Traditional Indian Style Chicken Curry

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Chicken Curry

Making Indian at home doesn't have to be intimidating. This dish is best enjoyed with fluffy white rice

Chicken Curry Recipe

This is an adaptation of yellow chicken curry from India. The aromas and flavors are a delight to the senses! It is best served with fresh Naan bread and Jasmine or Basmati rice.


⏩1 kg of bone-in chicken pieces of choice
(5-6 chicken thighs skin-on, bone-in work well, you can remove the skin if desired. Cut thighs into long strips, one strip will have the bone attached)
⏩1 medium white onion
⏩¹/₂ red bell pepper
⏩¹/₂ inch piece of ginger (1 tbsp chopped)
⏩3 cloves garlic
⏩1 large tomatoes
⏩1 tbsp tomato paste
⏩¹/₂ tsp cumin seeds
⏩1 tsp Turmeric powder
⏩1 tsp + ¹/₂ tsp Garam Masala (store bought or home made mixture of warm spices)
⏩¹/₄ tsp dry fenugreek leaves (optional, adds dark color to curry)
⏩¹/₂ tsp salt to taste
⏩¹/₄ tsp black pepper to taste
⏩¹/₄ tsp crushed dry red chili or cayenne pepper (option for extra spice only)
⏩2 tbs oil
⏩1 tbs butter
⏩Fresh chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.
⏩1.5-2 cups cold tap water to cover the chicken pieces. You can add more or less for desired curry consistency.


Wash, clean and cut the chicken thighs into strips or chicken into pieces, set aside. For a lower calorie dish, feel free to remove the skin from the meat but leave the bones-in. Curry develops a deep flavor and color from the bones. But, most importantly nutrients released from the bones are also good for health—minerals, protein, fats.

In a food processor, medium-fine grate onion, bell pepper, ginger, and garlic.

Using heavy bottom pan, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add in the cumin seeds, toast for a minute, until they start to sizzle. Add in the food processor mixture above and stir for 2-3 minutes. Careful as the mixture (tarka) will sizzle and splatter.

Add in the spices: turmeric, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, salt, peppers, and tomato paste. Stir for 1-2 minutes.

In a food processor, medium-grate the tomato or finally chop. Add to the turka (carful from the splatter). Cook the mixture for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring as needed to prevent the mixture from sticking or burning.

Side Note: This is the curry base that will yield the most flavor, consistency, and color. Take your time at this step. Keep on cooking, mixing the tarka until it starts to from a ball and almost separate from the oil. To prevent burning the mixture, you can drop the heat to low as you stir or even remove from the heat for a while.

Add in the chicken pieces and coat them in the mixture, 2-3 minutes. Add in the water 1 cup at a time. Cover pot with lid ³/₄ of the way, leaving some room for the steam to escape. This will yield a thicker curry as the water evaporates. Cook on medium-low heat and simmer the curry.

Cook until chicken is fully cooked, 20-25 minutes.

Sprinkle with ¹/₂ tsp garam masala and chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve with Nan bread and/or whole wheat basmati rice pilaff.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days. You will notice the fat will start to accumulate on top of the curry, you can skim some of this off or just warm-up the curry in the microwave or stove. If you find the curry has become thick, warm it up on the stove as you add ¹/₄ cup of hot water to thin it out.

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