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Monday, 21 November 2011

From the kitchen of my "Indian Mama" - Chicken Curry

It is now time for the second installment of the series 'From the kitchen of my "Indian Mama"'  the recipe - chicken curry.  Now you may have had curry before, but not quite like this. This curry is especially delicious as it incorporates Indian spices along with coconut milk (which one might normally associate with a Thai-style curry) and ground almonds which help to mellow the spiciness of the chillis.  This recipe is solely with chicken (no veg), I like to serve this with steamed green veggies and rice on the side.  However, if you want veggies in the curry with the chicken, I would incorporate any mix of veggies (cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, etc.) just after adding the sauce and bringing to a simmer. Adding veggies at this stage should cook them just enough so they are tender, but have not yet overcooked.

Serves 2 with enough left over to pack for lunch

1 large onion, cut in 1cm thick rings, then sliced in half
6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp coconut oil, or vegetable oil (divided)
2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste (recipe to follow) *You may also find this jarred in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store
1 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground red chilli, or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cardamom pods, crushed to release inner seeds
pinch of saffron threads (about 6-8 individual threads)
1/2 cup plain yogurt *Do not use non-fat or Greek yogurt, when heated it will separate and not thicken the sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp ground almonds
1 small fresh green chilli, minced to garnish (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped to garnish

Chicken Curry

Rinse chicken thighs with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel, making sure to get all water off chicken. Salt and pepper the thighs and set aside.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on medium-high heat and add sliced onions, do not add any salt.  Fry onions until browned edges and slightly crispy about 8 minutes. (looking for high heat here, not low and slow like you would for caramelized onions). Remove onions from skillet, and reserve.

Add another Tbsp coconut oil, to pan to heat,  once skillet is hot add chicken thighs and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Add the last Tbsp oil to the skillet,  turn the heat to medium and add garlic-ginger paste, garam masala, turmeric, red chilli, salt, cardamom pods and saffron.  Cook spices for 1 minute, then add the chicken thighs back into the skillet.  Once chicken has been added back to spices, add yogurt, coconut milk and ground almonds and bring up to simmer.  Place lid on the skillet and turn heat to low, and simmer 10-15 minutes. Finally, stir in reserved onions and serve.  Garnish with fresh green chilli and cilantro to your liking.

Ginger-Garlic Paste

1/2 cup whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a small food processor, combine garlic, ginger and oil.  Puree until smooth, or until there are no large pieces of garlic or ginger left - there will be some coarseness, as the ginger is fibrous.  This paste can be kept in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.


  1. Wow this looks so delicious, the flavors sound incredible! Great blog you have, so glad to be a new follower! xoxo

  2. Hi Kelly, thanks so much the adoration is equal as your blog too is lovely! Happy to hear you enjoying the blog and hope you have a chance to try out some of the recipes...maybe lighten them up in some way :)

  3. coming back for this recipe :)

  4. Hi Maika hope you like it as much as I do. It's a great dish!