Simple Indian chicken curry

This is a simple and modest chicken curry, not one of those ‘half a stick of butter and 250 ml of double cream‘ curries! It’s sort of the Indian equivalent of shepherd’s pie, or chicken soup. Serve this curry along side some roti and a vegetable curry (aubergine maybe).


  • 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tsp dhaniya powder (ground coriander seed)
  • 2 chillies (red or green), halved and finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • salt to taste
  • small bunch of coriander, chopped


  1. Put the chicken into a saucepan, pour in two cups of water and bring to the boil
  2. Immediately reduce the heat so the water is gently simmering, cover and cook for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through.
  3. Lift the chicken out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Measure the cooking liquid and add enough water to make it up to 2 cups again.
  4. Rinse out the saucepan, dry it, then heat the ghee in it over a medium heat. Add the cumin seed and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the onion, garlic and ginger; cook these until the mixture is soft and a pale golden colour (7-8 minutes).
  5. Then, add the ground coriander seeds and both chillies. Cook for a further two minutes, then reduce the heat and stir in the yoghurt.
  6. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid, adding a little at a time.
  7. Return the chicken to the pot, and increase the heat so the chicken is hot right through. Then reduce the heat once more and simmer for approximately 4 minutes. Don’t boil the mixture though.
  8. Season with the salt and pepper, then throw in the coriander leaves.
  9. Serve immediately with rotis, your favourite vegetable curry, some raita and an assortment of chutneys and achar (pickles)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s