Chettinad Chicken

One more fabulous recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor's Khasana of Indian Recipes. Since I was cooking chicken at home after a long time, I wanted to make a special dish, which tastes really good and I should say this recipe is finger licking good :) . So far, of all the Sanjeev Kapoor recipes that I've tried this is my favorite. If you like spicy chicken dishes, this is the one for you…

Here is the recipe…

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Chettinad Chicken

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Servings: 6 -7
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1 kg Chicken
  • 1.5 cups Grated coconut
  • 2 tsp Poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera
  • 6 -8 Red chilli
  • 1 medium size Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Cardamom
  • 3 Clove
  • 1/2 Star anise
  • 1/2 tbsp each Ginger & garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 big Onion
  • 3 medium Tomato
  • 1 Lemon
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil


  • Clean the chicken and cut into medium size pieces. Fry the coconut with ingredients listed from poppy seeds to star anise, till it turn golden brown. Let it cool. Grind this with ginger and garlic. (Do not add water while grinding). Add 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water to the ground coconut mix and make it a thick paste.
  • Heat oil in a bottom heavy pan and add sliced onions and fry it till it becomes golden brown. Add coconut mixture and curry leaves and stir it continuously for a few minutes. Add tomato and turmeric and chili powder and mix well. Once the powders are fried well add chicken pieces & salt, combine well and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and 2 cups water and cover and cook till the chicken is done. This curry has a thick gravy.
  • Serve hot with rice, roti etc…
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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  • Hi Maria,
    I made this a few days back and it was so yumm. I modified it a bit and also added some black peppercorn crushed because I like the taste of black pepper. It was sooo good. I love it.


  • Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe Maria. I have tried this at least five times so far and every time I have made it everyone has relished it..The blend of spices makes the chicken taste go good and authentic. It will go down as one of our ‘to keep family recipes’ for sure…
    Thanks again. Wishing you the very best along your journey of cooking and inspiring people like me to try out new stuff :)

    • Hi Anita,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and wishes, appreciate it very much!

      I’m really happy to hear that this recipe is a hit with you :)


  • Great recipe!

    My mom tried it out today, and it turned out to be amazing. I loved the taste as my mom tried making the Chettinad Chicken the same way you mentioned it above.


  • Hi Maria,
    In this recipe u mentioned poppy seed. but in UAE poppy seed is banned. Wht is the substitute for this? Is that fine if i make this without it?

    • Hi Jeena,

      You can use cashew nuts, instead of poppy seeds and red chilli is unakka mulaku only. I’ll make it more clear in the recipe. Hope you get to try this soon :)


  • Hey maria,
    Now u seem to have got it all right :D 
    I have been cooking after my marriage for a while, not the best, but seems pretty ok to handle the kitchen on my own. Have been cooking things in a standard way all the time with literally everything. 
    You have brought along a different flavour to things lately. Am loving it! 
    Made your kadala curry a day back and it came out just awesome, so i said y nor try something with chicken than usual. 
    This was just gr8! 
    One question, in your presentation how o u get that one curry leaf to deliciously stick out :P 
    GR8 job, had a r8 meal.. Thanks 

    • Hi,

      It’s a pleasure to know that you are liking the new flavour :) Thanks a bunch dear!

      I place the curry leaf in sucha manner that it sticks out, just before taking the snaps. So now you know the secret right :)?

      Keep trying the recipes and I do hope you enjoy them. Take care…


  • ohhhh dear dear dear maria…..i’m sooo very happy dat i hav found ur site.actually meenakshi did mention it to me. but i’m so glad i followed her i’m just addicted to ur blog same as my facebook account.

    Now about the cooking , i was restricted to all the usual curries like sambar, parippu aviyal etc etc etc. It became so much of a routine that the usual question of “WHAT TO COOK TODAY” started driving me out of my sense. My 4 yr old started nagging too. “mamma same curry, y dont u make something different”. AND THENNNNNN I FOUND UR MARIA”S MENU… i love cooking more . i,ve tried many many of ur recipes ,never one has gone wrong. And the main thing yesterday I made Prawns crackers….My son has nt started eating prawns but yesterday the look of the crackers itself made him take one in his hand and taste it. The comment he gave me…Mamma u r awesome mamma..and gave me a kiss with his ketchup driiping lips..Dats the most precious gift Ive ever got in my life. And I owe this to you maria.Thank u so much for making cooking so desirable..


    • Hi Manju

      I’m thrilled to read your comment dear :) I’m so very happy that you like the recipes. You know what, I’m specially happy to read about your little one’s comment :)

      I agree with you 100%…. “WHAT TO COOK TODAY” is one of the most difficult questions. Once again, thank you so much for trying the recipes & also for the comment. Special thanks to Meenakshi too :)


  • Absolutely Maria.. Finger licking good.. Thank u for sharing…Your blog is making me want to try out new recipes every other day…. :) Thank you..

  • I love your blog – not just for the content but for the photographs as well :) DO you click them ? Awesome mouthwatering images ! 

