Friday, 4 March 2016

Chicken Chettinad Recipe / Chettinad Chicken Curry Recipe ~ Chennai Food Adventure Series / Eat Like A Local Series


As promised, here I am with the recipe of Chicken Chettinad, the first among the 10 dishes which I think is a must eat when you visit Chennai. To get the taste of Chicken Chettinad similar to the one that I had eaten in Chennai, I must have cooked the dish 4 or 5 times, till I was able to nail the exact taste or let me put it, very close to the exact taste of the Chicken Chettinad I had in Chennai. There must be a number of versions that this dish must be cooked. I too had a few recipes with me which I tried and also got my Tamil friends to eat and give their opinion about. The one which was approved by all including my own senses, I am putting down that recipe here, so that no matter in which part of the world you are, you will be easily able to create the dish with a taste very close or maybe almost similar to the one which is cooked in Chennai or Chettinad.

Dear readers I would love to get your feedback on this dish, especially if you are a local of Chettinad and your family has a recipe of Chicken Chettinad which has been cooking for years and generations in your family. I love this dish immensely because of its very distinct flavours. The spices used in this are indigenous to it and largely responsible for giving the Chicken Chettinad its identity.


Chicken Chettinad belongs to the Chettinad Cuisine which is a cuisine enriched by the liberal uses of spices and therefore the ensuing dish is very aromatic and spicy. Embedding a whole lot of influences of different communities which either lived here or entered and influenced through trade or colonisation the food of the people of Chettinad, the Chettiars have evolved into what you get to sample and savour as Chettinad Cuisine today.

This recipe has been adapted from a video I watched from the series Rick Stein's India ~ In Search of the perfect Curry.  I have cooked it exactly like the local lady from Madurai Mrs. Samundeswary has cooked in the video. Even this recipe I cooked twice before capturing it for you. The first time I cooked exactly like Mrs. Samundeswary cooked in the video. The second time around I made two changes. 1) I used Chicken with bones and not boneless chicken as was done in the original recipe. 2) I added Garam Masala to the dish only once and not two times as is done in the original recipe.

So let's get started and make Chicken Chettinad.

CHICKEN CHETTINAD RECIPE / CHETTINAD CHICKEN CURRY RECIPE ~


SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN / CHETTINAD / SOUTH INDIAN
TYPE : MAIN COURSE / CHICKEN CURRY
TIME : 15 MINUTES PREPARATION + 30 MINUTES COOKING

INGREDIENTS :

FOR THE TEMPERING :

1) 3~4 Tbsp (50 ml approximately) Oil
2) 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf
3) 5 Cms or 2 inch piece of Cinnamon Bark
4) 1 Tbsp Black Stone Flower / Kalpasi / DagadFul roughly chopped (Use an extra inch of cinnamon bark if you fail to get black stone flower online or at an Indian grocery store)

FOR THE SPECIAL SPICE BLEND :

1) 1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf
2) 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
3) 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya
4) 1 Tbsp Whole Black Pepper Corns
5) 2 ~ 3 Dry Red Chillies ( I used Kashmiri Dry Red Chillies. You can use Chillies of your choice )
6) 3~4 Cloves of Garlic

FOR THE CURRY ~

1) 700 Gms Chicken Pieces cut into medium size (Use boneless or chicken with bones as you wish )
2) 2 large (150 Gms approximately ) Onions / Shallots, finely sliced
3) 2 Sprigs (1 handful ) Curry Leaves
4) 6~8 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped (Should be about 2 Tbsp once finely chopped)
5) 1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
6) 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder (optional)
7) 1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
8) 1 Tsp Black Pepper Powder (preferably Freshly ground)
9) 1 Tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped
10) 100 ml Water
11) Salt to taste
12) 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice optional

