Cumin-scented chicken curry

Cumin-scented chicken curry

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(84 ratings)

Ready in 40-50 mins


Serves 6
This curry improves if you make it ahead, it gives the flavours time to mingle

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal810
  • fat59g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre2g
  • protein60g
  • salt0.76g
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  • 12 large chicken thighs, bone in
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 medium onions, sliced



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

  • 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and shredded
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, shredded
  • 3 plump green chillies, halved lengthways (leave in some or all of the seeds if you like a hot curry)



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • ½ tsp turmeric



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

  • ½ 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…

  • 2 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 2 large peppers, one red and one yellow or orange, seeded and cut into rough chunks



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250ml tub natural yogurt
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander, to serve


  1. Pull the skin off the chicken using kitchen paper to get a good grip. Set the chicken aside. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat – a wok is great for this. Fry the cumin seeds for just a few secs until they give off a lovely nutty aroma, then tip in the onions and turn the heat down low. Cook with the lid on until the onions are soft and squidgy, but not yet starting to colour – 10 mins.

  2. Scatter in the ginger, garlic and chillies and fry for a minute or so, then sprinkle in the turmeric, garam masala and paprika. Stir in the chicken and peppers and continue frying for about 10 mins until the spice mixture clings to the chicken and the onions turn russet brown. Add a splash of water if they start to catch on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Stir the tomato purée into the yogurt, turn down the heat a fraction and swirl the yogurt into the pan followed by 125ml/4fl oz cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently without a lid for about 30-35 mins until the chicken is tender, stirring in a little more water if the sauce becomes dry – it should thicken and take on a warm reddish tinge. Add salt if you want to. (Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.) Reheat in a covered casserole in the oven at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 20-30 mins or until bubbling (you may need to stir in a splash of water if the sauce is too thick). Scatter over coriander before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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lottylouby's picture
12th Apr, 2011
I made this yesterday for todays tea after reading all reviews. Was a bit worried about the 'bland' reviews, but I'm glad i ignored them as it was delicious. I used chicken breasts, and ground up half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes as didn't have fresh chillies. To avoid any curdling i just mixed a table spoon of yogurt to the tomato puree and added that to the pan with the water and cooked for half an hour. I also crumbled in a chicken stock cube in before simmering. I probably used 3 tablespoons of tom puree. When re-heating the curry today i added the rest of the yogurt, which worked fine and didn't curdle at all. I added a tablespoon of sugar, as thought it may enhance the flavours. The fresh coriander finished it off nicely. Will def make again. Give it a try, it is very easy and quite quick.
30th Mar, 2011
Good, basic, honest chicken curry. Yum! East, quick.
3rd Feb, 2011
The aroma when cooking had me and the family salivating but I was a bit disappointed with the end result although I followed the recipe to the letter (twice). The lovely fragrant spices just didn't convert to taste and I think maybe the yoghurt contibuted to the 'blandness'. Family liked it better first time round. May try it once more, but then again....
jburton's picture
6th Dec, 2010
Ive made this a couple of times now and we love it. I said in an earlier commment about using breast. Well the second time i used thigh and it was much much better. I'm making this on friday eve and will reheat it in the oven on Saturday night. There are only the two of us so i will use 6 thighs, and the same amount of everything else. We also have lots of spinach growing (although its taken a bit of a battering due to the really cold weather we are having), so like milliana_13 i will add some spinach toward the end. And as im only using 6 thighs instead of 12 it will be saucy enough to be able to take on the spinach.
27th Nov, 2010
A lovely curry ..... very tasty. Added an apple to give it some sweetness.. I enjoy putting all the flavours together... most certainly do this again.
19th Nov, 2010
Made this today- read through the mainly positive reviews and thought the negative ones about the curry being bland were obviously people used to hot curries..Wrong! Was really disappointed- followed the recipe to the letter used 3 chillies approx half seed in half seed out, made this in the morning and left all day for flavours to infuse but before reheating tonight still no real heat coming through, added extra spices but made no difference. Even added extra cumin and still couldn't detect much cumin flavour. Also the natural yoghurt split giving it a 'curdled' look and texture although this didn't affect the taste. Wouldn't recommed and probably won't make again.
20th Oct, 2010
This curry was really nice, but I think there were too many tomatoes in it. They really took away the flavour and made it too watery. Otherwise it was good.
27th Sep, 2010
This was superb - made some home made naan breads and a good pilau rice as well :)
12th Jul, 2010
19th May, 2010
Turned into a very nice curry after the initial woory of putting in the yogurt when it neither looked or smelled good, but keep faith! Unusual to have the peppers in, but they worked. Changes for next time - dry fry the cumin first, then grind it as I didn't like the texture of the seeds, also added extra tom puree to help improve the colour.


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