Authentic Chicken Curry

Authentic Chicken Curry is, without doubt, one of our most favorite dishes of all time.

The spices are warm and comforting and so very satisfying.

You just have to taste this dish to understand how wonderful it is.

Authentic chicken curry in an orange bowl

HOW TO MAKE AUTHENTIC CHICKEN CURRY AT HOME

Most of the ingredients in this dish can be found in a well-stocked supermarket, but if not, a trip to an Asian, or specifically an Indian, food market might be in order. If that’s not possible, everything is easily ordered onliine.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this incredible Authentic Chicken Curry!

Not long ago, we lived in a very culturally diverse part of the Northeast, United States. And many of our neighbors were Indian.  They were some of the kindest and most lovely people we have ever known.

And don’t get me started on their cuisine!

They are part of a culture where is food is at every facet of their lives.  It is a beautiful thing.  The delicious aromas emanating from their windows at almost any given hour of any given day are practically intoxicating.

I love using star anise with the other aromatics. The taste is subtle but deepens the flavor nicely.

Onion, peppers and star anise cooking for authentic chicken curry

I’ve been making a version of Chicken Curry for many years now.  And I’m always a little embarrassed to assert that I have an authentic recipe.  But it is one that I have honed over the years and learned a lot from neighbors, local Indian eateries, and markets.

Toasting the seeds in a hot skillet brings out their oils and add so much more flavor.

Then I just pull out my trusty spice grinder (formerly a coffee grinder) and ground the spices.

Toasting seeds in a skillet for authentic curry chicken

CURRY IS COMFORTING WITH A SLIGHT TOUCH OF HEAT

The colors of the spices are warm and inviting.

The smell is intoxicatingly good.

And the taste? Oh, just wait.

A bowl full of colorful spices for authentic curry chicken

Chicken is the perfect protein for the spices and vegetables.

After adding oil to the spices, liberally rub the paste all over the chicken.

This is the real deal.

Chicken pieces coasted with spices in a bowl for authentic curry chicken

Once you begin cooking that marinated chicken, you’ll immediately smell the curry and other spices. Authentic chicken curry is pure comfort food.

It is just incredible.

We could eat a bowl of this cooked chicken with no problem at all. But when served over perfectly prepared basmati rice, it is perfection.

Cooked chicken with a bay leaf for authentic curry chicken

Our Authentic Chicken Curry may not match our amazing neighbors’ version, but it’s pretty darn good, if we do say so ourselves!  It is, and always has been, one of the Loon’s favorite dishes.  And mine, too, of course. 

I know some of you may think you don’t like any dish with curry.

One bite of this dish, and we’re pretty certain you’ll be a believer.

An orange bowl filled with basmati rice and authentic curry chicken

Authentic chicken curry in an orange bowl

Authentic Chicken Curry

Course: Indian Chicken
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken dinner, Curry
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 280 kcal
Author: Kris Longwell (and friends)
This Authentic Chicken Curry is so comforting and satisfying. The heat level is not intense at all. I just love making the curry from scratch. It's not difficult, and makes all the difference in the world. A perfect weeknight meal, or even a special dinner party dish (you can easily double the recipe if feeding a crowd).
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Ingredients

  • 2 tsp corainder seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped, or grated
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapenos ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise*
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk^
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews roughly chopped, for topping the dish
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped, for topping the dish
  • Prepared Basmati rice for serving (see recipe below)
  • *Available at many supermarkets or specialty gourmet markets, or at Asian markets

Instructions

  1. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until they start to crackle, about 3 minutes.
  2. Use a spice grinder, or a coffee bean grinder, and grind the toasted seeds.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the ground seeds, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (each), cayenne pepper, curry powder, and oil and mix well to form a paste.

  4. Add the chicken to the bowl and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  6. In a saute pan, over high heat, melt the butter.
  7. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño peppers, bay leaves and star anise and continue to saute until the onion is lightly golden, about 5 - 7 minutes.

