Home-style chicken curry

Home-style chicken curry

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(153 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins

Skill level



Serves 4

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

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1 large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 50g ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 chicken thighs, skinned, boneless (about 800g)
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

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  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.

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com, February 2012

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Vendee France's picture

Great meal using cod. But I must admit I never thought to use prawns,but I will next time.

BexH's picture
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Delicious! Used fish pie mix instead of chicken, a whole fresh red chilli instead of the dried flakes, added a tsp of black onion seeds and replaced half the stock with coconut milk. I'd run out of curry paste so had to find a recipe for dinner, think I'll forget about buying paste in future - this is so easy (you don't necessarily need to bother with a food processor at all, I just chopped everything up finely) and really tasty. Five stars!

Rex's picture

One of the best curries I've ever made. Took care to reduce sauce at each stage as per recipe. Flavour and texture were very authentic and resembled a good restaurant dish. Will make a large batch of sauce for freezer next time and try with fish or prawns as a change from chicken.

Vendee France's picture

Making this yet again but using cod cut into pieces.So instead of using chicken stock I am using a vegetable stock cube.

Philly B's picture

Brilliant! Made this with my 10 and 12 year old and they were so surprised at seeing all the foods go in that they usually wouldn't eat and they loved it!

pastayum's picture

This was a big hit in our house, easy to make with basic store cupboard ingredients.

Jennycarter321's picture

This recipe proves how easy it is to make a curry from scratch! I used diced chicken breast, fresh red & green chilli, chopped red & green pepper and a can of coconut milk. Serve with naan & saffron flavoured rice. De-licious!

Dot Cotton's picture

Fantastic recipe, really tasty & easy to prepare. I cooked the sauce on its own a few days before i needed it & threw it into the freezer. When i needed it i defrosted the sauce, added the cubed chicken breast & also added a tin of low fat coconut milk. I doubled the recipe (apart from the chilli, used 1.5tspns of chilli powder) & it served 5 adults generously (i did have alot of chicken & veg) with plenty leftovers! Will definitely make this again & again!

davandsar3's picture

I cooked this for the first time last week and it was a great success. The only changes I made to the ingredients were to change the crushed chillies to two fresh long red chillies that I finely sliced and added with the seeds at the same time as the garlic and ginger and a teaspoon of mustard seeds. It was hot, spicy and really delicious

Vendee France's picture

Just cooked this for the fifth time.the only thing I changed was that I used a Jamie Oliver curry paste. Do not ask which one as my wife cannot remember which one she made!!!!!

thecherub's picture

Great recipe, simple to do and have all the ingredients to hand. Used chicken breasts, passata and ground cumin out of preference. will make again.

dwatson27's picture
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Made this again tonight. It is a regular recipe for our family. Today used leftover chicken from Christmas Day ( we had pork and chicken as we don't like turkey) with homemade onion bhajihs from BBC Food website. Homemade cucumber and mint yoghurt dip, tomato and onion dip and mango chutney. Delightful! 5 stars every time. I had everything in my 'kitchen cupboard' so I didn't have to leave the house.

bakinglove's picture

This is a great recipe. The mixture of spices creates a wonderful authentic aroma. Highly recommended.

kekikamau's picture

This is a beautiful dish that I make at least twice a month.

jc1000's picture

Absolutely love this recipe. Have made it loads with different cuts of chicken & various veg according to what I've got in and it's always been fab. Everyone from kids to dinner guests have enjoyed this. I do sometimes add a little more stock as I like a little more sauce but otherwise perfect. You have to try it!

terrywilcox's picture

This is the curry recipe that I have searched for for 30 years. Excellent.

Vendee France's picture

I made this last night and used chicken legs. It was cooked on the wood burning stove for about 5 hours so the meat fell off the bone. I have made lots of curries but this beats them all. There was some sauce left so that is now in the freezer.

saelma4's picture

Made this tonight with my 10yr old,she really enjoyed it and was complimented by the whole family so was very chuffed with herself!!will definately make again.

pipsipops's picture

This curry was nice but didn't look anything like the picture- mine was much darker and my sauce was thicker. I could really taste the cinnamon but it wasn't overpowering and the curry was full of flavour. Everybody enjoyed it and using thigh meat meant the chicken really succulent.

galeboo's picture

This was amaaaaaazing. I used leftover chicken (I used about 400g cooked chicken) and added a can of reduced-fat coconut milk with the chicken stock and this was divine! The whole family enjoyed it and we all wiped our plates clean. Excellent meal and will definitely be making again.

last edited: 09:52, 15th Oct, 2013