Chettinad Curry

Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. Coconut milk adds a unique flavor unknown to my palette. If you love this region’s food, Chettinad curry is a must try recipe.


For The Chettinad Masala
1 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts (kaju)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 whole dry red chilli , broken into pieces
3 cardamoms
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
2 to 3 cloves (laung / lavang)
25 mm (1″) piece cinnamon (dalchini)

Other Ingredients
3 tomatoes
1 medium size cauliflower
3/4 cup green peas
3/4 cup french beans , cut diagonally
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
6 cloves garlic (lehsun)
25 mm (1”) piece ginger (adrak)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4 to 5 curry leaves (kadi patta)
2 cups coconut milk (nariyal ka doodh)


For the chettinad masala
1. Heat 1/2 cup of water and soak the poppy seeds and cashewnuts in it for 5 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil and add all the remaining Masala ingredients. Stir for 2 minutes. Let it cool.
3. Once cooled, add the cashewnuts, poppy seeds along with water and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Main Dish:
1. Wash the cauliflower florets and soak in hot water for 5 min. I always do this to ensure its completely clean.
2. Optionally you can boil other veggies too. I don’t, as I like to maintain the crunchiness.
3. Heat oil and add onions, garlic and ginger. Stir till they turn golden brown.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Cook till oil leaves the sides. (You can peel the tomatoes, but I don’t mind it)
5. Add the ground paste and curry leaves – cook for 2 minutes.
6. Add the vegetables and coconut milk – cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add a little water if it is too dry.
8. Switch off flame and keep it covered with lid, for the veggies to cook a bit and the flavours to seep in.


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