1. In a pan, dry roast 1.5 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3/4 tsp pepper corns, 1 mace, 4 green cardamom, 4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 star anise, 4 red chillies.
2. Toast them on low flame for 3 minutes. add 1/2 cup desiccated coconut. you can also use fresh grated coconut. toast till colour of coconut changes.
3. Transfer to a blender jar and blend to get a coarse powder.
4. In a bowl, add 500 gms chicken. add 3/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp lemon juice. mix well and let it rest for 15 minutes.
5. In a pan, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil. add 15-20 curry leaves, 150 gms shallots cut into half. saute till translucent.
6. Then add 2 sliced tomatoes. cook till tomatoes become soft. add 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste. cook till rawness of ginger and garlic goes away.
7. Add the marinated chicken. cook on medium high flame for 2 minutes.
8. Add the toasted and ground masala, salt to taste. keep stirring. cover and cook on low flame for 15 minutes.
9. Add 3/4 cup water. cover and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes.
10. Chicken chettinad curry is ready to serve.