Chicken Curry



This is the chicken curry that I grew up eating – it’s my mom’s recipe. Now that I have a food blog, I’m constantly begging her to share her recipes with me. She hates measuring ingredients, though – like most Indian moms, she eyeballs everything and somehow whips out an awesome dish.

I cook like that sometimes, but I’ve found that my recipes don’t always turn out amazing when I “wing it.” I like keeping track of what I use and how much I’m using. I like seeing how a little something extra can really change a dish. That’s one of the many reasons I started blogging – to record the recipes that I really like.

Well, I’ve finally got my mom’s recipe for her traditional chicken curry, and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you guys. It’s quite fantastic.

This curry was a weekly dish at our house – unlike butter chicken which we’d reserved for special occasions. A typical dinner time meal consisted of this chicken curry, basmati rice (or naan/roti), and a vegetable (like okra, eggplant bharta, or saag).

When you make this dish – consider the quality of your ingredients. I always try to buy organic/local/fresh. Juicy, ripe tomatoes make this dish shine, but if you plan to substitute with canned tomatoes, then use a bit of cane sugar or honey to remove some of the tartness that comes with canned tomatoes.

Indian chicken curry by

Chicken Curry

Indian chicken curry by

Chicken Curry

5 from 14 reviews
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  • Heat ghee in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and a bay leaf.
  • When the cumin seeds start to splutter, add the onions an cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown
  • Add ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute then add the tomatoes, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices and chicken and mix well. Then add one cup of water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done.
  • Remove cover and cook for 5 more minutes to reduce the liquid.
  • Garnish with cilantro.


If the dish isn’t red or orange enough to your liking, just add paprika!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Sharon says

    5 stars
    My father makes a variation of this as well but it’s so hard to get exact measurements from him. Thank you for this recipe now I can try to make it for him!

  2. Nivea says

    5 stars
    Another gem from Ashley’s blog …. must try chicken curry so yummy . If you have toddlers tone down the spice but for me abs hubby was perfecto

  3. Teresa from Australia says

    Loved this recipe, I used chicken drumsticks. Definitely cooking this one again – Thanks Ashley

  4. Jeni says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have both meat eaters and vegetarians in my family. Can I start the recipe right up until adding the chicken and then divide the sauce into two pots, one for cooking with chicken and the other for cooking with veg/chickpeas? I would probably double the aromatic/sauce/spice ingredients if I did that. Any tips for cooking two versions of these dishes simultaneously would be welcome!

  5. Erin Mooney says

    5 stars
    This is delicious and I’ve made it many times! But I wanted to Kno if I can substitute canned chopped tomatoes for the fresh ones? Thanks!

  6. jadaaaa! says

    5 stars
    Hello!!! I browsing your website.
    I came across this recipe and I absolutely loved it!!!
    super rich tasting, I had to add a little bit more spice for my liking.
    I also roasted the peppercorns with the cumin seeds.
    It wasn’t as red as the photo you posted ( disappointing on my behalf ) I attempted to add dried red whole chili peppers and more paprika; it added a little more color, but it might just be the chili powder I was using overall. I didn’t use Kashmiri!
    Anyways!!! very happy 🙂 I will be making this always.
    Next recipe will be biryani !!

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