Chettinad Nattu kozhi varuval / chettinad chicken curry

Varuval means frying in "Tamil", and the word Chettinad comes from southern parts of TamilNadu. Chettinad recipes use extreme amount of spices and are rich in taste and aromatic too! There are wide variety of dishes available like chetinad karakuzhambu (tamrind gravy), ennai kathirikai (spicy brinjal gravy cooked in tamarind paste), chettinad fish fry, chettinad nattu kozhi varuval (country chicken fry) etc.,

In our today's episode of food blogging, we are gonna see the detailed steps of preparing the spice powder, marinating chicken, and making the varuval. An alert for those who do not prefer spicy food - this dish is quite spicy, at the same time it's tasty that you cannot resist yourself from having it. Try it out and share your valuabe opinion.


400 gms of chicken pieces
3 tsp cooking oil
10-11 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp of black pepper powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp red chilli powder/paprika/kashmiri red chilli powder
salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsbp chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup of water

How to make chettinad chicken varuval:

1. In a pan, dry roast cumin, fennel and coriander seeds till they turn aromatic. It might takes about 4 minutes on medium flame.

Tip: You can triple or multiply the ingredients to n number counts and prepare a batch and store the ground spice powder in an airtight container. Use it whenever you feel like preparing chettinad chicken curry or any curry.

2. Let the roasted spices cool down. Add it to mixer or food processor and grind it to a smooth powder, without adding water. Keep it ready.

Tip: You can otherwise use cumin powder, fennel powder and coriander powder. However the roasted spices give additional flavour to the dish.

3. Clean the chicken pieces with water for 4-5 times and marinate it with half a tsp turmeric powder and half a tsp of salt.

Tip: Chicken pieces with bones are preferred as they turn the dish much delicious.

4. Let the marinated chicken sit for 15 minutes. No need to refrigerate.

5. Heat a heavy bottomed pan/ kadai/wok, add 3 tsp of cooking oil.

6. Add finely chopped shallots (pearl onions), fry till they turn soft.

7. Add ginger-garlic paste, fry till raw smell of the ginger-garlic paste goes off.

8. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook till they become mushy.

9. Now, it's time to add the marinated chicken pieces. Add the chicken pieces and cook on medium flame for 4 minutes.

10. Then add the roasted ground (cumin + fennel + coriander) powder, half a tsp turmeric powder, red chilli powder/paprika, black pepper powder.

11. Cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.

12. Add half a cup of water and add chopped coriander leaves. cook it covered with a lid for 4 minutes.

13. See if it is still watery, then cook until the curry thickens.

14. After few more minutes of cooking on medium flame, the curry has thickened. Now switch off the flame.

15. Yummy chettinad chicken varuval is ready. You need to taste it to appreciate the spice ingredients and the way it is cooked. The steps are so simple and does not require much time too.

16. Serve the chettinad chicken varuval with white rice or roti.

16. On our today's lunch spread, it is white rice, chettinad chicken varuval and rasam (tomato tamarind soup).

17. Hope you guys liked the recipe and do try it at your home.


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