  • Hi Maria,

    I tried Chettinad chicken about 2 weeks and it came out so well. Thanks for the recipe. I had sent you the pic and my comment, but I guess there were some issues with your site then. 
    Please find the pic on my blog


    • Hi Ramya,

      Thanks a bunch dear :) I didnt get your pic & comment. There were some issues with the site some time ago, may be because of that. Thanks for posting it in your place too :)


  • Hi..I seem to be leavin so many comments today..but thought it would be mean if I just didn’t…For this recipe, I am not sure who I should be thanking or Mr. Sankeev Kapoor…My husband lovedddddd this….He likes most of my cooking.But he rarely LOVES it..He even said..this didn’t taste like regular home-made chicken but like restaurant ones ( good restaurant food !) And I should prepare this for dinner get togethers ! Thanks yet again..

    • Hi Gayathri,

      Never mind about leaving so many comments, as they say, the more the merrier ;) You can thank Sanjeev Kapoor more, ist his recipe na :) But I’ll also be taking a small portion of it.

      Its really nice to know that your husband loved this curry, btw the the cook also deserves an equal amount of appreciation I think, so credit goes to you too :)


  • Hi Maria, I tried out this recipe today and I must say it came out too good for words. I have taken pictures of it thinking I will post it on your facebook page, but couldn’t find one. Would love to share the picture with you.

  • Maria,

    I think I’m hooked for life on your blog! Yesterday i tried out teh carrot halwa and i enjoyed it immensely!!! Today i tried out your chettinad chicken and just made a slight change to teh spice level, my family likes it HOT! So I increased the dry red chilly and chilli powder amounts. It’s a big hit!!

    I’d bought Sanjeev Kapoor’s cookery books a few months ago and tried a couple of vegetarian recipes which came out well but I didn’t have the courage to innovate on my typical mallu chicken curry until I happened upon your site and you showed the way!

    I haven’t taken pics again bcos my cam is acting up, I’m hoping I’ll get an SLR for Valentine’s day…and then I’ll be happily sending you pictures of the finished dishes…it’s great to pop by your site with it’s catchy layout and try out your mouth-watering delicacies…

    I hope you get to start your own cookery channel / classes. ….Anyway I’m waiting eagerly for the release of your book! Take care and God bless!

    • Dear Suni,

      I guess I’m running out of words to thank you for the wonderful feedback that you give :) I’m touched. It’s a great pleasure for me to read your comments.

      I’d love to see the pics of your dishes. i do hope you get your valentine day present & wish you a very happy valentine’s day!

      About the cookery book – honestly I havent started working on it because of the change in plans. I’m waiting to start on that project.

      Thanks again dear & please do continue to share your feedback & also your support & encouragement.


  • Tried this recipe today.Came out well.All should try this recipe,its really nice.A different chicken recipe.Tastes great with ghee rice..Thank u sooo much Maria dear…GOD BLESS

    • Tinakutti,

      Thanks a lot for the comment dear and also for recommending this recipe :) I’m really happy that it came out well for you.

      You take care & God Bless!


  • I only just now discovered your blog, thanks to show me the curry blog. this chettinad chicken recipe is the next chicken dish i will make. i appreciate the categories, the “must try” etc etc. you are in my favorites so i can visit daily. best wishes.

  • Hi Maria,
    I tried the Chettinad Chicken curry from your website and it was amazing! thank you very much for taking time and sharing with us these very special recipes. Keep up the good work and god bless..


    • Hi Dona,

      Great to know that this recipe came out well for you. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback with us :)

      Best wishes to you too & God Bless!


  • Hi dear,

    Hope u r doing gr8.Today i had tried chettinad chicken,it was finger licking recipee,me my my hubby enjoyed alot..have tried so many chettinad we both felt ur recipee was the best,

    U r really doing gr8 job dear!!!



  • Dear Maria… what a super recipe. My daughter who is a curry-hater (she eats only fry items) is having the chicken even after the rice is finished… Thank you soooooooooo much…..

    • Maria, I made this curry again with almost 3 Kgs of chicken, for a fellowship of 20 people. This is the first time I am making such a large quantity of chicken curry successfully. Thank you for sharing such a perfect recipe…

      • Hi Nishya,

        Thank you so much dear for selecting this recipe for such a big gathering. I’m really happy to hear that it came out well for you….Thanks a lot for sharing your feedback here :)


  • i visited ur site first time i loved the receipes. pls can snd me some dry chicken or mutton receipes. and evn some sweet dishes.

    • Thanks Shilpa :)

      Please check out the chicken & mutton categories on the lest side of the site. You can see the recipes for dry dishes.

      Check out the desserts category for sweets.

      Hope you find something interesting.


  • Hi,maria,been trying some of your dishes,especially chicken…..needless to say my wife wants me to make it everyday,and she has told all her family that i have become a great cook.well all the credit goes to you.thanks a million maria

    • Thanks John :) I’m sure you are a great cook, you must be having kaipunyam. Recipes can guide you but it also depends on how you make it. So the credit goes to you too :)


  • Reena, thanks a lot for dropping in and thanks to GDN too :) very happy to know that you liked this recipe. Please do try out other recipes also and let me know your feedback.

    Navzz – thank you :)

  • came across ur blog thru GDN.Today i tried out ‘chicken chettinad’-it was fabulous!!!!!!!!!
    No more backing out.Heres one more ardent fan of ur blog.

    • Hi Anju

      Thanks dear for trying out this recipe. Happy to know that your family enjoyed it :)

      Please try out the other recipes also when you’ve time.

      Happy cooking :)


  • Thanks Reesh for visiting my blog. Happy to hear that you liked the recipes :)

    I saw many interesting recipes in your blog too…will try the grilled chicken sometime soon :)

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