Authentic Chicken Curry

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Authentic Chicken Curry is, without doubt, one of our 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.  And it makes the perfect weeknight dinner!

Authentic chicken curry in an orange bowl


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!  Curry has such an amazing history and steeped in culture!

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


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. 

Some of  our other favorite curry dishes include:

One bite of this Authentic Curry Chicken dish, and we’re pretty certain you’ll be a believer in good-quality curry.

An orange bowl filled with basmati rice and authentic curry chicken

Authentic chicken curry in an orange bowl

Authentic Chicken Curry

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).
4.96 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
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: 280kcal


  • 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


  • Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until they start to crackle, about 3 minutes.
  • Use a spice grinder, or a coffee bean grinder, and grind the toasted seeds.
  • 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.
  • Add the chicken to the bowl and stir to coat evenly.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  • In a saute pan, over high heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Add the chicken and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  • Remove the star anise and bay leaves, and discard.
  • Transfer to serving bowl, and top with cashews and cilantro.
  • Serve with basmati rice (recipe below)


  • 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!)
  • Fill up the bowl 1 more time and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the rice.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water, a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
  • 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.
  • Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Fluff with fork.
  • *Technique and recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira.



Calories: 280kcal
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  • I found this recipe a few years back and tonight I’ll be making this chicken curry for probably the 50th time! It has become a family favorite that we enjoy once or twice a month. Always doubled for leftovers and tastes even better the next day for lunch!

    • Hi Caleb! Yay!! We are so so thrilled you have been making our chicken curry recipe and enjoying it!! It’s really one of our all-time favorites and we are overdo for making it again! We just recently did a chicken korma that is out of this world and fun to prepare. Here’s the link to the recipe if you’re interested! Thank you so much for sharing and please stay in touch!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Oh my goodness this recipe was delicious!!! This was my first time making curry chicken and this recipe ensured that it won’t be my last! So easy to follow and my 3 young children are their whole plates! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    • Hi Lauren! Woo hoo!!! We are THRILLED you made the chicken curry and had such great success with it!!! And huge WIN the kiddos even enjoyed it!! Bravo!!!! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the awesome review. That means the world to us! Please stay in touch!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I rarely follow a recipe to the letter. this one seemed right to me, so i did. granted, i’m not greek nor have i ever been to greece, but the recipe read like it tasted good. that’s an understatement. this was great rice that accompanied some pretty good greek chicken and salad. so good that this rice could be an entree on its own. thanks!

    • You just made our week! We are so so happy you had such great success with our chicken curry recipe. That is truly one of our all-time favorites, too. Thank you so much for letting us know and for the AWESOME review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I’m sure this is delicious, but it is NOT authentic! Curry powder is NEVER used in ANY authentic Indian dish, it was invented by the British to vaguely capture Indian flavors. To be authentic, you’d need to start with garam masala, available at any grocery store.

  • 5 stars
    WOW!…Amazing!!… I’ve been procrastinating for years of making Chicken Curry. I followed your instructions to the “T”. Guys!!! You absolutely NAILED IT

    • Hi Johnny! So sorry for the delayed response here, but we are so thrilled you had such great success with our chicken curry recipe! That is without a doubt one of our all-time favorite dishes! Thank you so much fo letting us know about your success with the dish and for the wonderful review! That honestly means the world to us! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hi Kris! I’ve got my chicken marinating in the fridge right now (already smells good raw haha). I didn’t have any fillets, just a whole chicken. It was difficult to cut up and take the skin off but I bet it’s worth it. I have a question, so I’m allergic to tomato (didnt realise it was in the recipe but I’m only mildly allergic). Can I substitute with anything? If not, not to worry! I’ll take a couple antihistamines before I eat, I love tomato so I do actually do that occasionally haha
    Thanks! I’m so excited to eat it

    • Hi Hannah!! Please forgive the delayed response here!!! This dish is so loaded with flavor, you could omit the tomato and it will still be delicious! Let us know how it turned out!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Omgoodness!!! I’m making this now as week speak snd it smells like India.. the spices.. the chicken taste so good I’m trying to stop eating the chicken lol then I made lamb snd chicken somasas and naan bread .. it reminds of how my mum would make it.. she never measured anything, but it taste exactly like hers..

