Chettinad cuisine is famous for using various spices and one of the most aromatic food in India. This is one such spicy chicken dish that wakes up all your senses. You can adjust the water to make it a thick curry or more of a kuzhambu. If you have red pearl onions (small onions) substitute that for more authentic taste. I have used chicken thighs as it has much flavor and meat is tender, you can use bone-in or boneless chicken breast. And here goes the hot recipe,
2 lbs Bone-in Chicken thighs (bite size pieces)
2 medium Red onions (finely chopped)
2 small Tomatoes (chopped)
2 tsp minced Ginger
2 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp Red Chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
6-8 Dry Red Chili
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 inch Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Poppy seeds
1/2 cup grated Coconut
15-20 Curry leaves
2 tbsp Sesame oil
- Heat a small skillet and dry roast together the dry red chili, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds and coconut.
- Once the coconut is dehydrated and turned slightly brown, switch off and let the mixture cool.
- Grind the cooled mixture along with 1/2 a cup water to a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Heat sesame oil in a deep pan, add the onions with a sprinkle of salt and cook until it releases oil.
- Now add the ginger and garlic and cook until raw smell disappears.
- Add the ground paste along with 1/2 cup water and cook for a min.
- Now add the turmeric powder and red chili powder and cook for another min.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until completely mashed up or until the oil is released with the lid open.
- Add the chicken pieces along with curry leaves and more salt and mix well to coat the chicken completely.
- Adding more curry leaves :)
- Cook for 4-5 mins or until the chicken turns white and gets lightly seared.
- Now pour 1-2 cups water depending on the consistency you need and let come to a boil.
- Transfer the curry to a pressure cooker and cook for a whistle. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in the same pan with lid closed for 15-20 mins. (I prefer pressure cooking the bone-in chicken.)
- Switch off and serve hot with rice, dosa or paratha.