5 from 6 votes
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Chicken Curry

Every family has their own version of chicken curry recipe. A few spices here and there but the soul still the same. This is my family's recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chicken curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Prerna Singh


  • 2 1/2 pounds whole chicken cleaned and cut into 16- 18 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 2-3 hot green chili peppers adjust according to how much heat you can handle
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon salt +1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper marinade
  • 2-3 bay leaves dried
  • 1 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole black cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 cup mustard oil can substitute with vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ghee clarified butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of chopped cilantro


  1. Mix the marinade (lemon juice + salt + pepper) well to washed chicken. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime grind onion, ginger, garlic and green chili into a thick paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a thick bottom pan with slightly higher sides. A pressure cooker or wok would be a great alternative. Roughly pound the whole spices - bay leaves, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cumin and cloves. Add to the hot oil. Stir as they sputter.
  4. Add turmeric. Stir and add the onion paste prepared before. Turn the heat to medium and cook while stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated and the paste is reduced to a dense, golden brown paste.
  5. Add salt, coriander powder and chopped tomato. Turn the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally. Slowly the tomato will begin to melt and then it will all turn into a slightly smooth and loose paste. Wait till oil begins to separate.
  6. Add garam masala, stir in the chicken and mix everything very well. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook, uncovering and stirring occasionally. Initially chicken will lose a lot of water but after cooking for 15-20 minutes on medium heat the water will begin reducing. At this point you can either uncover and cook, stirring occasionally or put on the pressure cooker.
  7. If proceeding with the pressure cooker then cover, lock and wait for two whistles and then turn the heat off leaving covered for another 15 minutes.
  8. I prefer the slow cooking so I turn the heat to medium low and let the chicken simmer for another 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked well and the gravy is reduced to a nice thick consistency.
  9. Once the chicken is cooked add ghee and cilantro. Stir well. Cover and let it rest for 15 more minutes before serving with your choice of bread or rice.