Chicken Chettinad Recipe – How to make Chettinad Chicken

Written by Mullai

Modest, friendly and hardworking.  "Virgoans Rule"..


  1. Divya


    is it really 4tbsp of coriander seeds? It sounds like a lot but the image seems to be 4 tsps worth of seeds. could you please correct me?

    1. Mullai

      Hi divya, yes it is.. when you grind its going to yield in powder form plus to blance the heat from red chillies and red chilli powder, we need to add a little more of the coriander powder. Coriander powder gives thickness to the gravy or masala… hence needs to be added. Picture is to show the ingredients and not the exact measures. The whole list can make up 4 to 5 tbsp of masala powder… i usually add the whole thing as iam using 2 cups of chopped onions… you may adjust according to your preference. Hope this helps! BTW, the masala stays good for few weeks if refrigerated.

  2. Shelbin

    Hi Mullai,
    I have tried many of your dishes and it was awesome, especially your mutton chettinad curry. My husband and my 1.5 yr old son loved it. Palkova was also simply superb. I have a question, can i follow the same recipe for making 4 lbs of chicken. I have to do it for a potluck, can i just add 4 times the ingredients and proceed, (I know it will be good but if you can just confirm i will be happy). Thanks a lot. Continue your good work. Its extremely helpful for ppl like me who are new to cooking.

    1. Mullai

      That’s how its supposed to be if you wish to have a thick chunky curry but its ok to adjust. You can do 4 times of the above ingredients except the masala powder. Just make twice the proportion of the powder as its very strong by itself and you can always adjust with extra chili powder if its bland. If its for a potluck and if you think you need extra gravy then add some coconut milk when you finish. Hope this helps. Have a nice time!!

  3. scampy

    HI ! Mullai

    Thank you for posting this good recipe. If I have to make double the quantity, do I just double all the spices too ?

    1. Mullai

      Anitha, franky speaking they all have to go one at a time. If time is not an issue, you can proceed that way orelse combining altogether is ok too. But either way coconut has to go alone bcos it has the tendency to burn quickly. Let me also update the recipe. Hope this helps. Thanks.

  4. RAJ

    I tried your chicken biriyani, It came good. I am vegetarian so basically good recipes will help me a lot in making NV dishes. I got a doubt in this recipe when should I add coconut in this, I got fresh coconut. please help me then I can make this in coming weekend

    1. Mullai

      Raj,you have to dry roast the coconut flakes for few minutes over medium flame until they turn light golden. Let cool and grind along with the other dry masalas. Then add this along with red chili powder.
      Good luck.

  5. suja

    Hi Mullai, Thanks for the response. I tried this dish over the weekend with no changes at all. Absolutely restaurant quality! Delish! Thank you for such a perfect recipe!

  6. suja

    Can you please let me know the time to cook the chicken with the onions,tomatoes,masala? Don’t we need to add any water while cooking the chicken? Do we add the water only at the end? Thanks.

    1. Mullai

      Suja, chicken has to cooked in the tomato onion masala without water. You should cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes over medium flame for boneless and about 10 to 12 minutes for chicken with bones. Don’t forget to cover, because that process is going to help steam cook the meat. Water is added to adjust the masala to gravy consistency. Thanks.

  7. Dylan

    I had eaten this dish at the restaurant chain Anjappar Chettinad and wanted to try making it at home. It came out very well, thank you for the recipe. I actually made it with pork shoulder, which I know would not be done in India but it was still quite delicious! Are there other recipes on the site here that feature some of the more obscure or regional Indian spices like this? (Things like black stone flower.) Most Indian cookbooks leave out the special regional spices because the author assumes they are too hard to find, but then the dishes don’t taste right. I feel like the restaurants also use various flavor enhancers to bump up the taste of the food.

