Chettinad Chicken Gravy


My name is Lakshmi, and I am a homemaker. I love cooking and experimenting with different recipes, especially those from my native India.

Chettinad Chicken Gravy

Chettinad Chicken Gravy

Chettinad chicken gravy comes from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, in India. This dish is one of the signature recipes of the local cuisine; the spice blend brings a rich aroma, and the gram dal and cashews add a rich flavor.

Cooking Notes:

  • Marinate the chicken with a pinch of turmeric and salt for 30 minutes before you start cooking. Doing so will make the chicken soft and tender.
  • Typically, this recipe calls for coriander seeds, but here I have used coriander powder instead.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

3 to 4 servings


  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon gram dhal
  • 8 cashews
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 no of cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 8 red chillies
  • Handful curry leaves
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste, roughly chopped
  • 1 small tomato
  • 3 teaspoons chilly powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 250 grams chicken
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add gram dhal, pepper, cumin, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds, red chilies, cashews, and curry leaves, one by one. Fry over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and ginger-garlic paste. Saute until the onions turn glossy, then add the tomatoes and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. Once it's completely cool, grind it to a fine paste.
  3. Turn on the stove and heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the ground mixture, chilly powder, and coriander powder. Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and mix well with the masala. Cook for another 15 minutes over medium heat. The gravy should thicken, and the oil should begin to separate from the curry.
  5. Add some curry leaves and transfer it to another vessel. Enjoy this delicious gravy with hot rice or chapathi.


Lakshmi (author) from Chennai on September 17, 2020:

Hi Liz Westwood, Thank you for your appreciation and kind words.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 16, 2020:

I really appreciate the detailed photo guide. This sounds like a very tasty dish, much more interesting than the chicken gravy that is made from granules and boiling water in the UK, as an accompaniment to roast chicken.

Lakshmi (author) from Chennai on September 15, 2020:

Thank you Danny for your interest in this recipe,and yes, the spices added to the recipe has a unique health benefit beyond the seasoning effect.

Danny from India on September 15, 2020:

Lakshmi, this is really mouth-watering chicken sampler. I am a big devotee of Chettinad culture.

One specialty of Chettinad dishes, I have heard is of the measured proportion of every ingredient which is perfect for your health. I guess its due to the royal connection where more emphasis was laid on health and well being.

Related Articles