Make this Indian country-style Desi Chicken Curry at home using my easy recipe. Serve it with roti or rice for a hearty meal (gluten-free).
About Desi Chicken Curry
Desi in Hindi means country style (village style).
This Desi Chicken Curry (Indian Country Chicken Curry, Village Style Chicken Curry) is a flavorful and robust curry made using chicken pieces, onions, tomatoes, and a few everyday Indian spices.
The country cooking style is known for its simplicity. The dishes are made using ingredients that are readily available and there is nothing fancy about it. No grinding the masala, simple ingredients, and easy process. However, the dishes are high in flavor and this chicken curry is no exception.
This spicy and masaledar chicken curry is also a great recipe to make if you are new to cooking; it’s so simple.
I cooked this village style chicken curry in a regular non-stick pan but to get the best flavor, cook it in an earthen pot (handi) over a wood fire. The smoky flavor that it imparts to the curry is unmatchable.
This desi chicken curry recipe is gluten-free and you can easily double or triple it.
Here are some more chicken curry recipes that you may like to try
- Goan Chicken Vindaloo
- Achari Chicken Curry
- 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
You will get all the ingredients to make this curry in an Indian grocery store near you.
Chicken – For the best flavor, opt for skinless bone-in chicken pieces. The bone gives a lovely flavor to the curry.
In villages, this curry is made using, country chicken (desi chicken) which tastes much better than the broiler chicken that we get in the cities. If you have access to desi chicken, then use it for the best taste.
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 cooking oil that you have handy.
Whole Spices – Whole spices when added to hot oil infuse an aroma, making the curry taste fabulous.
You will need cumin seeds (jeera), cloves (laung), cinnamon sticks (dalchini), black peppercorns (kali mirch), mace (javitri), and bay leaves (tejpatta).
Lightly crush the whole spices in a mortar and pestle before adding them to hot oil for the best flavor.
Spice Powders – You will need a few basic spice powders such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili 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.
Others – You will also need ginger garlic paste, salt, red onions, white granulated sugar, fresh ripe tomatoes, Indian green chilies, and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).
You can adjust the green chilies depending on how spicy you want the curry to be. Serrano peppers or Thai green chilies can be used instead of Indian green chilies.
I always prefer to use fresh tomatoes, but you can use canned crushed tomatoes as well.
How To Make Desi Chicken Curry
Marinate The Chicken
Rinse 2 pounds (1 kg) of skinless bone-in chicken (cut into 1 and ½-inch pieces) with water and drain well.
- rinsed chicken
- 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
to a large mixing bowl and mix well to coat them with the marinade. Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes.
Make The Curry
- 3-4 cloves
- 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 flowers of mace
to a mortar and pestle and crush lightly.
Heat 6 tablespoon of mustard oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed spices, and 2 whole bay leaves and saute for 4-5 seconds.
Add 1 cup of thinly sliced red onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar and cook until onions turn golden brown (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Now add 1 cup of thinly sliced tomatoes and 3-4 green chilies (slit into half) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and mix well.
Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through (40-45 minutes), stirring a few times while cooking.
Add more water if you like a thinner gravy. Check for salt and add more if needed.
Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use bone-in chicken 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.
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 an enhanced and richer taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 pan, 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 on 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. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot! You can check my detailed instant pot chicken curry recipe here.
Desi 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 lime wedges on the side.
This village style chicken curry will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days when stored properly in an airtight container.
Reheat it in a pan or microwave, until nice and warm.
If you are making it in large quantities, then reheat only the amount you want to serve.
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Desi Chicken Curry Recipe (Country Chicken Curry, Village Style Chicken Curry)
To Marinate The Chicken
For The Curry
- 6 tablespoons mustard oil (or any other cooking oil)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3-4 whole cloves (laung)
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 2 flowers mace (javitri)
- 2 whole bay leaves (tejpatta)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1 cup thinly sliced tomatoes
- 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
Marinate The Chicken
- Rinse chicken with water and drain well.
- Add rinsed chicken, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, lime juice, and salt, to a large mixing bowl and mix well to coat them with the marinade.
- Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes.
Make The Curry
- Add cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and javitri to a mortar and pestle and crush lightly.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, crushed spices, and bay leaves and saute for 4-5 seconds.
- Add onions, salt, and sugar and cook until onions turn golden brown (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Now add tomatoes and green chilies (slit into half) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through (40-45 minutes), stirring a few times while cooking.
- Add more water if you like a thinner gravy. Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.