Chettinad Chicken

Chettinad Chicken

The story behind the world celebrated Chettinad Chicken

Chettinad cuisine is the amongst the most celebrated and
appreciated cuisine from the whole of south India.

The food originates from a community called the Nattukotai
Chettiars, or  Nagarathars as they call themselves, from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India.

Chettinad cuisine is well known for its artful use of in combination with fresh ground masalas.

The region is very dry but the people have used the sun to their advantage and use a variety of sun-dried meats and salted vegetables adding to the signature Chettinad taste with spices being the amongst the most popular ingredients of the region, you can be sure that their food packs quite a kick.

About the Chettinad region

  • Chettinad is the home of the Nattukottai Chettiars ( Nagarathar ), a prosperous banking and business community. It is also known for its local cuisine, architecture, and religious temples.
  • The Chettinad region is well known for its 19th-century mansions,
    whose wide courtyards and spacious rooms are embellished with marble and teak. Construction materials, decorative items, and furnishings were mostly imported from East Asian countries and Europe. The marble was brought from Italy, chandeliers and teak
    from Burma, crockery from Indonesia, crystals from Europe and
    wall-to-wall mirrors from Belgium.

The Story behind the Dish

Chettinad chicken is the most popular of Chettinad dishes, it really is a regional culinary gem. it’s made from soft and succulent chicken simmered in an assortment of roasted spices and coconut. It’s likely origin was due to the fact that the people of the region were merchants and spice traders, by making use of all these spices that were around the region due to trade and mixing them up to the perfect ratio and proportions, they had finally mastered the signature Chettinad taste that is loved all over India

About the cuisine

The region was widely known as a spice trade hub with all the spices you need, so you can say the locals have quite the appetite for the spice bug. This has shown it’s impact on the region’s cuisine with most of their signature dishes being packed with spice. Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis.

The Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed/fennel seeds
  • 3 red chilies (dry)
  • 1 stick cinnamon (1 inch)
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 cup coconut (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or sunflower,
    canola, or ghee)
  • 3/4 tablespoon pepper
  • 10 to 15 curry leaves
  • 2 large onions (sliced fine)
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-kilogram chicken
    (you can use a whole chicken cut into bits or
    leg or breast pieces)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Garnish: chopped coriander leaves


  • Heat a heavy pan or skillet on a medium flame and roast the poppy, pepper, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds, dry red chilies, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and coconut for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from flame and allow to cool. Grind the mixture into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
  • Mix the ginger and garlic pastes with this powder and keep aside.
  • In another deep pan, heat the oil and add the curry leaves. When they stop spluttering, add the sliced onions and fry till they are light brown.
  • Add the spice paste and star anise and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and chili powder and stir well to mix all the ingredients.
  • Add the chicken, cover and simmer till it is tender.
  • When the chicken is done add lime juice, mix well and turn off the flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

But there is no need for you to take a trip to Chettinad to get that spicy kick you’ve needed in your life. We at Thillai’s Masala have taken all the right ingredients, mixed them up in the right proportions with the help of local tastemakers to get achieve the authentic Chettinad taste. After that, it is packed in quality and hygienic methods for your consumption.

Now get the authentic and celebrated Chettinad Chicken masala taste right at your doorstep.
Through, or any eCommerce platform or any retailers across India to get your hands on to one of the packs

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