Chicken Chettinad made in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.  Chicken pieces cooked in aromatic chettinad spiced gravy, so delicious and exotic.  You will not want to stop eating!

Chicken Chettinad Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
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Chicken Chettinad is one of the most flavorful chicken dishes from South Indian cuisine.  It is also one of the most ordered curries in a South Indian restaurant.  After trying it many times, I can say it is the best South Indian meat dish.

Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India.  Chettinad cuisine is perhaps the most renowned fare in the Tamil Nadu repertoire. It uses a variety of spices, and the dishes are made with fresh ground masalas.  The fresh ground spices are what give an exceptional taste to Chettinad dishes.

Chettinad Chicken is traditionally eaten with rice, dosa or appam.  But I enjoyed it with naan or roti as well.

How to make Chettinad Chicken in Pressure Cooker? 

Let’s start with getting the ingredients ready.  Don’t be intimidated by the long list.  The list mainly consists of whole spices that are dry-roasted and ground. All the other steps are pretty similar to any other chicken curry.

I started by adding all the spices that were to be dry-roasted together on a plate.  Separately, the ginger, garlic, and grated coconut are to be added to the dry spices.

One thing to point out.  I used dry red Kashmiri chili in this curry. This chili has the specialty of imparting a great natural red color while not adding too much heat. If you like less spicy curries, remove the seeds from the chilies.  You can use other types of whole red chilies, but please don’t forget to adjust the quantity based on your taste.

Chicken Chettinad Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Dry roast all the above spices in the pressure cooker, then grind them to a powder or paste. It is okay to add some water while grinding.

Now, to the process of making the curry.  This is very similar to other chicken curry recipes. Start with sauteing bay and curry leaves.  Then, saute the onions.  Then tomato.  Here is where we add the Chettinad magic.  Add in the ground paste.  Add the chicken and saute with the spices for a few minutes.  This will infuse the spices in the chicken.

Then, add the water and pressure cook for 5 minutes.

steps to cook chicken Chettinad in the instant pot

A quick release and chicken Chettinad is ready.   Ah…look at the wonderful color.  Isn’t it amazing?  I served this curry to some friends for dinner, and they were blown away!  The vegetarians were craving chettinad paneer 🙂  I have to try that for my vegetarian husband!

Chicken Chettinad Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 3

Enjoy it with rice or naan.  And don’t forget to let me know how you liked it.  Leave a comment, share it on our facebook page or instagram with #pipingpotcurry.

If you like this recipe, you might like the below chicken recipes made in a pressure cooker:

4.84 from 50 votes

Chettinad Chicken – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Chicken pieces cooked in freshly ground spices, to make a flavorful and aromatic chettinad curry.  
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


Whole Spices


Preparing Chettinad Spice blend:

  • Heat the pressure cooker in SAUTE mode.  Add all the whole spices to be dry roasted. Roast them for about 30 seconds until they impart their aroma.  Add ginger, garlic and grated coconut and saute for another 30 seconds.  
  • Press CANCEL to turn off the pressure cooker.  Transfer all the ingredients in the pressure cooker to a blender.  Grind to a powder or if needed add some water to make a paste. 

Preparing Chettinad Chicken Curry

  • Start the pressure cooker in SAUTE mode and heat oil in it.  Add the bay leaf and curry leaves.  Saute for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the diced onion and saute for about 3 minutes.  
  • Then add the diced tomatoes, ground spices and salt.  Saute for 2 mins. 
  • Add chicken pieces and saute for 3 mins.  This is an important step which infuses the spices in the chicken. 
  • Add water for cooking.  Press CANCEL and close the pressure cooker lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Change the setting to MANUAL or pressure cook mode on high pressure for 5 minutes.  
  • When the pressure cooker beeps, do a quick pressure release.  
  • Garnish with cilantro and Chicken Chettinad is ready to be served.  


  • I used Kashmiri red chili in this curry.  You can use what you have in store, but do adjust the quanity to your taste.
  • Cut the chicken pieces small, about 1-1.5 inch.  If using larger pieces, increase the pressure cooking time by 2-3 minutes.
  • I used chicken thighs for this curry, you can use chicken breasts too. If using bone-in chicken, increase the cooking time to 10 minutes. 


Serving: 267gCalories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 14.25gProtein: 25.72gFat: 11.48gSaturated Fat: 4.463gTrans Fat: 0.018gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 677mgPotassium: 618mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 3.52gVitamin A: 2450IUVitamin C: 15.7mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 2.7mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South Indian
Diet: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Low Carb, Paleo
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I rate it medium. Take care, it’s rather hot. Make sure your grind the whole spices very well otherwise it won’t dissolve later.

  2. For larger amounts if chicken, like 5-6 lbs, would you like 5x all the ingredients? For example, 5” ginger, 25 cloves garlic, 5 large onion, 20 dried chilis?

    1. Hi Tom – I typically do just use the same ratio. However as we are cooking in the instant pot, and you can add less liquid when making 5x for the chicken curry, you can adjust down the spices to 3-4x if you prefer. Hope you enjoy the curry!