  9. Add the chicken and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes
  10. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in the coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a gentle boil.
  12. Reduce the heat to low, simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  13. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  14. Remove the star anise and bay leaves, and discard.
  15. Transfer to serving bowl, and top with cashews and cilantro.
  16. Serve with basmati rice (recipe below)

HOW TO MAKE PERFECT BASMATTI RICE

  1. Place 1 cup of basmati rice in a large bowl and fill with room temp water. Swirl your hand through the water and the rice for about 1 minute, the rice water will get cloudy. Then carefully pour off the water, taking care not to lose any rice. Repeat this washing process until the water runs clear, usually about 3 or 4 times. (this step is very important!)
  2. Fill up the bowl 1 more time and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice.
  4. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water, a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the rice, stir, and wait until the water comes back to a full boil. When it does, turn the heat down as low as it can go,and then cover.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Fluff with fork.
  8. *Technique and recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira.

Recipe Video

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11 Comments

  • I made this last night for dinner and it was AMAZING!!! The warmth of the spices are so comforting. My husband and I just loved it!!! Best Chicken Curry EVER!! I love watching all of your videos and can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • Hi Marie!!! That is so awesome to hear! Honestly, this is one of our most favorite recipes on the blog. We tweaked for years and are really happy where we got it to. And we are SO happy you like it, too!! And thank you very much for letting us know. We appreciate that so very much. Please stay in touch and all the best, Marie!! xo Kris & Wesley

  • Most delicious recipe I’ve ever made in my kitchen. I could’ve marinated the chicken for longer than an hour, and my rice was a little soggy, but that’s my fault since I was short on time. There is a load of wonderful spices and ingredients that I would have never thought to combine in an Italian household. LOL. Thank you for the recipe.

  • If you get your spices at a quality store you do not need to increase the spice level. My store has quart jars of spices you remove and bag spices from. I bought just enough for the recipe the day before and the kitchen smelled good before I began preparation. The recipe was incredibly spicy/flavorful! I used ghee instead of unsalted butter and roasted my own cashews. I did not use high heat as I have an electric stove and used a cast iron pan. High heat would have burned the whole meal. It also took a little less time. This is a keeper! Thank you!

  • Hello. This looks, sounds so yummy. I want to try this.

    A note about the BAY LEAF. Indians don’t use western bay laurel leaves so much. There is a lot of confusion because they do use something called an INDIAN BAY LEAF which is NO relation biologically at all to the bay laurel plant. Sometimes, they just call for “bay leaves” in Indian cookbooks but they mean “the Indian bay leaf”. The Indian bay leaf imparts a more cinnamon like aroma. It might be worth it to look for them and give them a try….. They are easier to find these days.

    They are also called “tej pat” or “tej patta”. Wiki says: it’s called the Cinnamomum tamala, Indian bay leaf’.
    They are often labeled as “Indian bay leaves,” or just “bay leaf”, causing confusion with the leaf from the bay laurel, a tree of Mediterranean origin in a different genus; the appearance and aroma of the two are quite different. Bay laurel leaves are shorter and light- to medium-green in color, with one large vein down the length of the leaf, while tejpat leaves are about twice as long and wider, usually olive green in color, with three veins down the length of the leaf. There are five types of tejpat leaves and they impart a strong cassia- or cinnamon-like aroma to dishes, while the bay laurel leaf’s aroma is more reminiscent of pine and lemon.

  • This is heavenly! The first time I made this I only marinated for an hour and the spices could have been doubled, as the favor was very subtle. This time however, I marinated overnight and the measurements were perfect! It’s the best curry I’ve ever tasted. I’m stuffed but can’t stop myself from having just a few more bites! My family loved it too! Thanks

  • This was absolutely delicious. But I do agree the spices need to be at least doubled if not tripled But I’m definitely saving this recipe

  • I made this for my husband and me. Don’t follow the measurements of the spices, triple them. I tasted it after it had been simmering and it was very bland. But when you add more spices, holy cow is it amazing!! I did add curry at the end, because it’s weird the authentic curry recipe has no curry powder in it. Also, it calls for jalapeños, but it isn’t in the instructions. I loved using the star anise. I have never tried it before and I was surprised by how much flavor they provide! Definitely will make again!!

  • I absolutely love this recipe! But I’m sure the 12 tsp of salt in step 11 is a typo, right? I didn’t follow it of course and it was divine, just wanted to point it out

    • Hi Megan! Oh my! What a difference leaving out a little slash (/) symbol! Thank you so much for pointing that out to us. I’m sure you figured out it should be 1/2 and not 12! :). We are soooo happy you like this dish. We absolutely love it, too. So comforting! Thank you for letting us know, and we are so happy it turned out well for you (despite the typo). Recipe has been updated. Thanks again!!

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