Chettinad chicken curry is a dish that is full of fiery flavour. This is a traditional curry and there are many variations to the recipe. The sauce for Chettinad chicken curry is a magnificent blend of spices so naturally it takes time to blend the spices together to achieve the maximum taste. Chettinad chicken curry should be served piping hot with dosas, chapattis, steamed rice or biryani. Many cooks choose to adjust the flavour to suit and this can be done by using more or less pepper corns and green and red chillies.
Ingredients for Chettinad chicken curry:
One kilogram of diced chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
One cupful of fresh tomatoes chopped into fine pieces
One cupful of very finely chopped shallots
Ten curry leaves
One half a teaspoon of Turmeric powder
One cupful of coconut milk – fresh or canned
Seasoning to taste
Ingredients for the Chettinad chicken curry paste:
One piece of root ginger
Two green chillies
Eight garlic flakes
One teaspoon of poppy seeds (soak them in hot water for a few minutes to soften them)
Ingredients for the powder for Chettinad chicken curry:
One teaspoon of Fennel seeds
One half of a teaspoon of Cumin seeds
One half of a teaspoon of black pepper corns
One heaped dessertspoon of Coriander seeds
Two Cardamom pods
Six red chillies
One small piece of cinnamon stick
Six curry leaves
Method for cooking Chettinad chicken curry:
Take a large pan with a heavy bottom and wipe it around with a little oil. Heat the pan.
Place the peppercorns, cumin, coriander, red chillies, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and curry leaves into the pre-heated pan.
Cook the dry ingredients over the heat stirring all of the time.
Cook for about ten minutes and then place the pan to one side to cool off.
Use a pestle and mortar to grind the ingredients into a fine powder.
Making the paste for the Chettinad chicken curry:
Place the sliced ginger, softened poppy seeds, garlic flakes and chopped deseeded chillies into a clean mixing bowl.
Take a spoon and use the back of the spoon to work them together into a paste.
Place the paste for the Chettinad chicken curry to one side until you are ready to use it.
Take a heavy bottomed pan and place a little Olive oil into the bottom of it.
Heat the oil and add the curry leaves and chopped onions to the pan.
Fry over a low heat until the ingredients are soft and golden.
Now add the Chettinad chicken curry paste to the pan and cook for around one minute.
Place the diced poultry in the pan and stir it around. Let it cook over a low heat for five minutes.
Add the finely chopped tomatoes and the turmeric to the pan and mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Season the mixture, turn the heat low and let the meat and spices cook for four or five minutes.
Add the coconut milk to the pan. Cover the pan and let the meat and spices simmer until the Chettinad chicken curry is cooked through.
The last task is to add the garam masala powder. Serve the Chettinad chicken curry and enjoy!