THIS IS HOW YOU COOK CHICKEN CHETTINAD / CHETTINAD CHICKEN CURRY ~


1) Wash the Chicken pieces thoroughly.
  • Marinate the Chicken pieces by smearing and rubbing them with Salt (use 1 Tsp) and Lemon Juice.
  • NOTE : Marinating the chicken pieces with salt and lemon juice is optional and not there in the original recipe.
  • Leave the chicken pieces to marinate while you get ready with the other ingredients.
2) Dry roast all the ingredients under " FOR THE SPECIAL SPICE BLEND " till fragrant.
  • Put all the spices into a grinder or spice blender. 
  • Using 2 Tbsp of water, process all the ingredients in the spice blender to a smooth thick paste. Keep aside, ready to use. 
3) Now to make the Chettinad Chicken Curry, in a thick bottom frying pan or wok heat oil. When it is hot, reduce the flame to medium and add the spices under the heading " FOR THE TEMPERING ". Let the cumin crackle and the spices become fragrant.
  • Add the finely sliced onions now. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the Curry leaves and let them splutter. Fry the onion along with the curry leaves and tempering till the onion slices softens and changes colour.
  • Now add in the garlic mince.
  • Saute for a minute till the garlic releases its aroma.
4) Add in the chicken pieces now. Saute the chicken pieces and stir and mix well so that each and every piece of chicken is coated with the spices and the flavoured oil in the pan.

5) Next add in the Special Spice Blend which you have made in step 2.
  • Mix all the pieces of chicken nicely in the special spice blend. Season with salt. Mix well.
  • Add Garam Masala powder, Coriander Powder and Red Chilli Powder (optional). Mix well.
  • Add Freshly ground Black Pepper Powder. Mix Well.
  • Mix everything very well and evenly coat all the chicken pieces with the spices.
6) Add a little about 1/2 a cup of water into the wok.
  • Let everything in the wok simmer away for two minutes or until you get a thick gravy.
Serve with layered Indian Flat Bread / Parotta / Paratha or piping hot rice. Enjoy the unique taste of this superlative Chicken Curry.

STEP BY STEP PICTORIAL PROCEDURE OF COOKING CHICKEN CHETTINAD / CHETTINAD CHICKEN CURRY~ 


1) Wash the Chicken pieces thoroughly.

Marinate the Chicken pieces by smearing and rubbing them with Salt (use 1 Tsp) and Lemon Juice.
NOTE : Marinating the chicken pieces with salt and lemon juice is optional and not there in the original recipe.

Leave the chicken pieces to marinate while you get ready with the other ingredients.


2) Dry roast all the ingredients under " FOR THE SPECIAL SPICE BLEND " till fragrant.


Put all the spices into a grinder or spice blender. 


Using 2 Tbsp of water process all the ingredients in the spice blender to a smooth thick paste. Keep aside ready to use.


3) Now to make the Chettinad Chicken Curry, in a thick bottom frying pan or wok heat oil. When it is hot, reduce the flame to medium and add the spices under the heading " FOR THE TEMPERING ". Let the cumin crackle and the spices become fragrant.


Add the finely sliced onions now. Saute for a few seconds.


Add the Curry Leaves and let them splutter. Fry the onions along with the curry leaves and tempering till the onion slices softens and changes colour.


Now add in the garlic mince.


Saute for a minute till the garlic releases its aroma.


4) Add in the chicken pieces now. Saute the chicken pieces and stir and mix well so that each and every piece of chicken is coated with the spices and the flavoured oil in the pan. 


5) Next add in the Special Spice Blend which you have made in step 2. 


Mix all the pieces of Chicken nicely, in the special spice blend. Season with salt. Mix well.



Add Garam Masala powder, Coriander Powder and Red Chilli Powder (optional). Mix Well.



Add Freshly ground Black Pepper Powder. Mix Well.


Mix everything very well and evenly coat all the chicken pieces with the spices.


6) Add a little about 1/2 a cup of water into the wok. 


Let everything in the wok simmer away for two minutes or until you get a thick gravy.


Garnish with fresh copped coriander leaves. Remove the wok from the heat and transfer the Chettinad Chicken into a serving bowl.


Serve with layered Indian Flat Bread / Parotta / Paratha or piping hot rice. Enjoy the unique taste of this superlative Chicken Curry.