Chettinad Chicken Curry with Okra Recipe

Yvonne Ruperti

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 28 ounces (about 4 large) boneless, skinless, chicken breast, trimmed of any visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1/2 cup yogurt

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided

  • 4 medium onions, finely chopped, divided (about 4 cups)

  • 10 to 12 dried chile peppers, divided

  • 1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut (see note)

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 cardamom pods

  • 1/2 stick cinnamon

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground chile

  • 10 curry leaves

  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp or lime juice

For the Okra:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee)

  • 2 green small chiles or 1 serrano pepper, minced

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)

  • 1 pound fresh okra, washed, trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low-chicken broth

  • Cooked rice to serve on the side


  1. Place chicken in medium bowl and mix with yogurt, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon salt.

  2. Make Curry Paste: In dutch oven or large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add 1 cup chopped onions, 5 chile peppers, coconut, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions have softened, 10 to 12 minutes; cool briefly.

  3. Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse to a paste. Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in same unwashed saucepan over medium heat. When shimmering, add remaining onions, remaining 5 to 7 chili peppers, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, 1 teaspoon ground chile, curry leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until onions have softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

  4. Stir in curry paste and tomatoes, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes have cooked down into a thick sauce, and mixture begins to look separated, about 20 minutes. (Reduce heat to medium-low if mixture is beginning to brown on bottom of pot).

  5. Stir in tamarind (or lime juice) and chicken. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and/or ground chile.

  6. Cook Okra: Heat oil (or ghee) in large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When shimmering, add chiles and cumin, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in okra, broth, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until okra is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve curry and okra together immediately.


This dish is meant to be hot and spicy, but can be tamed by adding less chiles. Adjust to taste. Dessicated coconut is unsweetened dried coconut. Don't substitute with sweetened coconut. If curry leaves are not available, simply omit. This dish is very forgiving, and the spices can be altered to taste.

Special Equipment

Food processor, large saucepan or skillet with lid

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
818 Calories
47g Fat
49g Carbs
57g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 818
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 906mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 13g 48%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 57g
Vitamin C 61mg 303%
Calcium 322mg 25%
Iron 8mg 43%
Potassium 1796mg 38%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)