Love the chicken curry that is served at the Indian restaurants? Then try my super easy recipe which is made using basic ingredients. This spicy curry comes together in under 45 minutes and tastes divine. Serve it with roti, naan bread, or steamed basmati rice for an Indian treat!
If you like simple and comforting chicken curries for your everyday meals, then here are some more recipes that you can try – Brown chicken stew, mango chicken, instant pot chicken stew, instant pot chicken marsala, and chicken with mushroom sauce.
About This Recipe
Loaded with flavors, this spicy Indian chicken curry is one of my most favorite recipes to make when I want to eat something hearty, really delicious, and easy to make.
Chicken curry is quite popular in many countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Jamaica to name a few but this Indian-style chicken curry has my heart.
Juicy succulent chicken pieces cooked in a spicy and rich tomato onion yogurt curry that is flavored with lightly crushed whole spices, fresh ginger, garlic, onion, and a few everyday spice powders, this curry is perfect to mop with naan bread or basmati rice.
Even in India, there are multiple ways in which this curry is made. Each region has its own way of making it. Goan chicken vindaloo, achari chicken masala, Malabar chicken curry, chicken Chettinad, Kadai chicken, tomato chicken curry, Bengali chicken curry, coconut chicken curry, ginger chicken curry, chicken kali mirch, Mangalorean kori rotti, chicken sukka, there are endless variations in which it is made in different parts of India.
In today’s post, I am sharing the simple homestyle chicken curry that you must have tasted in your favorite Indian restaurant. It is spicy, rich, and saucy and best served with Indian bread like naan or lachha paratha or steamed basmati rice.
You will get all the ingredients to make this curry in Indian grocery store near you or online.
Chicken – For best flavor, opt for skinless bone-in chicken pieces. The bone gives a lovely flavor to the curry. If you are not a bone-in chicken person, use boneless chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-size cubes. To compensate for the flavor imparted by the bones, add chicken broth in place of water while cooking.
Oil – I prefer using mustard oil or ghee to make this curry. But you can use any oil that you have handy.
Whole Spices – Whole spices when added in hot oil infuses an aroma, making the curry taste fabulous. We will use cloves, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves. Lightly crush the whole spices in a mortar and pestle before adding to hot oil for best flavor.
Spice Powders – You will need a few basic spice powders such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder.
I prefer to use Kashmiri red chili powder in place of regular chili powder, as it adds a nice color to the curry without making it too spicy. You can use paprika powder or cayenne pepper instead of chili powder.
Adjust the spices according to your taste and preference.
Yogurt – Yogurt helps to settle down the spices in the curry along with giving it a rich and creamy texture.
Others – A few other ingredients required for this curry are ginger garlic paste, green chili peppers, onion, tomato, lime juice, and cilantro.
You can adjust the amount of green chili peppers depending on how spicy you want the curry to be. Serrano peppers can be used instead of green chilies
I always prefer to use fresh tomatoes, but you can use canned crushed tomatoes as well.
How to make Chicken Curry?
Wash 2 pounds of skinless bone-in chicken pieces. Drain well and set aside.
Add 4 cloves, 2 whole green cardamoms, 6 whole black peppercorns, and a 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick to a mortar and pestle and lightly crush them.
Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the crushed spices and 2 bay leaves and saute for 3-4 seconds.
Add 3 tsp ginger garlic paste and 2 tsp chopped green chili peppers and saute for 20 seconds.
Add 1 and ½ cups of sliced onions and cook on medium heat until they turn dark brown in colour (12-15 minutes). Keep stirring while frying.
Add the chicken pieces and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Now 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, ½ cup whisked plain yogurt and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add 2 tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, and salt to taste and cook for another minute.
Add ½ cup of water and mix well.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is tender. Add ½ tsp garam masala spice mix, and 1 tsp lime juice, and mix well.
Garnish with 2 tbsp chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use bone in pieces for the best taste in the curry.
Authentic Indian curries do not use cornstarch, curry powder, canned tomato puree, or any kind of stock. It is cooked using simple fresh and high-quality pantry staples, and that’s what makes this chicken curry so delicious.
Marination is not required in this curry, which makes it simpler and fuss free.
If you want to make the gravy a little thinner, then add in extra water and adjust the consistency.
Add some ghee at the end of cooking for enhanced and richer taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make it dairy-free, avoid adding yogurt and use other substitutes such as cashew nuts paste or coconut milk to add richness and creaminess to the curry. Taste, color, and texture will differ a bit when you use these substitutes, but they taste great too.
This curry tastes great when prepared only with chicken. But if you want to add veggies, you can go ahead and add potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, etc.
You have to follow the exact same process as given below. Instead of cooking it covered in a skillet for 20 minutes, you can pressure cook it in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles on high heat. Let the pressure release naturally, open, and serve hot.
Press SAUTE button of the Instant pot. Now follow the same process as given below. Once you add in the water, give it a stir and close the lid of the pot.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes. Cook until the timer goes off. Let the pressure release naturally and then open the lid. Add lime juice, garam masala spice mix, and cilantro and mix well. Serve hot! You can check my detailed instant pot chicken curry recipe here.
Chicken curry tastes great with almost all the Indian bread such as phulka, naan, tandoori roti, rumali roti, laccha paratha, or any other bread that you like to make at home. Serve some sliced onions and lemon wedges on the side.
This curry will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days when stored properly in an air-tight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave, until nice and warm. If you are making it in large quantity, then reheat only the amount you want to serve.
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Chicken Curry Recipe
- 4 cloves
- 2 whole green cardamom
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons chopped green chili peppers
- 1-½ cups thinly sliced onions
- 2 pound skinless bone-in chicken (cut into medium size pieces)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup plain yogurt (whisked)
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala spice mix
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander) (chopped)
- Wash 2 pounds of skinless bone-in chicken pieces. Drain well and set aside.
- Add 4 cloves, 2 whole green cardamoms, 6 whole black peppercorns, and a 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick to a mortar and pestle and lightly crush them.
- Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the crushed spices and 2 bay leaves and saute for 3-4 seconds.
- Add 3 tsp ginger garlic paste and 2 tsp chopped green chili peppers and saute for 20 seconds.
- Add 1 and ½ cups of sliced onions and cook on medium heat until they turn dark brown in colour (12-15 minutes). Keep stirring while frying.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Now 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, ½ cup whisked plain yogurt and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add 2 tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, and salt to taste and cook for another minute.
- Add ½ cup of water and mix well.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is tender. Add ½ tsp garam masala spice mix, and 1 tsp lime juice, and mix well.
- Garnish with 2 tbsp chopped cilantro and serve hot.