  8. kotharukoundinya

    Can u pl. tell me, whether the spices are to be grounded, coz I dont hav a mixer wid me.
    Pl. help me out. very eager to cook this yummy dish:)

    1. Mullai

      Kotha, you have to grind them… some items can be bought readymade but most of them need to be ground fresh. Try to buy a mixer soon. thanks.

  9. santhij

    hi mullai,

    When you give ingradient’s meaurement instead of saying 2 onion , 3 tomatoes, Can you tell us the measurement in cups too? Example 2 onion ( appox 1.5 cup) , 3 tomato ( 2 cups).


  10. sureshhk

    Hi Mullai, I have seen this recipe a long time ago but was little hesitant to try as it involved so many spices. Finally today was its day – I slowly gathered all the spices and made it as per instructions – it was just toooo goooood. I don’t know what the result would be if I did not have some of the spices…espicially getting the stone flower was a tough task(finally a friend got me from India). even there not many people knew what i was asking. Thanks, it was wonderful. My wife is vegetarain and was asking if the masala can be used for any chettinad veg dish? the aroma was too good in the house. Thanks again

    1. Mullai

      Hi Sureshhk,

       Glad you finally tried this curry. Oh yeah!! those spices does add a ton of flavour…. actually your wife can enjoy the same masala… without chicken, you can add mushrooms or green bell peppers instead. There's also one more version of the same recipe under Chettinad category… Mushroom masala. You can try the same masala with the following veg options

      1. Sambar onions

      2. Lima beans

      3. Mushrooms

      4. Green Bell peppers

      5. Paneer or Tofu

      Thanks again for visiting and pouring in your valuable comments.

  11. Vinolia

    Dear Mullai,

    i tried out this kozhambu this week end for some guests; all of them liked it very much; I did this with a pilaf. thank you for the recipes and keep rocking!!!!!!

  12. laksbaby

    Dear Mullai, I have tried lot of recipes from your site so far and every recipe of yours turns out Great, At one point i decided to write comment only if it turns bad, But today i jus cudnt resist and cant hold my fingers to put in words, Here you go..YOU ARE THE BEST , what more u want me to tell u..the way you narrate the Recipes,Ingredients,Proportion everything is so perfect.Thanks a tone for this Chicken Chettinad, Turned out awesome, but ofcourse i reduced the spices acc to our taste but used all of the ingredients. I know its a pretty old post i am not sure whether you will read this comment still i wanna write. Please keep up your great work and "We are always there to motivate you". Hatsoff and I ll continue exploring your site to learn more good recipes, Thanks again.

  13. vijkamath

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I prepared it for lunch today and it was so full of flavour. We could smell and taste each of the ground spices. My family enjoyed it a lot. Thanks again.

  14. graceVisitor

    I tried the Chetinad chicken and it came out well eventhough I could not find the blackstone flower anywhere in the store. Where do you think I can find it? Can I find it in a Figi store?
    Thanks so much for sharing this.

  15. fj

    Dear Mullai, Tried out your Chettinad recipe. It was too good to be true. Tell you what, you must compile all this into a book. Really. Its all so logically laid down in words. It would be a treasure to own and to gift.

     Appreciate this great labour of love

    1. Mullai

      Hi fj, nice suggestion and will definitely work on this great labour of love. Well put in words, almost melting over here.. enjoy and thanks for dropping by.

  16. Sweta M P

    Hi Mullai,

    I stumbled across your website when I did a google search for Chettinad Chicken recipe. I can’t tell you how glad I am on finding this treasure trove of recipes. Will try this recipe tonight and let you know how it turned out!

    Many thanks!

  17. nidhivarma

    Hi Mullai, I chanced upon ur site while looking for a recipe for Chettinad Chicken, and was impressed by some of the recipes that i saw and so I registered myself:-) Today i decided to make Chicken Chettinad, so went and bought all the spices that I did not have like Kalpasi……the chicken turned out to be so so scrumptious…yummy…Thanks a ton for this recipe. Regards Nidhi

  18. pooja

    i am relatively new to this site and i have been trying your recipes and it always is a big hit !
    made chicken for lunch , relished it with rice and for dinner had with kal dosai.
    wat a authentic chettinad chicken. i dint have jathipoo , despite that it had turned out very well. Thanx a lot !

