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Indian Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry with Dry-Roasted Spices


Chicken Curry with Dry-Roasted Spices Recipe

Chicken – 2 ½ – 3 lbs, leg pieces or whole chicken cut into serving pieces.
Onion – 2 large size finely chopped.
Ginger paste – 2 tsp.
Garlic paste – 1 Tbsp.
Tomato – 3-4 medium size finely chopped.
Tomato paste – 1 Tbsp.
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
Coriander powder – 1 Tbsp.
Paprika – ½ tsp.
Bay leaf – 1
Cinnamon stick – 1 (1-inch)
Salt 1 tsp or as per taste.
Oil vegetable – 3-4 Tbsp
Lime – 1 juice.
Cilantro – ¼ cup chopped, for garnish
Jalapeno – 1 slices for garnish (optional)
2-3 cups of hot water to be used in cooking at different stages.

Whole Spices for Roasting:

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp.
Coriander seeds – ½ tsp.
Cardamom pods green – 2
Black peppercorns – 6-8
Cloves – 4


Mix the ginger and garlic paste in a bowl and keep aside. In another bowl mix turmeric powder, coriander powder and paprika with ¼ cup of water to make a spice paste and keep it aside too.

Wash the chicken and thoroughly dry it with paper towel; place it in a large non-reactive bowl. Add 2 tsp of ginger-garlic paste to the chicken and reserve the remaining ginger-garlic paste for later use. Add juice of ½ lime to the chicken and mix everything well, making sure that the chicken is well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate for minimum 30 minutes in refrigerator or up-to 24 hours.

In a clean skillet add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, black peppercorns and cloves. Dry roast the spices over medium-low heat until well browned and fragrant; around 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the spices to a clean dry bowl immediately; they can burn really fast. Grind them into a coarse powder in a spice grinder and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the chopped onions, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick; fry until they start to turn golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Now add the remaining ginger-garlic paste along with ¼ cup of hot water and stir; keep cooking until all the water has evaporated and the oil starts separates on the sides of the onion mixture; around 4-5 minutes.

Add the spice paste to the onion mixture give it a quick stir; now add the tomato paste. Let everything cook once again until all the liquid has dried out and the oil starts to separate to the sides; about 2-3 minutes. Make sure to cook stirring to avoid the mixture sticking at the bottom of the skillet and getting burned.

Add the chicken pieces and stir about 5-7 minutes to well coat them with the onion-spice mixture and also to get some color on them. Finally add the chopped tomatoes and salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just so the tomatoes start to break down.

Last add 1 – 1 ¼ cup of hot water, cover the pan and cook over high heat, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until chicken is tender and sauce is thick for around 20-25 minutes.

Once the chicken is done, add the roasted spice powder, give it a last stir, cover the skillet tightly with the lid and remove it from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes for all the flavors to blend.

When ready to serve sprinkle the curry with lime juice, add the chopped cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!!!

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16 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Hi Bee! So happy to see Reem here today. She has been a great friend of mine too. She’s very sincere and kind person and I can totally see her supporting you at the cooking demo (Congrats again!). Wish I could be there at the demo so I could meet you two! Great Indian curry recipe, Reem! :-)

  2. The whole roasted spices is really what makes this dish stand out from a lot of curries. I am always amazed at the array of whole spices, for I rarely see them in the US-it seems like they are all ground.
    Glad to see Reem guest posting here!

  3. Haven’t had a good Indian curry in a long time….this will be my next curry dish! Looks yum! Can I use canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh?

  4. @ Jane you can always make it without roasted spices, just add all the whole spice except coriander seeds along with onion, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and the rest method remain the same…

    @ Fern, Sure you can use canned diced tomatoes….


  5. Simon

    I make chicken curry a lot of times. As I come from a western family, us westerners tend to like boneless chicken more. Although, being on a tight schedule I found it highly sufficient to use some ready masala mixes from MDH. They got ready masala mixes which contain spice blends only. No colors, preservatives etc. Just spices.

    Another tweak I was learnt by a pakistani housewife was using stock instead of water. When meat on bone is cooked in a curry, the bones also adds a “stocky” flavor as it’s gently simmered among the masalas.

    But as for cooking boneless chicken/mutton, I found that using homemade chicken stock adds more body to the curry.

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