By The Social Papery October 22, 2019 In Recipes

Chettinad Chicken Curry (Kulzhambu)

Ahh Chicken Curry. It’s my comfort food and the one dish that always brings me back to center. I’ve made this dish and variations of it for years! I fine tuned this recipe from one my mom gave me, (well she didn’t really give me a recipe, more like spouted out ingredients with no real measurements!). It hails from the region of Tamil Nadu where my family is from, Chettinad – known for it’s spicy food and intense flavor. This isn’t exactly a “quick” recipe, but to me it’s worth the effort. I’ve loved chicken curry possibly longer than most of the people I know, so I’m willing to put in the time for the extra flavor 😁. Photographed in the classic indian cookware, Corning!

4-6 Chicken Drumsticks
1 medium sized onion (red or yellow)
1 large tomato 2oz tomato sauce or tomato paste
4 garlic pods
1/2 inch piece ginger grated

1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp urad dhal
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 cardamom
few curry leaves
1 star anise (optional)

To Blend (with water)
2 inch piece of coconut
1 tsp white poppy seeds 
2 tsp roasted gram/bhuna chana (Replace with channa dhal if you don’t have this)

1 tsp tumeric powder
1.5 tsp masala or sambaar powder (depending on the powder this would be a medium-hot spice level)
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste

1.  Trim down drumstick pieces and slit into the thick part – allows gravy to soak in
2.  Add 2 tbsps oil to pot.  Add all items listed under seasonings.  Seasonings should pop and white seeds should turn light brown, will take about 30 seconds.
3.  Next add onions, garlic, ginger, cook until translucent
4.  Then add tomatoes with a little water, sauté covered for 5 min (until tomatoes become pulpy)
5.  Add tomato sauce, powders/salt, blended paste, and chicken, Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 20 min.  Add water to make a little more gravy.
6. Turn off stove and allow chicken to soak in gravy for 30min-1hr for better flavor.

One Comment

  • Thomas December 4, 2019

    Chettinad Chicken, The most popular chicken curry, how did i stayed away these long without posting it in my blog. I dont know. Anyway now i have found that and immediately made it and took pictures of it to post here. I have made this so many time, it is a so tasty dish, different from the one which you get in restaurants. In my place i couldn t find a good chettinad chicken, every thing tasted either too spicy and not much flavourful.. This curry has lots of freshly roasted spices and coconut which is then ground to a fine paste and added it to the chicken. YUMMY..Your total house will smell heavenly when you make this..And i cooked the chicken in pressure cooker, if you dont have one, just make this in a kadai and simmer it for a long time till the chicken is cooked. I hope you will give this and try and let me know how it turned out.


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