Indian Tomato Chicken Curry (Tamatar Murgh)

4.67 from 9 votes

Tomato Chicken Curry (Tamatar Murgh) is a one-pot Indian curry cooked with many fresh tomatoes and mild spices. This easy curry recipe comes together in under 60 minutes and goes well with Indian bread or steamed rice (gluten-free).

Tomato chicken curry served in a bowl.
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About Tomato Chicken Curry

As the name suggests, Tomato Chicken Curry is an Indian-style chicken curry cooked with many fresh tomatoes.

This Indian chicken curry is tangy and spicy and is very different from other Indian chicken curries in taste and texture.

It doesn’t have coconut milk or cream added to it and has a bold tomato flavor.

Chicken curry with tomatoes is easy to make and comes together in under 60 minutes.

It also uses very few ingredients that are easily available in the pantry and my recipe is a one-pot recipe too.

Serve it with Indian bread or steamed rice for a hearty meal.

My recipe is gluten-free and serves 4 but you can easily scale it up or down.

Here are some more Indian chicken curries that you must try

Ingredients

Tomato Chicken Curry Ingredients 1.
Tomato chicken curry ingredients 2

Chicken – I like to use bone-in skinless chicken pieces to make this curry, but you can also use cubed boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.

Tomatoes – Use fresh and ripe tomatoes for the best flavor. Canned crushed tomatoes also work great in this recipe.

Crispy Fried Onions (Birista) – This dish gets its flavor from crispy fried onions. Make them home using my Crispy Fried Onions recipe, or buy a packet.

Spice Powders – You will need Kashmiri red chili powder and garam masala powder.

Ghee and Oil – I use a mixture of ghee and oil. Use any cooking oil you like.

Other Ingredients – Apart from the above-mentioned ingredients, you will also need some other basic ingredients like cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, green chilies, and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).

Variations

Add coconut milk or heavy cream at the end of the cooking for a taste change.

You can also add cashew nut paste or melon seeds paste to make this curry richer.

Add other ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, tofu, or veggies like mushrooms, potatoes, spinach, zucchini, peppers, etc. to make the curry wholesome.

Add some nuts like cashew nuts or almonds to give the curry a nice crunch.

To make this curry in Kerala style, blend 1 cup chopped fresh coconut with 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and ½ cup of fried onions. Add this paste after adding the chicken to the pan and the other ingredients mentioned in the recipe card below. You can also add a few curry leaves to this version.

How To Make Indian Tomato Chicken Curry

Preparation

Slit the green chilies in half, slice the tomatoes thinly, and chop the cilantro.

Gather the remaining ingredients.

Make The Curry

Heat 2 tablespoon ghee and 3 tablespoon oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat.

Oil and ghee heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.

Cumin seeds added to the pan.

Add 3 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and cook for 3-4 seconds. Stir continuously.

Ginger garlic paste added to the pan.

Add 2 pounds (1 kg) bone-in skinless chicken (cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces) and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently.

Note – You can also use 1 pound (500 g) boneless chicken instead of bone-in chicken.

Chicke pieces added to the pan.

Now add

  • 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 2 cups sliced tomatoes (or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes)
  • ½ cup crispy fried onions
  • 3 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

and mix well.

Green chilies, tomatoes, fried onions, salt and red chili powder added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat until the chicken is tender (35-40 minutes).

Stir 2-3 times while the chicken is cooking.

Note – There is no need to add any extra water as the chicken will cook in its own juices.

Having said that, if the masala is getting dry and burning at the bottom of the pan, feel free to add some water.

Pan covered with a lid.

Add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and mix well.

Check for salt and add more if required. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Ready tomato chicken curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make chicken curry with tomatoes in a pressure cooker?

Follow the same recipe mentioned in the recipe card in a pressure cooker instead of a pan. Once you add red chili powder and salt, cover the cooker with the lid and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the cooker, add garam masala and cilantro, give it a mix, and serve hot.

How to make tomato chicken curry in an instant pot?

Press the SAUTE button and follow the recipe until the salt is added to the pot. Add ½ cup water and close the lid of the instant pot. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes at high pressure. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid. Add garam masala and cilantro, mix, and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions

This chicken curry tastes great with Indian bread like Roti, Lachha Paratha, Plain Naan, or Missi Roti. It also pairs well with steamed basmati rice or Jeera Rice.

Storage Suggestions

This curry can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can freeze this curry for about a month. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and heat it properly when you want to serve it.

Add some water while re-heating the curry if it has thickened.

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Tomato Chicken Curry (Tamatar Murgh) is a one-pot Indian chicken curry cooked with lots of fresh tomatoes and mild spices. This easy curry recipe comes together in under 60 minutes and goes well with Indian bread or steamed rice (gluten-free).
4.67 from 9 votes

Indian Tomato Chicken Curry Recipe

Tomato Chicken Curry (Tamatar Murgh) is a one-pot Indian curry cooked with lots of fresh tomatoes and mild spices. This curry comes together in under 60 minutes and goes very well with Indian bread or steamed rice.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons ghee (you can replace ghee with oil to make the curry dairy-free)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken (1 kg, cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces, or 1 pound (500 g) boneless chicken cubes)
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 2 cups sliced tomatoes (or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes)
  • ½ cup crispy fried onions (crushed)
  • 3 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
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Instructions 

  • Heat ghee and oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 seconds. Stir continuously.
  • Add chicken and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Now add green chilies, tomatoes, crispy fried onions, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt, and mix well.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat until the chicken is tender (35-40 minutes). Stir 2-3 times while the chicken is cooking.
  • Note – There is no need to add any extra water as the chicken will cook in its own juices. Having said that, if the masala is getting dry and burning at the bottom of the pan, feel free to add some water.
  • Add garam masala powder and cilantro and mix well. 
  • Check for salt and add more if required. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can add crushed whole spices in hot ghee for added flavor.
Pressure Cooker Recipe – Follow the same recipe as mentioned in the recipe card in a pressure cooker instead of a pan. Once you add red chili powder and salt, cover the cooker with the lid and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the cooker, add garam masala and cilantro, give it a mix, and serve it hot.
Instant Pot Recipe – Press the SAUTE button and follow the recipe until salt is added. Add ½ cup water and close the lid of the instant pot. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes at high pressure. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid. Add garam masala and cilantro, mix, and serve it hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 442kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 224mg, Potassium: 439mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1200IU, Vitamin C: 16.2mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1.9mg
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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe (with oil instead of ghee) and it was so easy to make. I served it to my friends and they wouldn’t stop commenting how delicious it was. I totally agree – as someone who lives in London, this tasted so authentic. Will definitely be making it again.

  2. 5 stars
    I used the recipe as a guideline. I followed the spice mixture closely, however. The mostly unusal addition was the crispy onions, so I made some out of a big shallot I happened to have on hand. It’s tomato season, so it’s nice to have fresh tomatoes. I always add a pinch of sugar to most Indian-inspired recipes. If you happen to have fresh tomatoes, this recipe is a MUST. Also, be sure to use kashmiri chilli powder, available from Amazon and other internet sources.

  3. Where is the liquid coming from as shown in you picture? Also, an approximate time until chicken is cooked would be helpful.

    1. Hey. The chicken and tomatoes will release the water. Will write approximate time from next time. Didn’t write as it differs quite a lot depending on the quality of the chicken.