Chettinad Dinner

November 13, 2008

I am back.  With no vengeance!  To cooking, reading and blogging.
An aquaintance from Chettinad said there is no such thing as the Chettinad style that we taste in restaurants specializing in that particular cuisine.  I personally associate Chettinad only with cooking and that too a certain, authentic or not, kind of taste, look and style, especially of chicken curry.  It has been years since I actually had an opportunity to enjoy this dish.  Until I came across this recipe at, I had not hoped to enjoy it ever again!
Chettinad chicken curry goes best with Dosa, Idli or Biriyani; so we decided to have all the three!  For biriyani, I settled for a non-Chettinad style, though very tasty, recipe that my aunt had given me, which I would like to share.
Egg Dum Biriyani
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-8 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 medium sized onions (sliced lengthwise)
  • 4 green chillies (slit lengthwise)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • Coriander leaves and mint leaves for garnish
Whole Garam Masala Ingredients
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (1 inch each)
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 pieces mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon black cumin
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 cardomoms
  • 2 bay leaves
Cook the rice with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons oil, and spread on a plate to cool.
In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute the whole garam masala ingredients for a minute.  Add onions, chillies and saute till the onions turn light brown.  Add ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.  Saute for a few more minutes.  Add tomatoes, boiled eggs and one cup of water or chicken stock.  Cover and cook for five minutes or until the oil seperates.  Keep this curry aside.
Smear the bottom and sides of a thick-bottomed vessel (you may use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker) with butter.  Layer rice and the curry alternately (about 4 layers in all).  Garnish with coriander and mint leaves.  Cover with a heavy lid and cook on low flame for 45 minutes.

Egg Dum Biriyani








Chicken Chettinad Curry

We cook only once a day, so there is still a lot of time to spare.  So I thought I should get back to the list I had made long time back.  I was looking for “By The Time You Read This” by Giles Blunt but could find only “Forty Words of Sorrow”.  And I have no word of complaint!  There are many things going for the book but what I liked best was the way the detective figures out the link and eventually finds the killer.  It may seem like there was nothing great about it, but in real life, that is how it works.  If you have solved puzzles that have no formula, you would know.  It is like, one domino tilts, and everything else falls – into place.
Now I am trying to get hold of “Tell No One” by Harlan Coben.

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