Bollywood Cooking: Chicken Curry

After we thoroughly went through the Indian spices in our first Bollywood Cooking session, it's high time we do a bit of cooking. After thinking about it for a long time I decided to go with a chicken curry. It is probably one of the most well known type of Indian dishes in the world and is cooked in many different varieties.

The word curry actually comes from the South Indian Kari, which mean sauce. Curries are prepared all over the Asian continent, with the Thai curry, Malaysian curry, Indonesian curry and of course the Indian curry being the most popular types. The flavor and content of the curries not only differ from country to country but also from cook to cook. Therefore, each curry you ever try is most certainly unique in it's own way. Curries are not always to be considered hot, they are indeed spicy as in full of flavor. In fact there are more mild curry recipes than hot ones and these are designed to give a cleverly balanced blend of the various spices and herbs used, some of which have delicate and highly sophisticated tastes.

Generally speaking in Indian curries, commonly used base spices and herbs include coriander, cumin, cardamom and turmeric. Depending on the recipe involved, other ingredients can include things like chili, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, garam masala, onions, cinnamon and pepper and mustard seeds.

I found an amazing article from the Toronto Star in which 6 different ways of curries are prepared. Something I have to also share with you for your future reference.

My way of preparing this chicken curry is the way I got it from my dad. You heard me - my dad! Ever since my dad retired he has become a hobby cook. He watched my mum cook for several years and now has sort of taken over in the kitchen. What I love about my dad is that the recipes he cooks are "no fuss no nonsense" type of dishes. For example my mother will make the effort of going through the process of peeling, pitting and squeezing the tomatoes for this curry. My dad on the other hand believes this to be nonsense and simply chops up the tomatoes into pieces, juice, peel, pit and all. Personally I find no difference to the taste.

So, I hope you now join me and let's cook up a super tasting chicken curry.


The theme for the latest Monthly Mingle is - Savory Cakes.
Deadline is March 15th. Hope to see you there!

Music While Cooking:

Illegal - Shakira
Album: Oral Fixation Vol. 2


1 free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces. You can also simply use 8 chicken drumsticks or drumsticks/thighs.
4-6 medium sized tomatoes - coarsely chopped. You can, if you like, peel, pit and squeeze the juice out of these and then chop. Or take my dad's "no fuss no nonsense" method.
1 medium onion - finely chopped
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cm piece ginger - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
1-2 green chillies - finely chopped. The fiery hotness depends on your taste.
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml water
2 tbsp yogurt
1 lime
a small bunch of coriander leaves - chopped


In a large pan heat the oil and fry the onions on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally, gently brown the onions making sure they do not burn. Add the ginger, garlic and chili to the pan and continue frying for another minute or so. Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric powders to the mixture and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously so that the spices do not stick to the pan. Add salt and pepper.

Pour water and add the tomatoes. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Place the chicken pieces into the pan and coat with the sauce. Covered, allow the chicken to cook for 30-40 minutes over a low heat.

Now stir in the yogurt. Make sure the liquid does not boil after you have added the yogurt to it as it will get clumpy. Add half of the lime juice. Taste and if you like add some more.

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice or a pulao.


A slightly different way to prepare a chicken curry but this holds all the expected tastes of spices, chilies, tomatoes and chicken. The chicken is tender and succulent and has time to soak all of the big taste from the spices.
More on Indian spices refer to the Indian Spice Enspicopedia.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2007 Meeta Albrecht unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First
Continue »


  1. I like this recipe because you just toss the spices in with the sauce rather than toasting first and making a paste. Will have to add this one to my list to try. Thanks to your dad!

  2. Loved these pictures Meeta. Enjoyed the research on curry. Obviously your parents had different styles. I'm with your Dad!
    I'm a big fan of curry.

  3. This is screen licking good...Ymmm
    We just can get enough curries around here.

  4. These look yummy Meeta! I made chicken curry last night, but still want more now!

  5. I just found out that photography and food blogging goes hand in hand. Thumbs up on your blog.

  6. Gorgeous gorgeous!!!What a beauitful dish... and pretty easy for me to manage :D My husband and I like having Indian food once a week, will try yours next time!
    I've just made chicken masala northern style yestersday...quite a bit of work but it worths it!

  7. I've been craving "Bollywood Cooking" ever since I finished The Namesake. I love this no-fuss recipe, delish!

  8. Hi Meeta - This sounds delicious - not to mention easy to prepare! Beautiful pics!

  9. I am sure you will love the taste of this. And if you do give it a try I am sure you too will find my dad's way easy yet still full of taste. Thanks for your feedback!