  19. sophiaprasanna

    Just made this recipe….i dint have jadipoo,star anise,kalpasi… athellam illamale ivlo super a iruke intha dish, innum if i had all those, then innum nalla vanthirukum nenaikaren…wht to do, yenga oor la athellam kadaikala…anyways Thank u so very much for another superb chicken recipe.U are the Best.

  20. leenadevi

    I am a big fan of Chicken Chettinad and have always wanted to try to cook it myself. I’m not a great cook, but I followed your recipe exactly and it turned out great! Thanks a lot!
    – Leena

  21. Gokilapriya

    Nice receipe. We’ve enjoyed this weekend with this dish. Thanks Mullai. Good Luck for your upcoming receipes & ideas.


    Hi mullai,
    Today i tried this recipe. I followed the steps as mentioned but i marinated the chicken with curd for some one hour. the dish tasted good but the colour dint turn out as yours. Will it be because of that?


  23. PNP

    Hi Ms. Madhavan, your recipe is absolutely amazing! I didn’t have mace and black stone flower. Even without them, it was perfect. Now, I have to get those 2 from India and try to make it beyond perfect! Thank you very much.

  24. Sumathi


    Hi Mullai…. Thanks for the wonderful work…Best website to follow the recipes…I tried chetinad chicken today it was very good..when ever i want to eat in hotel i will just browse this website for recipes :).can you please post recipe for chetinad chicken biryani? No need to search a good restaurent… Congrats and thanks! Sumathi

  25. jraghavan

    Hi Mullai,i just went to Indian grocery store and got all items ready for chicken chettinad/karaikudi. But i had doubt with
    kalpasi(black stone flower) — Is this same as Kokum phool black or white. Regarding Mace–i got Javentri whole( orange in color) is this same as Jathipoo, but i smell nutmeg flower , but i had doubt on Kokum phool.. Also can we use marathi mattai, i heard this is also used for chettinad.

    1. Mullai


      Kokum phool is a kind of tamarind sustitute mostly used in konkani cuisine. Black stone flower is phathar ke phool and is not what you have. Pls do not use kokum as its extremely sour and used only for fish gravies. Coming to Nutmeg… check this chapter for complete reference

      As far as my recipe goes marathi moggu doesn't play a part in the spice mix.

  26. vijayalakshmi manohar




  27. susan

    Hi Mullai

    I have watched this website grow and have been so impressed by the effort you have put in and been encouraged by the scores of people who contribute and share “cooking secrets” that we often jealously guard. So thanks very much…

    I have tried a couple of your recipes, biryani and Chicken kurma and they came out well.However, I would like to make Chettinadu Chicken but don’t seem to be able to find “kalapasi”in any of the Indian stores in Sydney.
    Would it make a big difference if I omitted this ingredient?


    1. Mullai

      Susan, its ok to make without kalpasi, try not to compromise on the other ingredients as each one is equally important to bring out that authentic flavour. Good luck and catch you back with the feedback.

    1. Suganswami

      Hi visitor,

      Check the old topics in forum. There is a full length article about restaurants in bay area which might help you…

  28. rosemary11c

    Hi Mrs.Mullai I tried this recipes, it came out some how well, it was so hot and spicy and also we dont get poppy seed in singapore, what is the substitute for poppy seed. I tried ur veg briyani . it was super and came very well. i and my husband enjoyed, i dont know why this chicken curry didnt come out well. can u suggest any tips thanks.

