What’s not to love about Indian chicken curry, especially on a cold day? I love making chicken curry. It takes me back to my youth when mom would make it and we would all fight over the left overs. I have been trying to replicate that same flavour for years and I have finally nailed it. Although I grew up watching her cook it for a better part of my life, I never managed to get it to taste like hers. But now that I finally have, I am going to share my secret with you.
Ingredients for Indian Chicken Curry
Some whole spices, some ground spices, and a lot of love make this chicken curry special.
Ingredients List for Indian Chicken Curry:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion
- 1 red chili (or green)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 pods of green cardamom
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 4 large tomatoes(or 1/2 cup of tomato puree)
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs
- salt to taste
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
- fresh coriander for garnish
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The Whole Spices:
I always thought using whole species meant biting into them when I enjoyed the chicken curry and that was not always a great experience and so I would always skip them from my curry. But I found that adding them brings a whole new level of fragrance and flavour to the curry. Let’s get started with making our chicken curry:
- In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Bring it to medium heat and add to it one cinnamon stick, 3-4 bay leaves, 3 green cardamom pods, and 4 whole cloves.
- Allow them to get aromatic.
- Add one finely chopped red onion, and one finely chopped red chili to the pot.
- I like to grate 4 cloves of garlic and one inch of ginger into the pot as well.
- Allow all of them to mingle with the whole spices and brown.
The Ground Spices:
Chicken curry can not be made without the aid of these delicious ground spices. Now that our onions are ready, let’s add the ground spices to the pot:
- Add one tablespoon of paprika – I use a combination of paprika and cayenne for a slightly spicier version.
- One tablespoon of garam masala
- One teaspoon of turmeric powder
- One tablespoon of ground coriander
- One tablespoon of ground cumin
- Mix all the spices into the onion base and allow them to cook for about 1 minute. This helps the flavour profile to get even more enhanced as the spices cook.
We are now ready for the tomatoes. Tomatoes bring a tartness, acidity, and a slight bit of sweetness to the dish.
- Chop 4 large tomatoes into small pieces.
- Add them to the pot with the onion and spice mix.
- Mix them well into the onion base and allow them to cook for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remember to stir every minute or so to ensure that the tomatoes cook evenly and don’t burn.
- Allow the tomatoes to cook until they are mostly disintegrated and the oil starts to separate from the “masala”.
- Alternatively, use 1/2 cup of tomato puree.
Adding Chicken to the Masala
Now we are ready for the chicken.
- Add 4 bone-in chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks to the pot.
- Mix everything well so the chicken gets well coated with the masala.
- Allow it to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Remember to stir once in between.
- The idea is to allow the chicken to start cooking. It starts to shed a little bit of its liquid too.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pot and let it cook on medium-low heat for 12-15 mins. The low temperature will allow the chicken to absorb the flavours.
- Remember to stir occasionally to allow for an even cooking process.
- You now have a scrumptious chicken curry that you can enjoy!
Serving Suggestions for Indian Chicken Curry:
Once the chicken has cooked through, add some butter or clarified butter on top and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve with warm fresh naan or
- Try it with my leftover lentil flatbreads.
- My favourite is serving this chicken curry with fluffy jeera rice.
How do I store my leftover Indian Chicken Curry?
I love making extras whenever I make this chicken curry. I find curry always tastes a lot better the next day.
- Store any left overs chicken curry in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 2 days.
- To reheat left over chicken, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Then heat it in a pot. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if needed. Curry tends to thicken with time, so it might need some liquid to restore it to its original state.
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Course: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Indian Chicken Curry
My Indian chicken curry is made with an array of aromatic spices and has bold flavours. The chicken is tender, juicy, and absolutely delicious.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large red onion
1 red chili (or green)
4 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
3 pods of green cardamom
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 large tomatoes
4 chicken drumsticks
4 bone-in chicken thighs
salt to taste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
fresh coriander for garnish
- Finely chop the onion and tomato.
- Seed and finely chop the chili.
- Grate the garlic and ginger. Set them all aside.
- Place a pot on medium heat and add the oil to it once it’s hot.
- Once the oil is heated, add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaves, and cloves to the pot. Allow them to get fragrant and brown slightly.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili into the pot and cook until almost brown 6-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Add the paprika, garam masala, turmeric, ground coriander, and ground cumin to the pot.
- Mix into the onion mix and stir well. Cook for about 1 min to allow the spices to get fragrant.
- Add the chopped tomato to the pot and cook for about 8-10 minutes. You will see the oil start to separate from the masala. That’s when you know that the tomatoes are done cooking.
- Add the chicken to the pot, and stir well so that all of the chicken gets well coated with the masala. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the water to the pot and stir well.
- Cook the chicken for about 12-15 minutes on medium low heat.
- Add butter and mix it into the chicken just before serving.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with fresh naan or rice.