Chicken Curry Recipe
Spice for Life Chicken Curry Recipe

Dish description

This classic chicken curry recipe comes to us courtesy of guest chef Anjula Devi and is taken from her recipe book Spice for Life.

Everyone loves chicken curry so this is a recipe we recommend you try and learn how to make. It’s a great one for every aspiring curry chef to have in their armoury and is bound to be popular with the whole family.

Prepare and marinade the chicken the day before so that the flavours can fully infuse the meat.

We have a profile of Anjula and more of her recipes in our Chaater and Curry Recipe sections so please take a look and have a go at cooking them.

Chicken Curry Recipe
Spice for Life Chicken Curry Recipe

How to Make Chicken Curry

Preparation time 30 minutes, marinate overnight. Cooking time 75 minutes.

Serves 4

Place the chicken thighs and breasts in a large bowl, add the marinade ingredients, stir and coat well. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.

Remove from the fridge, set aside, and allow the chicken to come to room temperature.

Take a small dry frying pan, set on a low heat, and warm through the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and brown mustard seeds. This should only take one minute. Remove from the heat, add to the pestle and mortar and grind coarsely. 

Take a large sauté pan, add the oil and warm on a low heat. Then add the onions, cassia bark and Indian bay leaf. Sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the turmeric powder and red chilli flakes, stir and cook for a further two minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and jaggery, and continue to sauté for at least a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

By cooking these ingredients for a little longer, your curry will definitely taste better. 

Now add the garlic, ginger and green chillies, and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Add the contents of the pestle and mortar, stir well, and continue to fry until you see that the mixture resembles a paste, and the oil starts to separate from the onions and tomatoes.

If the ingredients start to become a little dry or the spices start to burn, simply add a little water.

Add the marinated chicken and fresh curry leaves (rip these into smaller pieces).

Turn the heat up to medium, stir really well, and allow the chicken to seal for at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the water and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer.

Add the soaked fenugreek leaves, green cardamoms, cloves and tamarind pulp, and place the lid on the pan.

Cook for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender, and the sauce is thick.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the fresh coriander and lemon zest.

Leave for 5 minutes before serving. 

Remember to count the cloves and cardamoms out.

Ingredients for Chicken Curry

350 g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces

350 g boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

For the Marinade

150 g natural yogurt

Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon

1 tsp pulped garlic

1 tsp pulped ginger

1 tsp tomato paste

2 tbs tamarind pulp

Key Spices

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 inch piece of cassia bark

1 Indian bay leaf

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli flakes

 Warming Spices

1 tsp fenugreek leaves, soaked in 2 tbs hot water

4 green cardamoms, lightly bashed

2 cloves

Wet Ingredients

4 tbs vegetable oil

2 medium onions, finely chopped

400 g good quality tinned chopped tomatoes

1 tsp jaggery, grated

1 tsp pulped garlic

1 tsp pulped ginger

2-4 fresh finger green chillies, pierced (add less for a milder curry)

6-8 curry leaves

140 ml water (more if you prefer your sauce to be not as thick)

2 tsp tamarind pulp


Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Zest of one lemon

recipe links

Links to other recipes and useful information about this recipe:

This recipe has been reproduced courtesy of Anjula Devi and comes from her recipe book Spice for Life. You can find out more about Anjula and her recipe books by visiting her website  or following her on Instagram

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the editor

Editor of Curry Culture and lover of IPA. I wanted to create something that highlighted the best of the industry to both those who work in it and the public who love it so much. Curry Culture is the result so I hope you enjoy it.

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