    • Hi Kourtney!! Woo hoo!!!! You have no idea how much this fills our hearts with joy! We are thrilled you had such great success with our chicken curry recipe and that it brought such beautiful memories for you!! Sounds absolutely heavenly!! Thank you for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That truly means everything to us!! Please stay in touch! All the very best, Kris & Wesley

  • Does the recipe call for 1/2 cup unsweetened canned or refrigerated coconut milk? (And if canned, whole or light?)

    Do you two have any ideas of what to serve for dessert?

    And lastly, do you think doubling this recipe would serve a crowd of 10?

    Thank you so much you two! We so love and adore you in this household!

    • Hi Bri!! We are SO SORRY for the delayed response!!! We usually find the unsweetened coconut milk canned in the Asian section of our local supermarket. And we’d go with whole if you have the option. For dessert, we’re thinking of something cool and refreshing. Check out our Blueberry Buttermilk Pie! Doubling the recipe would probably feed 10 people. Maybe, bump up the amount of chicken, just to be sure.

      And thank you so much for your support! That truly means the world to us! Sending lots and lots of love back to you and your household, too!!!

  • Wow. Just wow. I wanted to cook this for my mother. She was in shock how good this was . She did not believe i made this, THANK YOU.

    • Hi Ophelia! That is so wonderful to hear! We are THRILLED you had such great success with our chicken curry recipe! We have to admit, that’s one of our all-time favorite dishes! And so so so happy you impressed your mom so much! WIN!! Thanks for letting us know and please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I made your delicious authentic chicken curry and it was so tasty and they spices added were wonderful, I served it with bananas, chutney and papadums, thank you

  • My sister and I were talking Chicken Curry yesterday so I decided to find a different less labor intensive recipe than my normal one. I had everything on hand and though I only marinated my chicken for a little over an hour this recipe was great!! I look forward to trying others on your site!!

    • Hi Margaret!! That is so awesome to hear!! We are thrilled you loved our chicken curry recipe!! It’s definitely one of our all-time favs, for sure!! Thanks so much for letting us know!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I’ve made this 2 times already, mostly exactly following the recipe. It has received a thumbs up from my Indian partner. I’ve followed recipes that his mom shared and they didn;t quite reach the depth of flavor I get from this one. This is also a recipe that is better served the next day, letting all the flavors meld, making those of us that cook everyday get a day off 🙂

    • Hi Peter! We can’t even begin to tell you how much it means us to hear this! We are so thrilled you (and especially your partner!) loved our chicken curry recipe. So glad you had success with it and we agree, it just gets better the next day! Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That truly means the world to us!! Stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I have enjoyed varied forms of chicken curry from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England and Jamaica, etc. over the years. I have personally cooked it only a very few times because it seemed so labor intensive. I must say that your recipe was a joy to cook and was 100% authentic in taste, appearance and texture. I received accolades from happy guests! Thank you!

    • Hi there! You have no idea how happy this makes us to hear! We are HUGE fans of Indian food and especially anything curry. I worked on this recipe for a long time because we wanted to get it just right. We are thrilled to hear you had such great success with the recipe! Thank you so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review! That truly means the world to us!! Stay in touch!! All the very best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Hello from San Francisco!
    This recipe is perfect. I was making a different kind of chicken curry, which was OK but took too long, and for some reason I could never get it just right. This recipe is relatively simple, but combines wonderful flavors and you end up with a curry that’s better than some restaurants I’ve been to 🙂 Thanks so much.
    I should mention one tweak: I used mustard oil instead of butter. It added a bit of a spicy kick.
    Also, for those out there using a cast iron pan and electric range, you might bring the heat down to medium high instead of high when cooking the onions, etc.
    Thanks again gentlemen!

    • Hi Chris! You have no idea how happy you have just made us! We worked on that recipe for a long time until we feel like we got it just right. So to hear that you loved it, too, just fills our hearts with joy. Thanks so much for letting us know, and the mustard oil sounds awesome!! Thanks again!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    This has been (and probably always will be) the only Indian chicken curry I make for my family and I. Its simple yet booms with so many flavors. Ive made this recipe around 3 dozen times. Its absolutely perfect and always a big hit!

    • Steven! You have no idea how happy you have made us!! We worked hard to get that recipe to a place that we love, too, so to hear that you are loving it so much, just couldn’t make us any happier. Thank you so much for letting us know and for the great review. That means the world to us!! Best, Kris & Wesley

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