  29. nazreen_hameed116

    hi mullai,i tried this recipe and it was excellent.everybody loved it and it is one of my favourite was just like hotel ones.can u pls post me some recipes of raagi? thanks, nazreen

  30. kprabamca

    Hai, I am browsing this website frequently. Recently I tried this chicken chetinadu recipe. It came out well. We enjoyed it. Thanks for your recipe. pls update your recipes.

  31. latharajkumar

    Hi Mullai,

    I am a new member. I like your reciepes a lot. Very yummy! Tried Chettinad Chicken recipe and it came out excellent. Thanks for the recipe and this wonderful website.

    I like receipes using paneer, please, can you suggest some spicy paneer receipes?

    Best Regards,

    1. Mullai


      Use the search, there are quite a few Paneer items to try. Most of them are mild but you can always adjust the spice level to suit your taste. Thanks for visiting.

  32. Chris

    Mullai — quick question: When you refer to “Red Chili Powder”, are you referring to chili powder as it’s known in the States (which is a blend in itself — a mix of ground dried red chili, plus cumin, oregano, etc) or just straight ground red chili?


      1. Chris

        Thanks for the response, that’s what I thought. I few more spice questions:

        1) Cardamom — The whole pod, or should I remove the seeds and just use those?

        2) Star anise — Is (1) of these considered the whole “star” or just one of the “points”? I tried to figure it out by the picture, but couldn’t find it… by process of elimination I figured it must be the two dark brown pieces in the very middle, which then I guessed would be two “points”? It’s strong so I don’t want to go overboard.

        3) Mace — Would you recommend seeking out actual whole petals/blades, or would ground be OK? If the latter, how much would you recommend? I was thinking between 1/8 to 1/4 tsp.

        Thanks again – Chris

        1. Mullai


          This masala as such is too strong, if you prefer less spicy reduce the counts. Ok, here you go 1. Use full cardamom with seeds 2. I have used the small ones(whole), but there are some big varieties too, so in that case, just use two of the points. 3. Again mace has strong flavour too, one flower may have 3 to 4 petals, thats my guess! use 2, that should be fine. If using ground, use few pinches. I haven't tried with ground powder, not really sure about store bought. I have updated the recipe with the exact measures for future reference, as there are too many questions relating to this. Thanks for dropping by and appreciate your comments.



  33. Ramasamy AR


    That was a gr8 recipe……And thanks heaps for an authentic chettinad recipe. I mean it ‘Authentic’ coz…. I am from chettinad and knew how some stuffs are prepared. Thanks again.


  34. Jay

    Hi Mullai,

    Fantastic recipe … really came out like finger-smacking hot, authentic Chettinad Ckn. Intend to try it many more times!


  35. kavitha79

    Hi Mullai thanks for your reply i tried this recepie yesterday, it was really superb! my husband really enjoyed. Thank you very much . You are doing a very good job. Thanks a lot, take care.

  36. kavitha79

    Hi Mullai i have few doubts 1. after adding water how long do i need to cook. 2. How to grind dry masala with ginger garlic paste. Sorry to bother, but I just started learn cooking from your recipes. Thank you very much for everything.


  37. kavitha79

    Hi Mullai, I am going to try this recipe tonite and have few doubts, after adding water do i need to cook some more time or turn off immediately ? Can you pls help with this.



    1. Mullai


      Here's how you do it. First grind all the dry ingredients, then add the ginger garlic paste and run the mixie for few seconds, this way the ginger garlic will blend well with the powder. Rather than looking like a paste it would look more like a thick coarse powder. Thats the reason I've mentioned it as powder.

      Coming to the second doubt, after adding water, you simmer the chicken for 10 minutes. Chicken usually cooks fast and releases water. In this recipe, you are already cooking it for few minutes with onions. Water is just added for extra gravy and to avoid the masala sticking to the bottom of the pan. Hope this helps.

  38. Visitor

    My husband and me tried the recipe n it came out excellent.It was very tasty but hot cos of the spices ! Unfortunately,I didn’t have the some ingredients so had to cook without it but it still tasted Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.Can you please post more Shrimp recipes?

