In my opinion this is the ultimate chicken curry. It is based on the one that I grew up eating and it is like no chicken curry that you will have tried! Call me biased, but I believe my mum’s chicken curry to be by far the best. Not every curry sauce has to be rich and thick and this recipe proves it. The success of the dish lies in cooking the chicken on the bone, which not only keeps the meat moist, but also adds a depth of broth-like flavour to the sauce. The sauce itself is a relatively thin gravy which has different layers of flavour, created using a variety of spices at different stages of the cooking process.
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 5 kg/3 lb. 5 oz . chicken on the bone, portioned into pieces.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons natural/plain yogurt
- 3 teaspoons Holy Trinity Paste (see below)
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli/chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
For Curry Sauce
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- A 5-cm/2-inch cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- A 2.5-cm/1-inch squared piece of fresh root ginger, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 ½ large onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 large tomatoes, chopped (core and seeds removed)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander/cilantro (leaves from a small bunch)
How to make Chicken Curry
Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade and mix together. Stir in the chicken and allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator or for a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature.
To make the curry sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, add the cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise and fry for 1 minute to allow the aromatic oils of the spices to be released into the oil. Add the bay leaves, ginger and garlic and move around in the pan for 1 minute until the garlic and ginger are golden brown.
Add the onions and salt and fry until completely softened and golden brown; about 25–30 minutes. (Using a lid will help to cook the onions quicker.)
Add the tomatoes and cook until they have softened and melted and the ingredients are coming together to form a sauce base.
Next, add the marinated chicken pieces, mixing really well in the pan and sealing them all over. Once sealed, pour in 500 ml/2 cups of water, mix well, place the lid back on and let the curry simmer for 20–25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the liquid has reduced to give a sauce-like consistency.
Add the garam masala and chopped coriander/cilantro and serve Chicken Curry with rice or check out some some more options in this article – The best side dishes to serve with a curry . I hope you enjoy this recipe.
How to make Holy Trinity Paste
In my opinion, this is vital to most home-cooked Gujarati-style dishes. The ‘holy trinity’ of green chilli/chile, garlic and ginger creates a wonderful fresh flavour. It is quite punchy, so you want to cook out all the rawness from it when it comes to layering flavours in dishes. You can quarter the quantities here for a smaller yield.
Ingredients for 625 G /2½ CUPS
- 200 g/7 oz . (about 6) green chillies/chiles
- 200 g/7 oz . (about 4 0) garlic cloves
- 200 g/7 oz . (about 8 x 5-cm/2-inch pieces) fresh root ginger
- 50 ml/3½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
Blitz together the ingredients in a food processor to form a coarse paste. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.