A Glug of Oil

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Indian Style Chicken Curry

How to make Indian style Chicken Curry.

It really is worth a bit of effort and having a go and making your own curry at home.

Indian-style Chicken Curry

I've posted many curry recipes before now and although this is almost the same as my Chicken Balti recipe.

You'll find it's far nicer than from a takeaway or any Indian jar of cook-in sauce you can buy in a supermarket.

I can see why some might be put off making a curry from scratch but if you're reading this my guess is you already have half the ingredients in your store cupboard anyway.


Start preparing all the bits beforehand. For example, seeing as all the dried spices go in at once, you can have them measured out into a pinch pot or cup, then all you have to do it tip them in.

Now, this post was written way back in 2011 and it's now 2020 and so read on and I'll let you into a little secret I found out about making Indian curries since then.

Indian Five Spice or Panch Phoran

It's the secret to curry on the next level. Here's my recipe for Panch Phoran, it's so easy to make and it keeps in an air-tight container for ages.

Don't Rush the Cooking!

Good things come to those who wait! If you don't let the onions cook slowly they won't have the same taste and can even taste bitter.

Don't cook the chicken on a high heat, all that will happen is it will become tough and horrid.

Top Tip!

If you want to go the extra mile instead of adding the black mustard seeds, as listed in the ingredients, leave those out and add 2 teaspoons of Panch Phoran (Indian five spice) instead.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

 How to Make Indian Chicken Curry

Yield: 2-4
Author: Jan Bennett
Indian-style Chicken Curry

Indian-style Chicken Curry

Please note to serve 4 you will need to add more chicken but the sauce will be enough as it is.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 Hour


  • vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds - crushed
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 1 red chilli - seeds in and finely chopped or sliced
  • 1 green chilli - seeds in and finely chopped or sliced
  • 3 nice fat cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • a piece of ginger about 2 cm square - peeled and very finely chopped
The dried spices
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of garam masala
  • 2 good teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 good teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric - don't go for any more than this as turmeric can give a bitter taste
  • 4 cloves - ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 2 skinless chicken fillets - cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of soft brown sugar
  • 1 good tablespoon of tomato puree (known as tomato paste in the US)
  • a little salt to taste
  • 200ml of chicken stock from half of a Knorr stock cube (OXO isn't as good for this recipe)
  • 1 x bay leaf
  • 1 x 400ml tin of good quality tomatoes
  • a small handful of dried curry leaves - crumbled
  • 3 whole cardamom pods - split
To serve
  • a small handful of freshly chopped coriander, rice and of course, Naan bread.


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, when hot throw in the mustard. Stir about for 30 or 40 seconds till they just start to pop - don't burn them.
  2. Now add the chopped onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft but not too coloured. 
  3. Be patient with your onions as they will taste far nicer if cooked slowly.
  4. When that's happened, add the green chillies, garlic, ginger and all the dried spices. 
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat - stirring and making sure they don't burn.
  6. Now add another small glug of oil and throw in the chicken and add the sugar and stir to coat.
  7. Keep the chicken moving about so it gets sealed and slightly starts to brown.
  8. Stir in the tomato puree, cook for 1 minute and then add just 100ml of the 200ml of chicken stock. 
  9. You may or may not need the rest later so keep it to one side.
  10. Add the bay leaf to the pan along with the split cardamon pods and the tin of tomatoes including the juice and crumble in the curry leaves.
  11. Cook over low heat for about 25 minutes, try not to let it bubble too much or your chicken will become tough. 
  12. You want the sauce to reduce and become thicker. If you do need to add the rest of the stock then do so if you need to.
  13. About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, try to fish out the bay leaf and the cardamon pods - they're horrid things I think, if you bite into them they taste like flowers!
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  1. I totally agree about making curry from scratch. Much tastier - and umtimately cheaper - than jars of sauces. I made a beautiful rogan josh last night and it was extremely satisfying getting those results from a few spices.

    Your curry looks gorgeous. 8am, and you've made my mouth water for ginger and garlic!

  2. This looks fabulous.. I need to get some good curry making practice in.. I would love to master the art one day!! :) xxx


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