This simple Indian-inspired Chicken Curry can be on the table in about 45 minutes. Serve it with rice and toasted naan.
There is a great little Indian restaurant close to us with a fabulous lunch buffet. There are soups, chutneys, braised vegetables, and curries. When I have out-of-town-guests, I often take them there for a special lunch. There’re so many choices that everyone walks away full and satisfied.
One dish that I always go back for seconds is the chicken curry. The sauce is full of the flavors of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric. I could literally lick the dish clean.
Garam Masala Vs. Curry Powder
This chicken curry uses my homemade garam masala spice blend. Other recipes you’ve seen may use a curry powder blend instead, so what’s the difference?
Garam masala is what you’ll find in kitchens in India. The idea of curry and a curry powder mix actually comes from the UK which then made it’s way to the United States during colonization. A variety of dishes that used similar spices, though often in different amounts depending on the dish and region, got grouped together as curries to simplify a complex cuisine. Curries became very popular in England and are still a prevailing part of the cuisine.
Garam masala has a stronger flavor and includes warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg in addition to cumin and pepper. While curry powder shares some ingredients, like coriander and cardamom, it’s often a milder taste that heavily features turmeric.
If you’d like to try a different version of a chicken curry that uses curry powder and coconut milk, check out this Instant Pot Chicken Curry.
Simplified Chicken Curry
The list of ingredients is really pretty small and there’s nothing too exotic, which makes it a great weeknight meal to pull together when the curry craving hits.
I like to use tender chicken thighs for this recipe, but if you are a dyed-in-the-wool chicken breast fan, you could substitute it for the thighs. Serve over white or basmati rice. I like some fresh cilantro on top too. And if you can’t find naan bread at your local grocery store, grab some pita and toast it up.
The recipe has a little bit of heat, so if you aren’t particularly fond of spicy foods, eliminate the cayenne pepper. On the other hand, if you opt for the high-heat index at a restaurant, add a little more.
I hope this chicken curry recipe solves your cravings like it does mine.
Enjoy! – Christine :)Print
This simple Indian-inspired Chicken Curry can be on the table in about 45 minutes.
Serve it with rice and toasted naan, and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1 and ½ tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- ⅛ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 and ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs or a combination, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup plain yogurt (Greek is fine), at room temperature
- In a Dutch oven or deep sauce pan set over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes
- Add garam masala, salt, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne stirring so that the onion mixture is coated. Cook until very fragrant, about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer, for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and simmer until cooked through to 165°F on an instant read thermometer pierced into a piece of chicken, 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in the yogurt and heat through, about 2 minutes.
This post originally appeared in August 2019 and was revised and republished in July 2022.