  10. love ur photos meeta.. u make it looking licking good!nice info too.

  11. Your father taught you well.. this looks delicious and it's made me so hungry!

    I am so sorry to hear you and Soeren were so sick.. I am happy you are both feeling better and yes! Tom took wonderful care of you both, you've got a wonderful hubby, sweetie!

    PS - I'm being lazy.. but I hadda say, the muffins look sooooo good too! As usual, both of your recipes have been added to my notebook.. thank you =)

  12. Meeta, I have never tried making a curry chicken from scratch...always buy the ready made paste and powder...your post has inspired me to make everything from scratch. Thank you.

  13. it's our indonesian way to make curries from fresh ingredients. i was not quite happy to find spice powder in new zealand. sadly, that i have to take it for granted. anyway, i'm quite happy to find frozen galangal and turmeric though.

  14. Wow!! Sounds yummy. Would love to taste it!!I freak out on the spicy Indian Chicken Curries which some of my Indian Friends make here!!Emmie

  15. I really enjoyed reading that article! Thanks for sharing it. I've been meaning to try a chicken korma for a while now, but I think I'm gonna try one of those recipes from the article. :)

  16. oH.. Your blog is incredible... yummmyyy.. :D
    A hug from Spain :)

  17. hi meeta!!
    had been lookin at ur blog for sometime... so when my hubby n i decided to cook chicken for the first time,i immediately suggested this recipe.. it came out great!! Thanx a ton!! Great blog!!! Keep going...

  18. Thank you all for the lovely feedback! Hope you all let me know what you thought of it when you give it a try.

    Maithri - glad your hubby and you enjoyed this recipe. I really appreciate you stopping by and telling me about it!

  19. Hi...find it a bit hard to believe that this is your dad's original recipe...unless of course your dad is the famous chef who does a show called "Green river cottage". This recipe is also in his cookbook called "Green river family cookbook".

  20. ANON, Thanks for pointing the book out. I've never heard of it before but it must be good if they make the chicken curry like my dad makes it! Unfortunately he is no famous chef but by the looks of things he should have been one.

    And I do assure you this recipe is 100% from my dad - maybe you should ask the famous chef if he was in touch with my dad! ;-)

  21. Thank you, it made my husband very happy!

  22. This sounds so tasty! Like your dad, I just leave the tomatoes in without seeding. The seeds don't bother us and we love all the flavor. Great post!

  23. This recipe is a superb! I have try it this weekend. Thanks to your dad! And I agree with our father completely about cooking - easy and hassel-free!

  24. Hello, wonderful blog as always. I just read your recipe and think it's great. I just posted an entry on my blog about chicken curry with a yogurt sauce. Come by and check it out if you can and let me know what you think.



  25. Just tried the recipe, its not really like the picture as the tumeric made it more yellow and too watery so I had to add a potato. But I love the taste and knowing that its really healthy unlike most curries that use too much coconut. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I will make it again but probably double the spices called for. Overall verdict, a good recipe! thanks!

  26. Glad you are liking this recipe. After all this time I smile when I get comments here.

    ANON: If it becomes to watery cook in down on a gentle heat. Or simply pour some of it out. I often find that dishes like this taste and look better the next day anyway! But glad you still liked it!

  27. Was looking for something easy and yummy and came across your post . The chicken curry was really delicious and will definitely try more of the wonderful recipes you have got here .
    PS: You have got a really wonderful blog with the lovely pics and succinct way of writing its a reader's delight .

  28. Hi Meeta,

    I really enjoyed reading about you and the photographs are simply amazing. I prepared the chicken curry and came out superb! Thanks for the recipe.


  29. Been following your blog for a few years now, thanks so much for your wonderful recipes and writing.

    Just wondered, after following up on that comment about the River Cottage Family Cookbook. It seems that that book was published only in August of 2008, so are you sure the authors of that haven't plagiarized you? If this recipe was published before the book (and it seems like it was), I would have to say yes.

  30. love the comments and glad you are all enjoying this!

    Anu - no idea on that. i still have not got my hands on the book. there is a thin line to copyright violations in recipes. if they did get inspired with this recipe then i am sure it is a mighty good curry! ;-)

  31. hi meeta! i love your chicken curry. my hubby and i have been making it for a while now, and our tummmies are always very happy after eating it :) thanks for sharing the recipe.


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.