Chettinad Fried Chicken

A lightly spiced chicken side dish. Perfect as an accompaniment to chappatis.


  • 3 lb chicken
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsps vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp skinned urad dal
  • ½ tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 5 whole dried red chillies
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped


1) Cut the chicken into small serving peices as one might for Chinese food. The breast should be split in half and each half cut into 6-8 pieces.. Thighs and drumsticks should be halved. Rub 3/4 tsp salt and the turmeric onto the chicken and set aside for 15 minutes.

2) Put the remaining salt in a bowl with 3 tbsps water and set aside.

3) Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over a medium high flame. When hot add the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop add the dal. As soon as this turns red put in the fennel seeds and red chillies. When they start to darken add the onion and stir and fry until it browns lightly.

4) Add the chicken pieces. and stir and fry for about 5 minutes. Start sprinkling a little salted water at a time from the bowl over the chicken and keep stirring and frying over a medium high flame. Fry the chicken for about 10-15 mins. All the salt water should be used up.

5) When the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned remove with a slotted spoon and serve.This goes well with Mysore Spinach with Dill, Cauliflower with Dried Chillies and Mustard seeds, Plain Rice and Mysore Split Peas with whole shallots.