In the time it takes you to read this, you will have had your third bowl- full! This reminds me of the time they said that Titanic was ‘the most successful movie of all-time’. This is not only about the Titanic’s success, but also about the ‘Chettinad chicken kurma’.

In the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, chicken is a staple in many households, especially in the summer months. Many people prepare chicken curry, but sometimes this dish can get a little complicated and time consuming. This Chettinad chicken kurma recipe uses a simple marinade, and a few spices that can be easily stored in the pantry, making it a fun weekend treat.

A little while back, I posted a recipe of Chettinad chicken kurma, or chicken kurma in the Chettinad style, or kurma chicken in the Chettinad style. The recipe was a simple one, and tried to recreate the famous kurma from my native Chennai. I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for a little extra flavor, and added a little yogurt along with the other ingredients. I used to order this kurma from a restaurant nearby, and found that the kurma was delicious, but how did they make it? I wanted to know, so I tried to make it, and this is the recipe I came up with.

This time, I’m presenting a traditional Tamil meal called chicken kurma. Chettinad cuisine is well-known for its unique flavor, taste, and spiciness, and is especially well-known for its non-vegetarian meals in the Tamil Nadu area of Chettinad. For non-vegetarian meals, Chettinad cuisine is known for its diversity of spices and freshly ground spices.

Chettinad chicken kurma is a spicy, hot, and fragrant meal flavored with aromatic and unique spices such as dagad phool (kal pasi or black stone flower), nutmeg and mace (jaiphal and javitri), star anise, and cashews, in addition to cashews and kus-kus (poppy seeds), which are a necessity. If you scrimp on the ingredients, you will miss out on the chettinand flavor. Chicken kurma from Chettinand works great with plain rice, porotta, roti, idiyapam, idli, and dosa, among other things.

Time to prepare: 20 minutes (excluding soaking cashews)

Time to cook: 50 minutes

Chettinad cuisine

3–4 servings

Spiciness: Very spicy



  • Prepare shallots, tomatoes, coriander leaves, and slit green chilies by slicing them.
  • Drain the chicken well after washing it.
  • Chilli, turmeric, and salt are used to marinate it. Refrigerate for 2 hours after thoroughly mixing. Remove the meat from the fridge half an hour before cooking, or enough to bring it to room temperature.
  • Take all of the ingredients listed under “For roasting and grinding masala” and roast them on a low heat without oil until the spices release their fragrance and lighten in color. Allow to cool before pulverizing into a fine powder.
  • Soak poppy seeds and cashew nuts for 20 minutes in warm water. To make a fine paste, combine it with fresh coconut and a little water.
  • Now, in a cooking pot, heat the oil and add the bay leaves, dried chilies, fennel seeds, and other whole spices when it is hot. It will sputter after 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 until the tomatoes are mushy and the liquid has been absorbed, adding 1/4 cup of water as needed.
  • Stir in the chili powder and coriander powder, simmer for 2 minutes, then add 1/3 cup water and cook for a few minutes, until it leaves oil in the corners and the tomatoes and onion are thoroughly mixed.
  • Now stir in the marinated chicken mixture well. Cook for 4–5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning the chicken.
  • Mix together the toasted spice with the chicken. Cook for 5–7 minutes, or until oil oozes out of the corners. Stir constantly to prevent spices from sticking to the pot.
  • Mix in 1 1/2 cups water well. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes on medium heat with the top covered. In between, stir.
  • Add coconut paste, salt to taste, garam masala (optional), and a sprinkle of nutmeg (optional) when the chicken has cooked thoroughly and the curry has left enough oil.
  • If necessary, add 1/2 cup water and cook for 7 to 10 minutes on medium heat with the lid closed.
  • Close the top and cook for 12 to 15 minutes with coriander leaves, curry leaves, and green chilies (optional). Occasionally stir the curry. The curry has left oil on top and is ready, as you can see. 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, spicy chettinad chicken kurma.


  • You may adjust the amount of chilies or chilli powder to your preference.
  • Sesame oil (nalla ennai) is utilized, although any vegetable oil or sunflower oil may be used instead.
  • Add water as needed to get the desired consistency for the curry.
  • This chettinand chicken kurma has a curry-like consistency yet is thick enough to be served with dosa, idli, or parotta.
  • Because my curry thickened as it cooled, I added 1 cup water to adjust the consistency.
  • While sauteing the ginger and garlic paste, add a few mint leaves (15 leaves). It gives the curry additional depth and flavor.
  • You may simply use bay leaf, fennel seeds, and dry chilies to temper the entire spices for the curry and leave off the rest.


Chicken kurma is a spicy chicken curry that originated from the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu, India.  Chicken kurma is a very popular dish in the Chettinad region.  This spicy chicken curry is made with Chicken and coconut milk. Chicken kurma recipe is an easy, delicious, spicy chicken curry recipe.. Read more about chicken kurma without coconut and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chettinad kurma?

Chettinad kurma is a type of dish from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It consists of a spicy, spiced, and sour gravy that is made with tamarind, jaggery, and coconut milk.

Is Chicken kurma same as korma?

No, chicken kurma is a different dish.

What is korma in Indian food?

Korma is a type of Indian curry dish.