Home-style chicken curry

Home-style chicken curry

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(219 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
A rustic and authentic quick Indian one-pot packed with tonnes of hot Asian spices and fragrant coriander

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal382
  • fat17.7g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs10.7g
  • sugars7.4g
  • fibre2.1g
  • protein46.8g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 1 large onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 6 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 50g ginger, roughly chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 chicken thigh, skinned, boneless (about 800g)
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander


  1. Roughly chop the onion, transfer to a small food processor, and add 3 tablespoons of water - process to a slack paste. You could use a stick blender for this or coarsely grate the onion into a bowl – there’s no need to add any water if you are grating the onion. Tip into a small bowl and leave on one side.

  2. Put the chopped garlic and ginger into the same food processor and add 4 tbsp water – process until smooth and spoon into another small bowl. Alternatively, crush the garlic to a paste with a knife or garlic press and finely grate the ginger.

  3. Heat the oil in a wok or sturdy pan set over a medium heat. Combine the cumin and fennel seeds with the cinnamon and chilli flakes and add to the pan in one go. Swirl everything around for about 30 secs until the spices release a fragrant aroma.

  4. Add the onion paste – it will splutter in the beginning. Fry until the water evaporates and the onions turn a lovely dark golden - this should take about 7-8 mins. Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for another 2 mins – stirring all the time.

  5. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and sugar and continue cooking for 20 secs before tipping in the tomatoes. Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 10 mins without a lid until the tomatoes reduce and darken.

  6. Cut the chicken thighs into 3cm chunks and add to the pan once the tomatoes have thickened to a paste. Cook for 5 mins to coat the chicken in the masala and seal in the juices, and then pour over the hot chicken stock. Simmer for 8-10 mins without a lid until the chicken is tender and the masala lightly thickened – you might need to add an extra ladleful of stock or water if the curry needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with Indian flatbreads or fluffy basmati rice and a pot of yogurt on the side.

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Comments (257)

irenemorrill's picture

Excellent curry recipe, easy, almost always have the ingredients, it has an authentic flavour and my family love it. It's nice also to find a curry without coconut milk!!!!

FreezeDriedGirolles's picture

Fantastic! A little too spicy for my younger brother and my dad, but perfect for my mum and myself. I added a few green cardamom pods and curry leaves, just 'cause I had them. My mum's new favourite, and good thing too, 'cause it's really quick and easy to make!

DawnB45's picture

Yum! And leaves the kitchen smelling divine.

mtp1905's picture

Nice, straightforward recipe. Did find it a bit bland but when reheating the leftovers next day the flavours had developed a bit more. Adding the stock does make for a much thinner sauce personally I think it would be better without - just add a few tablespoons of water to dissolve the stock cube.

Ryan Christopher James Burke's picture

Lovely Dish. Tasty and relatively simple to make. A good mid-week meal that freezes well too.

Patrick C's picture

The garlic and ginger paste should have salt in it - it is the garlic, salt and oil combination that creates a key part of the "curry" backbone. I would not add water to the onions - they already have a lot of water in them. If you do - drain the onions. If they are too wet you won't get that nice sauteed onion flavour.

I would also use methi in here. Otherwise it looks pretty good and with 6 garlic cloves you should just about get that restaurant aroma hit.....

Cinny's picture

Very tasty, added a bit more spice than the recipe said and served with celeriac curried oven roasted chips. Thumbs up!

scrappydoo's picture

Made this with full quantity of ingredients apart from the chicken and chili flakes. Used 1lb of diced chicken,and reduced the chili flakes by half kept everything else the same as we like plenty of sauce. A tasty curry made totally from store cupboard ingredients so a good standby.

Sue Mea's picture

I bought all the ingredients and followed this recipe but I thought it was quite bland. The finish result looked beautiful but it didn't have much taste, I will definitely try to make it again and maybe change my stock to a better homemade type.

Patrick C's picture

It needs salt and maybe a splash of lemon juice and pinch of sugar.....also a desert spoon of a good mild curry powder would help - Korma mix is a safe bet.

