Home-style chicken curry

Home-style chicken curry

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(202 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

    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

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

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

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 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 (244)

Winnieb1970's picture

I stumbled across this recipe after googling curry using boneless chicken thighs. We have cooked it several times and it's turned out to be one of our favourite curries. Very fresh tasting. I sometimes cheat using lazy onion, garlic, chilli and garlic paste if I don't have the time and the results are just as good so no need to use a food processor. I also cheat by using coriander powder if I don't have fresh. We love it!

Experienced curry cook's picture

It is best not to add sugar to curries. There are already enough carbohydrates in rice and chapatis, the traditional curry accompaniments. In some parts of India, e.g. Gujarat and Bengal, adding raw or refined sugar is traditional. But sugar does not enhance the flavour. There is no good reason to add sugar.

kingthorpe's picture

Yummy curry!
I added frozen spinach at the end. Also added 4 tbsps of nat yoghurt to reduce the heat a bit. Will add less than 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes next time as it was getting a little too hot. Served with natural yog and grated cucumber. It was delicious!

annierosie's picture

Great recipe & I'll use as a base for many curries in the future, my partner thought it was restaurant quality.
I made a few changes, reduced the oil to 1 tbsp, I also upped spices, ginger & garlic by 50% and added 3 fresh chillies to the blended mix as I like a hot curry. I also added a punnet of sliced mushrooms & three sliced green peppers, two tins of chopped tomatoes and some salt.
I used about 1kg of mixed skinned chicken thighs & drumsticks which I browned first in the pan and I put the whole dish in a lidded casserole dish in the oven for about an hour after all hob cooking was completed. Meat fell off the bone & the extra spices gave a nice gentle heat.
I think this basic recipe would work really well with fish, lamb or beef too.

marie_chelseagirl's picture

Excellent curry. 5*. However, take note of the use of the word hot in the description. It was! I love a hot curry but did add some single cream at the very end. (Natural Yoghurt would do.) When I cook this again (I was asked to, which is always a good sign), I will put the fennel and cumin seeds in the processor/grinder as the very first step, just to break them down a little. To make the sauce a little smoother. I definitely recommend curry lovers have a go at this. A very good curry!

Maqsood's picture

I didn't think this had a great taste. I added 2 teaspoons of mild madras curry powder and it added more depth. Being bought up on Indian food the original recipe is nothing to shout about.

choccie_123's picture

Fantastic. I made this because I wanted to try my new caste iron casserole dish!
I did use chicken breasts instead of thighs, it was only enough for three hungry people and it took me about twice as long as the stated time to make. It was a really lovely dish and will certainly be made again in this household.

Hoakley9595's picture

Made this with Quorn chicken pieces which I cooked from frozen for around 16 mins- turned out great!

Fionalovescookinggreatfood's picture

Delicious recipe it made a really really tasty curry, easy method to follow and we all loved the result. Thanks. ( I didn't use fennel because I didn't have any.)

Mazi's picture

Hats off, this recipe is the best curry I've made so far. I would pay for it in a restaurant! I completely puréed the onions, ginger & garlic with passata sauce ( crushed tomatoes) to give a smooth thick sauce. I used chilli powder but was bit too much so added Greek yoghurt to cool it down! Was a treat & definitely on the top favourites!

AJMD's picture

I made this lovely curry dish today, LOVED IT. It was quick and easy yet full of flavour . Thanks AJMD.

sweldo's picture

I thought this was going to be a scorcher and bought in extra yog! It was fairly mild in the end (and I was left with a lot of yog!) but the flavour was delicious. Even my son-in-law who is not a curry addict by any means, said so!!

louise2060's picture

It was not nice at all.
I love chicken curry and this was my worst curry yet..... do not try

lindiv's picture

Excellent recipe, so tasty and quick. Don't think I'll want a take away again! This dish is quite hot though so if you prefer it milder I would suggest less chilli flakes. Served it with rice and made a raita mixing greek yogurt and mint sauce to taste.

lreid19's picture

Very tasty but fennel can be quite overpowering, I would use it sparingly.

AJMD's picture

I'm not a lover of Fennel & I agree it can overpower, I made this dish today with no Fennel at all and it was lovely.

salisburygirl's picture

Lovely fresh tasting curry. I thought it had quite a kick and unfortunately it was far too strong for my 5 year old, despite adding a big dollop of yoghurt to her portion. I will make this again but not for the kids.

strangepolecat's picture

This is without question one of the best curry recipes out there I would well recommend it

Petawilson's picture

Absolutely delish! I added a handful of peas and spinach at the end for a bit of colour and healthiness. It was very tasty INDEED

Isagu's picture

I have been making this recipe for the last year and can confirm this is the best curry recipe ever. It's a total winner in my house, disappears in minutes. I have tried all sorts of changes but it is always fantastic I personally like it very spicy so I add fresh chillies but when cooking for all the family, dried ones give a milder taste. Recommend it to everybody.


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