Olive Chettinad Chicken Fry-1

Chettinad chicken fry

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Maunika Gowardhan's super-simple version of chettinad chicken flavours thigh fillets with ginger, turmeric, fennel seeds, cinnamon and dried red chillies


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.”



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

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 250
  • Fat 12.6g
  • Saturates 1.7g
  • Carbs 5.7g
  • Sugars 3.8g
  • Fibre 2.2g
  • Protein 27.4g
  • Salt 0.3g