My Kitchen Rules South Africa


Chicken chettinad curry

10 August



Recipe courtesy of Dirk and Bahia.

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Chetinad Curry

60 ml Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

40 ml Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

6 Fresh green chillies, seeds removed

45 ml Ghee

8 Cinnamon sticks

10 Curry leaves

8 White cardamom pods

2 Black cardamom pods

1 Star anise

15 ml Cumin seeds

30ml Cashew nut butter

90ml Chettinad masala

40 ml Tomato puree

Salt to taste

250 Double Cream

Sugar, if needed

Wood fire coals

Tin foil

50 g Butter, melted

2 Handfuls fresh coriander chopped, to serve

Chetinad Masala

15ml Poppy seeds

45ml Coriander seeds

3 Cloves

30 ml Kashmiri chilli powder

15 ml Fennel seeds

2.5 ml Nutmeg

5 ml Cinnamon

30 ml Turmeric

10 ml Black peppercorns

5 Onions, roughly chopped

1 Red pepper, roughly chopped

6 Tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 Carrots, roughly chopped

¼ Cabbage roughly chopped

5 mm Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

5 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1.5 L Water


15 ml Kashmiri chilli powder

15 ml Paprika

15 ml Coriander powder

15 ml Cumin powder

5 ml Freshly ground pepper

2.5ml Nutmeg

45 ml Grated ginger

45 ml Crushed garlic

5 Green chillies, finely chopped

5 ml Saffron threads

500 ml Double cream thick Greek yoghurt

30 Deboned chicken thighs, cut into cubes for a skewer

Lemon juice, to taste

Salt, to taste


1 kg Cake flour

500 ml Luke warm water

5 ml Salt

250 g Butter, melted

Sago and Cucumber Raita

250m Thick Greek yoghurt

10ml Salt

5ml Pepper

10ml Toasted cumin powder

250m Sago cooked according to packet instructions

1 Cucumber deseeded and peeled into long thin strips

1 Clove garlic crushed and slightly fried in oil

1 Handful mint chopped

5 Radishes, thinly sliced with a mandoline



Mix the flour and salt together. Add the luke warm water, until a dough is formed. Knead the dough until soft and pliable. Set aside and let it rest for 30 – 40 minutes. Pinch off 10 balls of dough and roll out thinly. You can use a pasta attachment of a mixer to make it really thin. Brush each rolled out piece with ghee, then concertina it and roll into a circle. Let this stand until you are ready to cook them. When you want to cook them, roll out with a rolling pin. Brush with more ghee and cook in a flat pan until golden brown. 


Roast the spices in a dry pan and grind until smooth. You can also pass it through a sieve to remove any hard bits of the spices. Place the ginger, garlic and chilli in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the yoghurt and blend further to mix. Add the saffron threads and let it stand to infuse in the yoghurt mixture, for at least 30 minutes. Marinade chicken in yoghurt mixture. 


Roast spices in a dry pan until aromatic and slightly coloured. Cool and place in spice grinder to grind to a fine powder. 


Place all of the puree ingredients in a pressure cooker. Let this cook through until everything is soft, around 10/15 minutes. Strain the fluid from the vegetables and keep the fluid aside. Blend the vegetables into a puree and set aside. 


Place the ginger, garlic and chilli in a food processor and mince to make a paste. Heat the ghee in a pan and add the whole spices and sauté until it smells aromatic. Add the garlic and ginger paste to the pan. Add some of the fluid if it is starting to colour. Cook until the pan is dry again. Add the chettinad masala to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the pureed veg and more of the vegetable stock (reserved from the pressure cooker), so that it forms a nice sauce. Add the tomato paste and let it cook down. Taste and season with sugar and salt. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve to remove the whole spices. 


Place the marinated chicken onto skewers. Sear in a pan with oil. Remove and place onto a rack fitting into a roasting tray and place in a 200°C oven and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside till the curry sauce is done. Once the curry sauce is done, remove the chicken from the skewers and add to the sauce. Cook until the chicken is done. Make a small fire with wood. You need to get a coal to butter smoke the curry. Shape a small little bowl from tin foil. Place this tin foil bowl in the pot of chicken curry, carefully add the coal and pour the butter over the coal. Close the pot lid immediately and leave it to smoke the curry 


Flavour the yoghurt with salt, pepper and cumin. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Prepare the other elements for the raita for plating. Shape the cucumber strips into small rings, to have 3 per plate. 


Place a smear of the flavoured yoghurt on a plate and place the rings of cucumber on the edges. Garnish two of the cucumber rounds with the radishes. Then place quenelles for sago with all the cucumber rounds. Garnish the other cucumber ring with the fried garlic and mint. Dish the curry into a copper bowl, garnish with the coriander and place the paratha next to it.

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