clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Chettinad Pepper Chicken Masala

  • Author: nags
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 1x


Chettinad pepper chicken masala is a spicy and delicious chicken dish from Chettinad, a region in Southern India known for their fiery meat dishes especially


  • 250 gm boneless chicken pieces, cubed
  • A fistful of curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, saunf (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 cup onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of cubed tomato or 1 tsp tomato paste


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 12 dry red chillies (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 3” piece of cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamom pods


  1. Dry-roast the spices in a skillet until they turn a shade darker and fragrant.
  2. Cool and pound coarsely in a pestle or mortar or using a spice/coffee grinder.
  3. Heat the oil in a wide pan and turn to low heat. Add the mustard seeds and fennel and then they sizzle and pop, add the ground spices, fry for 10 seconds until fragrant and then add the ginger, garlic, onions, and curry leaves.
  4. Fry until the onions are soft and then add the tomatoes or tomato paste. Mix well.
  5. Now add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spices.
  6. Add 1 cup of water, bring to boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook covered for about 15 mins or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
  7. You should uncover and stir in between every 3-4 mins to make sure nothing is burning. After about 15 mins, the gravy should be thick and the spices should be coating the chicken. If this is not the case, cook with the pan open for a few more minutes


If you want to double the recipe, add the same amount of water to cook and double all other ingredients.