Try this recipe for Chettinad chicken fry, then check out our chicken jalfrezi, Keralan chicken curry and more chicken curry recipes.

This Chettinad chicken fry recipe comes from Maunika Gowardhan. She says: "I’ve adapted the fennel, pepper and dried chilli flavours of a classic Chettinad chicken curry for this quicker, simpler recipe. Ginger works as a great tenderiser when marinating the chicken. You can marinate this for just 20 minutes or overnight, if you have time."


  • 500g skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • coarsely grated to make 1 tbsp ginger
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder or mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried mild red chillies
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • a handful coriander, chopped
  • rotis or parathas, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Put the chicken in a large bowl along with the ginger, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir well and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Use a pestle and mortar to lightly bash the fennel seeds, cinnamon, dried chillies and peppercorns, and set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oil over a medium heat in a wok or large frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and, when they begin to pop, fry for 10 seconds. Add the crushed spices and fry for a minute. Add the curry leaves and, as they splutter, add the onion. Fry for 7-8 minutes, stirring often. Add the marinated chicken and turn the heat up slightly, frying for 4 minutes. Season with a little salt.

  • STEP 4

    Lower the heat, cover and cook the chicken for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

  • STEP 5

    Add the tomatoes and continue cooking uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve with rotis or parathas.



Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating