Sunday, July 12, 2015

Chicken Chettinad

As per Wikipedia, Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. The Chettiar community, who are a majority in this region, are a very successful trading community. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India.

Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is usually considered essential part of a meal. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and lamb.

Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis. Here is Chicken Chettinad, my personal favourite curry for the viewers with recipe from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Khaana Khazana, slightly changed according to my taste.

Chicken - 1kg
Poppy seeds - 2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Whole red chillies - 8(3 long and 5 short) 
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Green cardamom - 3 
Cloves - 2 no
Peppercorns - 1/2 Tsp

Ginger, chopped - 2 tsp
Garlic, chopped - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Bay leaves - 1-2
Onion, large - 1
Tomatoes, medium - 3
Star anise - 1/2
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon - 1
Fresh coriander - A handful chopped
Oil - 1/2 cup
Salt - To taste

Clean the chicken, remove the skin and cut into medium size pieces.
Chop the onions and tomatoes separately.
Roast the whole red chilies, grated coconut, poppy seeds, coriander seeds,cumin seeds, peppercorns, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds in oil and grind to a paste along with ginger and garlic.
Heat oil in a vessel and fry the curry leaves and bay leaf followed by onions till golden, then add the ground paste and sauté for some time.
Add the tomatoes, chilli powders, turmeric powder and sauté.
Add the chicken, mix and cook for 5 minutes and then add 2 cups of water and lemon juice.
Cover and cook till the chicken is done.
Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

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