The 5-Step Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

The 5-Step Chicken Curry

I say ‘Curry’; you say ‘Indian food’…one instantly brings the other to mind. In the world of Indian food, this is where it all starts. The curry popularly seen in most Indian restaurants is from the North of India. However, there are so many (I repeat, many) versions and adaptations of a ‘Curry’ from all parts of India, it could leave you confused (think: makhani, kadai, masala, balchao, vindaloo and similar delicious words on an Indian menu.)

Here’s our 5-step recipe for a ‘Basic Indian Curry’ using any meat, seafood or vegetables of your choice; the north Indian version we all know and love. One of the great aspects of a curry is that it picks up the flavor of the meat, seafood or vegetables, hence each one tastes unique. This recipe uses chicken and the must-have spices I mentioned in my post on Indian Spices. Married to a kitchen-savvy north Indian, I am fortunate to get firsthand information on the nuances of north Indian curries (and even luckier to have delicious food from the north of India made for me most weekends.)

Enjoy a warm bowl of chicken curry with brown rice this evening!

Serves 2-4 • Prep Time- 15 minutes • Hands-on cook time- 20 minutes

1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces*
Juice of ½ a lime or lemon
3 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped or minced in a food processor
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (or 2 cloves minced garlic/ ½ inch grated ginger)
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon garam masala (Indian spice blend)
½ + ¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup canned tomato sauce (or 1-2 tomato pureed in a food processor)
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Lemon wedges- to serve with the Curry

*We prefer skinless boneless thighs for our curries at home; they are more forgiving of longer cooking than chicken breast. However, this is also a great recipe to use a whole chicken cut into pieces with the skin and bones left on which lends more flavor to the dish.

Step One:
In a bowl, stir the chicken with the juice of ½ a lemon/lime and ½ teaspoon salt. Leave this aside till it is required in step four.

Chicken in lemon marinade and chopped onions.

Step Two:
In a sauté pan on a medium flame, heat canola oil. Add the onions, ginger garlic paste and sauté for 5-6 minutes till the onions are reddish-brown (that’s pretty well cooked.)

Step Three:
Add the dry spices and ¼ teaspoon salt, cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly so the spices don’t stick to the pan. (If they do, the next step will take care of it.)

Chicken Curry – Searing the chicken with onions and spices.

Step Four:
Add the chicken and stir fry on a high flame till the chicken pieces are almost done, about 5 minutes.

Step Five:
Add the tomato, ½ cup chicken broth and cilantro. Cover and cook to let the flavors blend for 5-7 minutes.

Serve hot with wedges of lemon on the side. Curry is best served with basmati rice or Indian flatbread (naan/chapatti.) One of my all-time favorites is curry with a crusty baguette.

Basic Homemade Chicken Curry on the Table within 30 Minutes

Basic Homemade Chicken Curry on the Table within 30 Minutes

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  1. says

    Hi Peri…as you know, I don’t eat meat myself, but I am having my son and his family over for a visit and they specifically asked for an Indian dinner!! Two of my daughters will also be joining us. So I will be adding this to the other things I am preparing for them. Rajma, Pav Bhaji, Garlic/Ginger/Turmeric Rice, spinach/mint paranthas and couscous Indian style (which you know I serve cold as a salad). Adding this chicken curry will make the meal just perfect for them! I know it seems like alot but me and one of my daughters are not meat eatiers, so the rajma is for us!! Thanks ! :-)
    Love light and JOY to you!

    • says

      Hi Jane, so great to hear from you and even more surprised it was on a chicken recipe! Wow, the menu sounds perfect and divine…makes me want to make the exact same one for our weekend:) I’ve got some cauliflower left over from roasting it yesterday (hope you’ve tried roasting cauliflower with some garam masala and amchur powder, 400F for 30 minutes), so pav bhaji is on the menu! So excited for your wonderful family visit, hope the chicken curry works out well! It’s one of our favorites! Have fun. XxPeri

      • says

        everything was perfect!! And using the spinach mint chapatis to dip up the sauce with was superb! Even my daughter who doesn’t eat meat at all couldn’t resist the sauce from the chicken curry. And if you promise to keep it a secret, I couldn’t resist the curry itself! Simply delicious. thanks again for all your wonderful recipes… :-)

        • says

          Wow! That’s a wonderful combination, chicken curry with spinach chapati! You do know how to take Indian food a delicious step further, Jane:) And one dip from the chicken curry won’t matter, I won’t tell! It’s one of my weaknesses too:) so happy to hear it worked out well and most importantly it was a meal shared with your dear family! Nothing beats such reunions:)

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing – this recipe looks delicious. I usually have chicken curry with coconut milk ( because I love it so much) but I’m actually glad to find one without because I’d like to try something different. thanks!

    • says

      Thanks, hope you like it…Indian food uses a lot of fresh coconut especially in curries and also in the original version of ‘patra ni machi’…the best second option is desiccated coconut, its a texture thing:)

  3. Dhun says

    My R loves chicken curry (he calls it R nu Bhonu). Peri, I’ll try this one tomorrow since we get to babysit. Your recipes sound so easy, and flavorful:):) Thanks beta.

  4. says

    Ohh, I can smell this wonderful curry accross the pond:) Great, clear step by step instructions, you make it look so easy, I can’t wait to have a go! The photos look very inviting, thanks Peri!

    • says

      And one day we will make together too:) let me know how it worked once you try it out, it really is simple… Took half an hour to make!

      So glad your cooking class are back on, Ozlem, even if across the pond…they are so wonderfully interactive!

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