southern Tamil from where the Chettiars, the trader and mercantile community of the region, originate. Chettinad cuisine is hot. The chicken, is always cut in very small pieces on the bone. Since it is dryish, this dish can be eaten with a flavored rice like lemon or tomato rice.

Type: Chicken, Poultry
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 5 people

Recipe Ingredients

2 teaspoons 10mlPoppy seeds
1/2 lb 227g / 8ozFresh coconut - (2 cups grated)
1 teaspoon 5mlFennel seeds
1   Cinnamon stick - (abt 1" long)
3   Green cardamoms
2   Whole cloves
3/4 teaspoon 3.8mlTurmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon 3.8mlGaram masala powder
1/2 cup 118mlOil
1 cup 62g / 2.2ozOnion - chopped (large)
2 teaspoons 10mlFinely-chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons 10mlFinely-chopped garlic
1/2   Star anise
3 teaspoons 15mlCayenne pepper
2 1/2 lbs 1135g / 40ozChicken - cut as preferred or
  Use drumstlcks
3   Tomatoes - chopped (small)
  Salt - to taste
  Juice of 1/2 lime
  A few curry leaves - (optional)
1/3 cup 5.3g / 0.2ozCilantro leaves - chopped

Recipe Instructions

On a griddle or in a crêpe pan toast the poppy seeds for a few minutes until light brown. Crush with rolling pin, then soak in a little water for 15 minutes.

Grind the coconut with the poppy and fennel seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, and garam masala to make a fine paste.

Heat the oil in a large shallow cooking pot and saute the onion until lightly colored. Add the ginger and garlic, then 2 minutes later add the star anise, cayenne pepper, and the spice paste. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes. When the chicken has absorbed the tomato juice, add 2 cups water and salt to taste and mix well. When almost done, add the lime juice and curry leaves. Just before serving, sprinkle with the cilantro leaves.

This recipe yields 5 servings.

Cookbook Digest, May/Jun, 1996


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