The secret of curry really is to use a lot of garlic, salt and oil and simmer, add a splash of water, simmer and repeat several times until the water is gone and the oil floats. You can pour off the excess oil and keep it - this is what restaurants do and is part of the "secret". They use the excess oil for the next day and keep going like that.....

hightea's picture

Whoops forgot to rate it

hightea's picture

This is so simple and the flavours of the different spices make the dish really authentic. Absolutely delicious, the only way it could be termed bland is maybe the spices used were a little stale as they don't last forever. I will definitely make this many more times. I served it with cauliflower rice as I am watching my carbs and was perfect.

andymbrooks's picture

This was delicious, followed the recipe exactly, so full of flavour. I had to use 500ml of stock as it was so thick after I had pureed the onions, garlic and ginger. I would have liked a bit more chilli heat but my wife thought it was perfect. Urge you to try it as it is a really tasty recipe. I don't know how anyone can post that its bland.

jasongreer79's picture

Deeee-licious! One of the tastiest curries I've made in ages. Great job! Definitely making it again. Didn't add sugar though. Don't know if it would've made any difference though.

Phantomphixer's picture

What a disappointment, made as per recipe and it was bland and tasteless.

alexred's picture

I cooked this for the first time this week and it was amazing! My sauce wasn't as runny as depicted in the photo on this page. I had no turmeric or cinnamon sticks and I used ever-so slightly less than a 400g tin of tomatoes, and the dish still worked really well. Tip - I had to throw away the first batch of spice mix as it turned to a burnt sticky mess. I followed my instincts and didn't add any oil to the 2nd batch, then ground them all up with a pestle and mortar, and it worked wonderfully. As good as any take-away I've ever had (in fact, better). I think it would work extremely well with lamb, too.

Spottydog02's picture

Absolutely beautiful but needed much longer to reduce after adding stock
Best home made curry we've had

mikey63's picture

My 13 year old son made this for me and it is absolutely delicious! The fennel adds a lovely, fresh contrast to the standard Indian spices. We added a tsp of chilli to give it a pleasant piquance.

molly00's picture

Don't bother with this! Was hot but totally bland in flavour!

Yorkyboy72's picture

Made this tonight. Absolutely lovely. I will definitely be making it again. Perfect blend of spices with a hint of sweetness from the sugar to balance it out.


Questions (4)

mikeyg78's picture

Its does not tell you if you put in the cinnamon stick whole or not? Also assume you seal the chicken first and not put in raw?

FreezeDriedGirolles's picture

If a recipe refers to a cinnamon 'stick', then yes, you should put the stick in whole. As for the chicken, you should put it in raw. Simmering it for 10 or so minutes will be enough to cook the chicken pieces through, and it'll take on more flavour than if you seal it first.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi mikeyg78 thanks for your question. The cinnamon stick goes in whole, just fish it out before serving. With regards to the chicken, the pieces do go in raw at step 6, make sure the chicken is cooked through before serving. The easiest way to do this is to take a piece out and cut it in half on a plate to check that it is opaque throughout and not pink at all. Hope this helps. 

rooey01's picture

Where has the method gone.

Tips (5)

shyde44's picture

Delicious, I added some leftover brocolli and cauliflower at the end which I preboiled for 10 mins.

Siâni25's picture

I love this recipe but like creamy curry so I added 125g of philidelphia and 125ml of water with a stock cube when it comes to adding stock. This does take away some of the spice flavours so then add another spoon of Garam Masala, Timuric and Cumin to bring back the curry flavour. Trick to cooking is to keep tasting!

JeremyY's picture

I find this goes really well with pilao rice, raita and poppadoms (or mini poppadoms if feeling lazy). Top tip is to wash the rice first and leave it soaking while cooking the curry, then start cooking the rice when the curry starts simmering - and finally the raita can be swiftly made while the rice cooks.

chefhutch's picture

Added meat on the bone - thighs and drumsticks (4 of each) - Cooked for 30 minutes (180 fan) and added in at the same point.

shionuk's picture

I added ground coriander to this recipe 2 tsp. It was a good recipe.