  39. Sailaja Ramamoorthi

    Mullai I tried this dish over the weekend it came out very well.I always end up cooking chicken without much gravy or watery. But this one was perfect.Thank you.

  40. Raechel

    Mullai – I appreciate the changes and tips made to the recipe. Can you please come up with a recipe to make Bitter Gourd a great dish to eat. Also, is it really a health food?

    Please let us all know.
    Thanks Much!

  41. raechel

    Hello Mullai,

    Chicken Chettinad came out too well than expected. The taste was perfect. I cut down 5 chillies from the ingredients and added only 3/4th of the entire ground masala to suit our tastes.

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Mullai

      Hi Raechel, Since most of the members feel the same way, I 've reduced the number of chillies and also added a note regarding the masala powder. Thanks for letting me know.

  42. SathyaPrabhu

    Hi Mullai,

    Thank you so much for the receipe.
    Chicken chettinad is a regular dish on Sundays(non-veg day in my home).

  43. suja

    i tried this recipe and it came out well….thank u so much. nowadays when im looking for a recipe,,this website is the first one i visit!!

  44. crownlak

    Hi Mullai,
    Your recipes amazing. The way your posting them along with so many nice pics is superb. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes with all of us.
    I don’t know how to mail to you personally. So i’m asking you a question here. What is Shahjeera called in English. When I went to an India store they have black jeera(shah jeera)written on one packet and caraway seeds in another packet. But on net, in some web sites I found carawar seeds is called as shahjeera and in some other black jeera is called shahjeera. Can you clarify.


  45. Jas

    Hai mullai,
    It’s nice to go thro’ ur website. All the prep’s and methods and above all the pic’s are really superb!!! Keep up the good work mullai. I tried this chicken chettinad and it came out well. As a learner, i’m glad that ur cooking tips are helping to bring out my cooking talent. Haha.. i avoided coconut, two spices(jathipoo, anise) since we dont get it here.Inspite of that deletion, ur receipe worked out well. Thanks for the posting.

  46. Kay

    Mullai, Is it really jaathipoo or jaathikai that I’ve to add? I tried adding jaathipoo directly in a biryani once and it tunred out bitter. hence the question. Can you please clarify this for me.

      1. Kay

        Thanks Mullai, for the quick reply. I have the flower, not nutmeg and was a bit worried.. And yes, I’ll just use 2 petals. I was thinking about using 2 full flowers.

  47. Kay

    Hi Mullai,

    We had food from ‘Anjappar Chettinad’ yesterday and I was bowled over by their Chettinad chicken. Since then, I’ve been looking for this recipe all over and this recipe seems very authentic to me. I do have Kalpasi, Star anise etc in stock so I’m going to give this a try this weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes. You’ve written about it very nicely. Thank you.


  48. Priyaranjith

    Hi This is priya,
    I tried chettinadu chicken,it came out with wonderful taste.Thanks for your recipie.Thank u so much.

  49. Annamalai

    My wife is pregnant, she likes chicken much and I want to cook something special for her during week end; and this website and the reciepes listed are very good, the pepper chicken came very well and the briyani too; now I am trying chettinad chicken and I confident that this will come good too; Thank you.

    1. Mullai

      Hello Annamalai, Glad that your trying all my recipes, hope this one also turns good, one small suggestion….. pls reduce the number of chillies, since your cooking for your pregnant wife, 10 chilies will be too spicy, go with 5 nos. Good luck and best wishes.

  50. Usha

    Way!! Really very nice receipes!!!

    I am impressed in cooking chetinadu style, eveyday I do cook new dishes. Most of my dishes are from selecting from websites and I pick up particularly chettinadu receipes.

    Thanks a lot that I could try out more and more, Please post it some more receipes of chettinadu style.



