Chettinad Chicken Fry

Chicken pieces coated with the lingering taste of fennel and the fire of red chilies – That is the
Chettinad chicken fry..!!

I have this crazy love towards Chettinad dishes. I recently came across some beautiful Kashmir chilies at a Reliance Fresh shop. That was the main ingredient I needed to make this beautiful Chettinad Chicken Fry.

The title sounds intriguing as such. However the entire recipe is more like a varuval – a dish where the chicken is coated with the gravy. It calls for minimum ingredients and is a quick and delicious meal to make. I think this is more a bachelors version too, something to whip up on a busy working day.


  • Chicken pieces – 8
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – as needed
  • Oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry red chilies – 10 to 15
  • Small red onions – 250 gm
  • Curry leaves – handful
  • Tomatoes – 2 medium sized
  • Coriander leaves  –  for garnish


  • Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Dry. Clean the onions, slice and keep aside.
  • Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric and salt. Keep aside for half an hour.
  • In a deep bottomed pan, heat some oil. When it is hot enough pop the fennel seeds.
  • Add the dry red chilies and fry till it changes color.
  • Add the sliced onions and sauté till brown in color.
  • At this stage add the tomatoes and the curry leaves. Keep cooking on a medium flame till the raw smell is gone and the tomatoes are cooked.
  • Add the chicken to the gravy mix. Stir at high flame for 5 minutes. Then reduce the flame and cook covered for 10 minutes or so till done.
  • If the dish is burning sprinkle 1 Tbsp water at a time and keep stirring all through the cooking time.
  • Now cook uncovered till the gravy coats the chicken and it becomes a dry dish.
  • Take care that the dish does not burn at any stage.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and well covered in the coating, add the coriander leaves and gently mix in.
  • Serve hot

This is my entry to the event Kerala Kitchen hosted this month by dear Magpie of Magpies recipes. She will be hosting this wonderful event this month.

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