Chettinad chicken curry / kuzhambu is a rich and flavorful dish originating from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. This is the famous chicken curry made in Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. Kuzhambu is made from tamarind and spices. This is the famous chicken curry made in Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. Kuzhambu is made from tamarind and spices.

It’s the first week of December and you’re looking for a new recipe to make for the upcoming festive season. But do you know that it’s not only the mode of cooking that determines the taste of any dish? You might have noticed that the preparation is important too.

Enjoying curries is part of being a vegetarian. And though there are numerous different types of curries you can try out, the quintessential kuzhambu would be that of Chettinad. It is a very traditional dish in this part of Tamil Nadu, and like all curries, it is traditionally served with rice. It is quite difficult to find a kuzharb for vegetarians, and though we have initiated a sort of Chettinad kuzhambu recipe, we are hoping some of you competent cooks out there would help us with the traditional recipe, which is very hard to get a hold of. As this is a very traditional dish, we have included a recipe here, which is a variation of the. Read more about chettinad chicken curry recipe and let us know what you think.

Chettinad cuisine is well-known for its non-vegetarian meals from Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad area. I’m presenting a genuine restaurant-style Chettinad chicken curry/kuzhambu that’s spicy, fiery, and fragrant, with flavors like kal pasi (dagad phool or black stone flower), nutmeg and mace (jaiphal and javitri), and star anise, among others. If you want a true Chettinad flavor, don’t skimp on the ingredients listed in this recipe. Plain rice, roti, chapathi, parotta, biryani, pulao, idiyyapam, dosa, set dosa, idli, etc. go well with Chettinad chicken curry/kuzhambu.

Time to prepare: 20 minutes

Time to cook: 1 hour

Chettinad cuisine

3–4 servings

Spiciness: Very spicy


    • 650 to 700 gms chicken

Masala for Chettinad

    • Cloves — 4 cloves
    • 4 green cardamoms
    • 1 inch cinnamon stick
    • 1 star anise
    • 1 tbsp Kal pasi (Dagad phool or black stone flower)
    • 1 blossom of mace (javitri)
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (jaiphal)
    • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 3 dried chilies (seeds removed)
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 2 tsp fennel seeds
    • 3 tablespoons grated coconut

To make the curry

    • 1/3 cup or 1 ladle gingelly oil (Nallennai)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 flower mace
    • 4 dry chillies
    • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
    • 3 tblsp. cloves
    • 3 green cardamoms
    • 1 cinnamon stick (cut into 2 inch pieces)
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 tbsp kal pasi (Dagad phool) or 2 large flowers
    • 20 or more curry leaves
    • 100 gms scallions
    • 100 gms onion
    • 3 Tomatoes (350gms)
    • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tbsp coriander powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 3 cups of water

Ingredients not listed

  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 10 curry leaves (again)
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Shallots, onion, tomatoes, and coriander leaves should all be chopped. Using a knife, slit the green chilies. Make sure they’re prepared.
  • Drain the chicken well after washing it.
  • Dry roast all of the ingredients listed under “For Chettinad masala” over a low heat until the fragrance develops and the spices lighten in color. Finally, add the shredded coconut and continue to roast for 2 minutes on a low heat. Turn off the light. Mix in the nutmeg well. Allow to cool completely before grinding into a powder.
  • Add oil to a cooking pan and heat it up. Add bay leaves, dried chilies, fennel seeds, and other whole spices when the pot is heated. It will sputter after approximately 30 seconds of cooking.
  • Sauté the curry leaves and shallots until they are tender and golden in color.
  • Sauté for 2 minutes with the ginger and garlic paste.
  • Mix in the tomatoes well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mushy and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Sauté for 2 minutes with the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and toasted spices. Mix with 100 mL of water well. Cook for 4 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the chicken, stir well, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the oil separates. Stir constantly to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pot. To prevent burning, reduce the flame halfway through.
  • Mix in 2 1/2 cups of water well. Close the cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. In between, stir.
  • Add coriander leaves, curry leaves, and green chilies when the chicken has cooked thoroughly and enough oil has separated from the curry.
  • Close the cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Occasionally stir the curry. Turn off the light.
  • Mix in the lemon juice well. Allow for a 10-minute rest period.
  • With parotta, plain rice, idli, dosa, or idiyappam, serve this hot and spicy Chettinad chicken curry.


  • You may adjust the quantity of chilies or chilli powder according to your preferences.
  • This dish calls for sesame oil (nallennai). You have the option of using veggie or sunflower oil.
  • Add water according to the quantity of curry you need and the consistency you want.
  • This Chettinad chicken curry is more of a curry in nature, allowing the parotta/idli/idiyappam to be thoroughly soaked when eating.
  • When the curry cools down, it thickens. As needed, add water and reheat to get the desired consistency. I cooked for 5 minutes after adding 3/4 cup of water.
  • You may simply use bay leaf, fennel seeds, and dry chilies to temper the entire spices for the curry and leave off the rest.
  • Because I used nutmeg powder, I added it last, after turning off the fire, to avoid it burning. If you’re using nutmeg pieces, toast them with the other spices.


The week-long festival of Pongal (Tamil: பொங்குலபொங்கு), also known as Karthigai Deepam (கார்த்திகை), is celebrated all across India. The festival is associated with the harvest season, and celebrated as the first day of the Tamil month of Masi (மாசி). It is known as the festival of kozhkoodam. Read more about chettinad chicken home cooking and let us know what you think.