Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Spicy Chicken Curry (Chettinad Chicken Kulambu)

 Published 2011-Mar-07   Updated 2018-Mar-26

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Chettinadu Kozhi Kulambu, Chicken Curry with fresh spices, Chicken Chettinad, Chettinad Chicken Curry)

I call this dish Spicy Chicken Curry because it has a perfect blend of fresh spices that make this whole dish taste amazing. This is popularly known as the Chettinadu Kozhi Kulambu since Chettinad cuisine is known for their use of fresh spices. However similar chicken curry is also made in several places of Kerala and even in our native place.

My grandmother used to prepare this chicken curry by grinding all the spices using the traditional grinding stone. Those days only country chicken was used which has an excellent taste. Rock salt was used instead of the powder salt which adds to the taste of the dish. So whenever I prepare this Spicy Chettinadu Style Chicken Curry, I make sure to buy country chicken and use rock salt. Even when the gravy is simmering, the whole house will be filled with the aroma. The taste of the curry is unbeatable. It can be served with rice or any tiffin varieties.

Please do not get intimidated by the huge list of ingredients. Just take some time to assemble all the items before starting the curry. Once you have everything ready, toucan make the curry in a very short time. So here come the recipe.

Recipe for Spicy Chettinadu Chicken Curry

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients

  • Onion - 2 (finely chopped)
  • Tomato - 2 (diced or pureed)
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Bay Leaf - 1
  • Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
  • Cumin seeds - ¼ tsp
  • Coriander leaves (Cilantro) - handful (finely chopped)
  • Salt - to taste

To Marinate

  • Chicken - 1 kg (2 lbs)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp

To cursh

  • Ginger - 1" piece
  • Garlic - 8 cloves
  • Shallots - 7
  • Green Chillies - 3

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Ingredients

To roast and powder

  • Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Dry red chillies - 10
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Black Peppercorns – 2 tsp
  • Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Poppy Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Cardamom – 10
  • Cinnamon – 1” piece
  • Cloves – 5
  • Mace – 1 piece
  • Star anise – 1 piece
  • Black Stone Flower (Kalpasi) - 1
  • Kapok Buds (Marathi Moggu) - 1

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Ingredients

Method

  1. Cut the chicken and cut it into medium size pieces. Marinate it with salt, lemon juice and turmeric powder for at least half an hour.
  2. Dry roast the ingredients under To Roast and Powder on low flame till everything turns golden brown in colour. After it cools make a powder of it and keep aside. Be careful not to burn it. 
  3. Make a paste of the ingredients under To Crush. Keep this aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the cumin seeds and bay leaf.
  5. Add the chopped onions and fry till it becomes brown in colour.
  6. Add the ground paste of shallots, ginger, garlic and green chilies and fry till the raw smell is gone.
  7. Add the marinated chicken and fry for few minutes. The chicken releases lot of water.
  8. Now add the tomato puree and the freshly powdered spices, required salt and water.
  9. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. By now the chicken pieces will be completely cooked.
  10. This is the right time to check for salt and other spices. Adjust anything if needed.
  11. Cook uncovered till the oil floats on top of the gravy.
  12. Add the finely chopped cilantro and fresh curry leaves and switch off. Keep the gravy covered till you are ready to serve.

Detailed Steps for Chettinad Chicken Kulambu

Cut the chicken and cut it into medium size pieces. Marinate it with salt, lemon juice and turmeric powder for at least half an hour.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Dry roast the ingredients under To roast and powder on low flame till everything turns golden brown in colour. After it cools make a powder of it and keep aside. Be careful not to burn it.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Make a paste of the ingredients under To crush. Keep this aside.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the cumin seeds and bay leaf.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Add the chopped onions and fry till it becomes brown in colour.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Add the ground paste of shallots, ginger, garlic and green chilies and fry till the raw smell is gone.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Add the marinated chicken and fry for few minutes. The chicken releases lot of water.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Now add the tomato puree and the freshly powdered spices, required salt and water.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. By now the chicken pieces will be completely cooked.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

This is the right time to check for salt and other spices. Adjust anything if needed. Cook uncovered till the oil floats on top of the gravy. Add the finely chopped cilantro and fresh curry leaves and switch off. Keep the gravy covered till you are ready to serve.

Chettinad Chicken Kulambu Steps

Serving Chettinad Chicken Kulambu

  • Server the spicy chettinad chicken curry with white rice, idli, dosa, idiappam, appam, parotta, chapati or naan.

Other Non Vegetarian Gravies and Curries

Butter Chicken/ Butter Chicken/Turkey (Murg Makhani) Chicken Kurma Chicken/Turkey Kurma Sesame Chicken Sesame Chicken Dahi Murg Dahi Murg
See more...

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Comments (18)

Person   ()
What colur of poppy seeds do i use
Person   ()
White
Person   ()
I love mutton curry. This is very easy recipe. I always order fresh meat online.
Person   ()
Good. Enjoy!
Person   ()
This chicken looks divine – so tender and that unmistakable yellow from turmeric <3
I have suggestion please check Maggi Arabia Recipe section some healthy ramadan recipes
Person   ()
Thank you. I will check it out.
Person   ()
Thank you. I will check it out.
Person   ()
A nice recipe, although after following it my result looks completely different :-)
Shoudnt Fennel Seeds be on the "to grind list" instead? I have no idea how to "paste" them so I ended up not using them at all.
Person   ()
Hi Marek,
The appearance of the final product often depends on how much the ingredients are roasted, the quality of ingredients etc. Anyway it is good that you enjoyed the dish. You can make a paste by taking all the items with some water in a blender and pureeing it. It is also OK if you powder it along with the other ingredients.
Person   ()
Please tell me what are "springs" of curry "leaves"??
Person   ()
Sprigs are small stems with attached leaves. One sprig of curry leaf usually has 15-20 leaves.
Person   ()
good site. I'd suggest you keep it constant. let all your recipes have cooking time, number of people served,images etc. optimize it to rank for google
Person   ()
Hi, Thank you for your interest. I am working on editing all old recipes and adding these details. Very soon it will be done.
Person   ()
What is Bay leaf?
Cumin seeds?
Curry leaf?
Can u provide dis recepie in Hindi as lot of name i m confuse

And there is very eager to me to prepare dis dish???

Plz give me a site of hindi version
Person   ()
Hi Mr. Husein, As of now we do not have a provision to have the recipe in Hindi. You can check the hindi names of all the spices in the following page. http://simpleindianrecipes.com/spices.aspx
Person   ()
Tej pata
Jeera
Curry pata
Person   ()
Extremely delicious dish! My husband said one of my best preparations of all times! Thank you very much for sharing this recipe!
Person   ()
Thats so good to hear. Enjoy.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-03-26.