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Chicken Chettinad

500 gram chicken cut into curry size pieces
one 2 inch piece of cinnamon
2 green cardamom pods crushed
2 large-size onion fine chopped
2 large size tomato pureed
salt to taste
4 tbsp cooking oil
3 - 4 curry leaves
To be ground into paste
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chilies (esp goondu milagai variety)
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1.To prepare Chettinad Chicken, first clean, wash and pat dry the chicken pieces with a kitchen towel. Keep aside covered in a bowl.
2.Dry roast fennel seeds, black pepper, cumin, red chilies, coriander seeds till fragrant and slightly darkened. Grind them in a mixer to a smooth paste using little water.
3.Add turmeric and ginger - garlic paste to the freshly grind spice mix. Stir to combine and set aside in a bowl.
4.Heat oil in a large kadhai (Buy it here) over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods, curry leaves and saute for few seconds till fragrant. Add the chopped onion and saute over low heat till onion is light brown in color.
5.Next add the tomato puree and fry the masala for 10 minutes or so over low heat. The indication of masala being ready is oil starts separating from it.
6.Now add the fresh spice paste to the kadhai and stir to combine. Continue to saute the masala scraping the bottom of the kadhai, till the masala takes deep brown color and nicely roasted.

7.At this stage add the chicken pieces, salt and stir coat the chicken pieces with the spice mixture. Add 1 - 2 cups of warm water, stir to combine and bring to a boil on high heat. Turn the heat to low and cook the chicken chettinad curry covered for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in between.
8.Once chicken is cooked, remove the lid and let the chicken simmer over medium heat to thicken the gravy and for sauce to coat the chicken pieces.
9.Turn off the heat. Serve Chicken Chettinad Curry with steamed rice, Tomato and Garlic Rasam or lachha paratha.
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