This delicious South Indian, Chettinad style, chicken curry recipe will take your taste buds on a rollercoaster ride of flavors. South Indian chicken curry is a delicious and flavorful dish that is popular in the southern regions of India, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The dish typically features pieces of chicken, such as chicken breast or chicken thighs, cooked in a spicy gravy made with a variety of Indian spices. This Andhra-style chicken curry is a popular dish in Chettinad cuisine, and you can find it commonly in any South Indian restaurant. Try this amazing recipe for a flavorful and authentic chicken curry experience.
One popular method of preparing this spicy chicken curry recipe is to dry roast some of the whole spices, such as cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Then grind them into a smooth paste along with other ingredients such as ginger and garlic. You can then add this spice paste to the marinated chicken along with a cup of water and cooked on medium heat in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Another popular variation of these famous Indian curries is the Andhra-style chicken curry, which is spicy and unique in flavor. This dish typically uses red chili powder, turmeric powder, and a variety of other fresh ground spices. In Andhra Pradesh, it is also common to use a few white poppy seeds to thicken the gravy and give it a unique texture.
Curry powder ingredients
This spice mix includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and dry red chillies. These ingredients contribute to the flavor, aroma, and texture of the curry powder. You can also add a little garam masala powder along with the red chilli powder for a spicy kick.
This delicious chicken curry uses skinless chicken as the main protein source in the dish.
You need oil to fry the chicken. Gingelly oil is the most common oil in South Indian chicken curries.
Different aromatics such as curry leaves, onion, ginger garlic paste, and green chilies, contribute to the aroma of the dish.
Tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt
These ingredients add a tangy, earthy flavor and a thickening agent to the dish.
Coconut milk adds a creamy, rich flavor and texture to the dish.
Fresh coriander leaves
Use coriander leaves as a garnish to elevate the aroma and flavor of the final dish.
Water brings the ingredients together in the dish and creates the sauce.
Step By Step Instructions
Dry roast all the curry powder ingredients (1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 green cardamom, 2 cloves, 1 small stick cinnamon, 1 small star anise, and 4-5 dry red chilies) in a pan over medium heat.
Once the spices are fragrant, grind them into a powder and set aside.
In a large pan, heat 3 tbsp of gingelly oil over medium heat. Add a sprig of curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
Add chopped onion and cook for a minute. Then, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt to the pan. Cook until the onion and tomato mixture becomes mushy.
Add the prepared curry powder and mix well.
Then add 1 cup (0.24 liters) of water to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add the chicken pieces and cook until the color changes.
Add 1 cup (0.24 liters) of coconut milk to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves on top and serve hot with rice.
You can serve the South Indian Chicken curry with ghee rice or steamed rice. It also pairs well with Indian bread such as naan or roti. To add a crunchy texture, you can serve it with papadum or vada. Additionally, you can garnish the curry with some fresh coriander leaves to add freshness and aroma to the dish. For a complete meal, you can serve it with a side of raita, chutney or a salad.
To store South Indian Chicken curry, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, transfer the desired amount of curry to a pan and heat it over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. Alternatively, you can heat it in the microwave. It is also possible to store in the freezer for a longer shelf life, up to 2-3 months. To thaw, move it to the refrigerator overnight before reheating. It’s important to reheat it until it reaches the internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C) to ensure safe consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Curry leaves are a commonly used ingredient in South Indian cuisine, and they add a unique aroma and flavor to dishes. In this recipe, they are added to the oil at the beginning of the cooking process to infuse the oil with their flavor.
This recipe calls for 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) of chicken pieces. You can use chicken breast, thighs or any bone-in or boneless chicken, it’s your preference.
Coconut milk adds a creamy, rich flavor and texture to the dish, making it very delicious. It also helps to balance out the spiciness of the whole spices and red chili powder.
Whole spices refer to spices that are used in their whole form, rather than being ground. In this recipe, whole spices such as cumin seeds, green cardamoms, bay leaf, fennel seeds and cinnamon stick are used to create a unique flavor for the curry. They are dry roasted and ground to a fine powder to use in the curry.
Yes, you can use red chili powder instead of green chilies if you prefer a spicier curry. However, using green chilies will give a fresher and more authentic flavor to the dish.
Turmeric powder adds a tangy, earthy flavor and a yellow color to the dish. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used in Indian cooking.
Cooking on medium heat means setting the stove to a heat level between low and high. It’s best to use a stove top thermometer to check the temperature, a medium heat should be around 350°F (177°C). This will ensure that the chicken cooks through evenly and the spices don’t burn.
You can make the paste of ginger-garlic by using a food processor or a grinder. Simply take equal parts of ginger and garlic, clean and peel them and blend them to make a smooth paste.
Dry roasting is a cooking technique where the spices are heated in a pan over low to medium heat until they become fragrant and release their oils. This process helps to intensify the flavor and aroma of the spices and also helps to bring out their natural oils.
Yes, you can use tomato purée instead of chopped tomatoes in this recipe. However, using chopped tomatoes will give the curry a more authentic texture and flavor.
Yes, you can use lemon juice instead of lime juice in this recipe. Both will add a tangy flavor to the dish, but lime juice is more traditional in Indian cuisine.
Cooking on low heat means setting the stove to the lowest heat setting. It’s best to use a stove top thermometer to check the temperature, a low heat should be around 200 °F (93 °C). This will ensure that the spices and chicken cook slowly and the flavors are infused throughout the dish.
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I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
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