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Chicken Chettinad

A spicy Indian dish consisting of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices then braised in tomatoes and onions and served over basmati rice.
Chicken Chettinad

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Servings: 4
Total Time: 1 hour
Recipe by: Frankie


1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp habanero chile powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 TBSP grated coconut
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
2 TBSP peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped
zest from 1 lime
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
3 cups cooked basmati rice
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro


1. Grind the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar & pestle then put the ground spices into a large bowl. Add the habanero chile powder, turmeric, coconut, ginger, garlic, yogurt, and 1/2 tsp salt to the ground spices and mix well. Add the chicken to the bowl and turn to coat the chicken all over in the spice mixture. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, lime zest, and 1/2 tsp salt to the pan and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and any of the marinade from the bowl into the pan. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes then flip over and cook for about 4 more minutes.

4. Pour the water and lime juice into the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

5. Take the lid off the pan and transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Increase heat to medium, cook sauce until it thickens, 5 to 10 more minutes. Season sauce with salt if necessary. Serve chicken and sauce over the cooked basmati rice and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.

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Chicken Chettinad

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