Chicken Chettinad & Jeera Rice: A Foodie Trails Recipe

Chicken Chettinad & Jeera Rice: A Foodie Trails Recipe

Featured image by Maya Akhil for 

Chicken Chettinad is an iconic dish from the Tamil Nadu state of India. The South Indian curry is most known for its tangy flavours, while also providing a good amount of fire from the chilli.

Often eaten with dosa or appams, Chicken Chettinad is a dish served for all occasions.

As with much of India, Tamil Nadu is known for its belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity. On special occasions, traditional Tamil dishes are prepared in an elaborate and leisurely way and served in traditional style on a banana leaf.

Check out this delicious Chicken Chettinad and Jeera (cumin) Rice recipe, straight from the Foodie Trails’ Spice Factory Cooking Class by Himanshi Munshaw Luhar.

Chicken Chettinad

Serves 4-6


  • 2 lb (1 kg) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
  • 1/2 cup (4 fI oz/1 25 ml) buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl oz/1 50 ml) vegetable oil and melted unsalted butter combined
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamom pods, cracked 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon powdered asafoetida 5 yellow (brown) onions, chopped 21/2 tablespoons crushed fresh ginger 21/2 tablespoons crushed garlic 3-4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 21/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 4 teaspoons ground turmeric salt to taste
  • 8 tomatoes, chopped (Substitute with 1 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup (11/2 oz/45 g) chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns
  • 18 fresh curry leaves


  • In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine chicken and buttermilk, and mix well. Place in refrigerator to marinate while preparing sauce.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan, heat oil and butter mixture over medium heat. Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately stir in asafoetida, and then add onions. Cook onions, uncovered, stirring often, until dark golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chilli powder, coriander, turmeric and salt to taste, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften and sauce thickens slightly, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken and buttermilk and cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Add cilantro, peppercorns and curry leaves and mix well.
  • Serve with steamed rice.

Chicken Chettinad recipe

Jeera Rice

Rice tempered and flavoured with jeera (cumin)

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 4 


  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoonsCumin seeds 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 2 two inch stick Cinnamon
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain.
  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon. When cumin seeds crackle, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
  • Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and it looks glossy. Add three cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.
  • Rice will be done when holes appear on the surface and water has been completely absorbed.
  • Fork the rice out onto a serving dish. This will separate each grain.  Serve hot with any curry.

Foodie Trails

Foodie Trails is a multi award-winning cultural experience provider. Foodie Trails conducts cultural food walks and cooking classes in Melbourne as well as international foodie tours. Under the festival banner, Foodie Trails also curates a wide range of cultural festivals in venues like Queen Victoria Market, Bunjil place and MCG. The events are a celebration of food, community and culture. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]