  51. Kavitha Rameshkumar

    I tried Chettinadu Chickena and Chicken 65 yesterday and both came out real well considering the fact I left out some key ingredients like mace, star anise & kalpasi..

    I couldn’t get these over here and hence cudn’t include them…

    I have actually started cooking only in the past 9 months and hats off to people like u since I have fully depended upon such blogs to try out new and old recipes…

    Living here I cant contact my mom for each and everything and the like of your websites has helped me a lot…

    Athuvum namma ooru sappadunna ketkava theva ille.:)

    Keep up the good work and do continue posting these wonderful recipes…

    Today I am gonna try Parotta….Hope it turns out as well as my other dishes…

    I will keep u updated on how it did turn out…

  52. Sshriek

    Hi Mullai,

    I stumbled upon your website this evening when I googled in a recipe for Vegetable Kootu. My, my what a find! Not only are your recipes very tempting but your pictures are great. For one I am a very visual person and seeing all the ingredients helps and seocnd I always like to see the end product before I jump into a recipe (sounds wierd doesnt it).
    I am IMPRESSED. Thanks for sharing your great recipes….YOU ROCK. I will be cooking more often now.

  53. vijaylaxmi mn

    hi i read your recipe,am very much interested in south indian cooking,as my husband is also from south,he like south indian food,so will u please give me chettinad vatha kolubu recipe.
    thank you

  54. BBhasin

    While, of all the reciepes I found on the net for chicken chettinad, yours looks the most promising…. I have some questions

    1. when do you add the curry leaves
    2. when do you add the green chilly
    3. the masalla is to be ground very fine or coarse
    4. are you from this region


    1. Mullai

      Thanks Bhasin, I apologize for not checking on the items listed in the table. Got it updated, thanks again for pointing out. You may either add curry leaves in the end while garnishing or season half of them before adding onions and garnish the rest. Adding at the end gives good aroma. Regarding the masala, I personally prefer grinding little coarsly, either way it doesn't matter and will not affect the taste. BTW my home town is Chennai, but had a chance to learn a few items from a good person, who hail from chettinad/Karaikudi.

      1. Bhasin

        Thanks for the reply. no need to apologize. I tried your recipe and it turned out very good. I did keep the masalla coarse as I thought it would give it good texture.
        I am not very well versed in south indian cooking but you mentioned adding half the curry leaves at the end as it gives it good aroma, which reminded me of a ‘ trick ‘ a famous south Indian chef uses. He dries and powders curry leaves and sprinkles a pinch of this powder on the dish just before serving.
        Thanks again

  55. shalinivenkatesh


    we get the long red chillies here in delhi, cud u pls tell me how many wud i require to put as 10 wud make it tooo spicy


    1. Mullai

      Hi Shalini, Actually 10 would be very spicy, to be on the safe side use 6, and later adjust with additional red chilli powder depending on how spicy you want. Hope this helps.


  56. Visitor


    Wow!!I tried the recipe came out excellent..This is the second time I am cooking chicken…It was very tasty..Unfortunately,I didn’t have the kalpasi and jathipoo in my had to cook without it..but still the dish came out very well..Wanted to thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe…Also,can you post some spicy pickle recipes??I love the south indian pickle taste.Will look forward to more great recipes..great work!!!!

  57. kaberi sreenivasulu

    hi mullai..nice recipe but wht is this Split roasted gram/pottukadalai?which gram is it?this is some daal right?but i dint get wht daal it is.

  58. Visitor

    What are the other names for “Jathipoo/mace” and “Kalpasi”? Can i find them here in the U.S.A in the indian grocery stores?

    1. Mullai

      Check the multilingual glossary section for the terms. Kalpasi is Black stone flower and Jathipoo is called Mace, which is nothing but the Nutmeg flower. Almost all the Indian grocery stores here in USA have them. Check them in the spices aisle. Kalpasi – Dark grey and Black mixed dry flower. Jathipoo – Looks orange in colour.

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