Tag Archives: Tamil Nadu

Chicken Chettinad-or maybe not?

The cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamilnadu in India is said to be very spicy/hot, if I remember this right. By that yardstick, the Chicken “Chettinad” I made today for dinner does not really qualify for that name.

But neither the girls nor I will ever be able to stomach the four dry red chillies that the recipe in Sanjeev Kapoor’s “Khana Khazana” would have required be added to the ground masala this dish needs.

So I made it today without any whole red chillies at all.

The girls liked the chicken a lot, as did I. It makes a nice change from the usual sort of chicken curry though it is rather heavy because of all the coconut that goes in to it.

I’ll take some tomorrow for the boulanger, and see what he thinks of it.

Chicken Chettinad

450 grams of boneless chicken, cut in to small pieces

3 small onions, sliced fine

2 teaspoons each of ginger paste and garlic paste

6 tablespoons of canned tomato pulp

5 tablespoons of desiccated coconut , or the flesh of 1/4 of a fresh coconut

poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon

fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

coriander seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

cinnamon stick – 1 one inch stick

green cardamom – 2

cloves – 2

turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon ( I use Kashmiri red chilli powder)

4 tablespoons of oil

star anise – 1/4

2 small tomatoes

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

5-6 curry leaves

salt to taste


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Filed under Curries

Lemon Rice

I have always loved this rice dish because it is so light yet flavorful. But then that is a hallmark of so many recipes of the cuisine of Tamil Nadu in India.

I made it for dinner yesterday when we had friends come over to eat with us.

I always make so much more rice than ever gets used so there was lots left over. We had some of that for lunch today with the raita and carrot salad that were also left over from last night.

This recipe borrows from Viji Vardarajan’s “Samayal”.

Lemon Rice

1 cup of Basmati rice

a few curry leaves

1/2 a teaspoon of mustard seeds

2 tablespoons – a little more or a little less would be okay too- of chana daal (yellow split pea lentils), soaked in warm water for 3-4 hours then drained

juice of half a lime

salt to taste

1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder

1 green chilli, sliced in to halves (optional)

2 tablespoons of oil

Wash and soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then cook with salt, a teaspoon of oil and 1 and a 1/2 cups of water. Leave the rice to cool, then fluff up the rice a little to separate the grains.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the curry leaves and the mustard seeds. When the latter begun to crackle and jump out of the oil, add the lentils and stir fry for a few minutes till they are quite soft. At this point they will begin to look a darker yellow and be just a little bit crisp (but not hard). Now stir in the turmeric powder, add the lime juice and then the rice. Mix everything together, then fry the rice for 3-4 minutes, turning over a couple of times and then take the pan off the heat.

Sambhar is an excellent accompaniment for this rice dish.

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Filed under Rice-Pulavs,Biryanis,Baaths