Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Sunday Recipe - Chicken Curry

I never attempted Indian cooking until I took a class several years ago and one entire evening was spent making Indian dishes.  My assignment was to cook chicken curry.  Others were making daal, basmati rice pilaf, samosas, mulligatawny soup, and Kerala fish stew.  We also made naan bread which I had actually made in one of my bread classes.  And though I have made naan at home, I have found a source from a baker right here in Michigan that makes excellent naan.

Before I took the class, if I wanted Indian food I would just go to one of the local Indian restaurants. Now I make one of my favorite dishes at home, chicken curry.  It's all about the wonderful spices.
In addition to curry powder, garam masala, and turmeric, there is also cumin, mustard, cinnamon, and ginger.
I do not buy a hot curry, but you could do so if you like.  

Fortunately, I keep all of the ingredients I need in my pantry, so I do not have to run out and buy anything just for this recipe.  I realize that may not be the case for many cooks.  This recipe is slightly adapted from the one we made in class.  I hope you will give it a try. 
 Curry with basmati rice
Chicken Curry
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 cups yellow onions, short julienne cut
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger or 2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Ginger
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (drain off the liquid on top)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp Garam masala
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper
oil for sauteeing, as needed

  1. Cut thighs in half, or if using breasts, cut across grain to obtain approx. 2 x 2 inch pieces.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet and brown chicken on both sides until nearly cooked.  Use oil for sauteeing as needed or if desired.
  3. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Add the onions and saute until the are transparent.  Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds and fry until they begin to 'pop' in the pan.
  6. Add curry powder and turmeric.  Stir and cook until they become fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and stir until a sauce begins to form, about three minutes.
  8. Add the coconut milk and some chicken broth until you achieve a nice consistency.
  9. Add the cinnamon stick and return the chicken and its juices to the pan.
  10. Cover and simmer very gently for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.  Add the garam masala in the last ten minutes of cooking.  
I served this with basmati rice on the first night.  It gets better each day it sits.  Here is my leftover meal with green beans and naan bread.


  1. In Britain, Indian food is extremely popular and one can find take out on every street corner - so, needless to say, I used to make lots of curries and dahls and raitas, etc. However, the last time I made one, I could no longer taste the curry so I have never bothered since. It is a wonderful cuisine though. Actually I have made Chicken Masala once or twice.

    1. The first time I had Indian food was in London in 1969. I thought it was way too spicy which is probably why it took me so many years to try it again. There are many different curry blends so I am guessing yours was not too heavily spiced. It also does not keep too well on the shelf. I just bought a new curry powder I am anxious to try.

    2. Mine was certainly spicy, I always make what we call "hot" curries. Most of us English eat very spicy curries if we eat them at all. I have been a curry eater for as long as I can remember and used to make my own regularly. By the way, did you know that to serve your curry properly the rice should be beside not under the curry. I learned that through one of my cookery books.

    3. I should also say, I can feel the heat in my mouth but cannot taste the curry spices.

    4. The night I served it to my kids the rice was separate. That first picture is when I rewarmed it in the microwave. Unfortunately, there wasn't much rice left. Curry taste may be like that of hot Thai food. After awhile folks who have been eating it for a long time no longer feel the burn.

    5. I mentioned it because many Brits do serve it over rice not beside. Difficult to explain Denise, I can feel the burn OK I just can't taste the flavour any more. To do with losing my sense of smell.

  2. This sounds delicious! When I am home, I will write it out and sometime in the next few months, find the courage to try it.

    1. It was so good I may have to make it again in the near future.

  3. That looks so good! I love curry... my husband, not so much. Maybe I can talk him into trying this one. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Well, my grandson who is 20 months enjoyed it, so it is not too spicy or hot.

    2. I wanted to tell you that I made this recipe last week and I - and my husband - loved it! It's definitely a keeper! I'm thrilled that I have a curry recipe that passes my husband's taste test because I love curry. Thank you!


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