Spicy Chicken Curry

There are so many different types of “Chicken Curry” or “Curry Chicken” recipes as there are people! As an example, in this chicken curry Indian recipe, just throw in some yogurt, mint, fenugreek leaves or even veggies and watch this dish change color and taste. Some people argue over what is authentic chicken curry, but in our opinion there is no such thing because every region has it’s own authentic chicken curry recipe.

Let’s all agree, it’s one hot and spicy Chicken Curry. Enjoy!


Skinless Chicken – 2 lbs, cut
Water – 2 cups (approx)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cinnamon stick – 2″pc
Black Cardomom – 1
Cloves – 5
Green Cardamom – 2
Bay Leaf – 2
Peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
Onions – 3, medium, chopped
Crushed Tomatoes – 1, 14 oz can
Garlic – 1 heaping tbsp, chopped
Ginger – 1 heaping tbsp, chopped
Salt – to taste
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Corriander Powder – 1.5 tsp
Green Chili – to taste (optional)
Cilantro – for garnish, finely chopped


1. Wash the Chicken and drain the excess water well.
2. Heat a pan on medium heat.
3. Once hot, add in the Oil (hold back 1 tsp for later).
4. Allow it to heat up and add in Cloves, Peppercorns, Bay leaves and Green Cardamom.
5. Fry for about 30 seconds and then add in the Onions.
6. Add a little salt to experdite the cooking process. Mix well.
7. Cook for 3-5 minutes and add in the Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilis.
8. Cook and stir frequently. Allow the Onions to brown but not burn.
9. Add in the crushed tomatoes and cook until the oil starts seperating from the mixture. Stir frequently as tomatoes tend to burn quick.
10. Once the Oil starts seperating, turn off the flame and allow the masala to cool down a bit.
11. Blend the Masala into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
12. Heat the pan once agin and add in the balance of the Oil (1 tsp).
13. Once the Oil is hot, add in the Cinnamon Stick and the Black Cardamom.
14. Cook for 30 seconds and add in Turmeric Powder.
15. Mix and add in the Masala Paste.
16. Add Red Chili Powder, Coriander powder and Cumin Powder.
17. Add a little bit of water to avoid the Powders burning and to help them mix in the Masala well.
18. Once it is well mixed, add in the Chicken and allow it to seal.
19. After the chicken has turned white, add in the desired amout of water.
20. Mix well and add Salt. Mix again.
21. Cover and cook till it is done, stirring frequently inbetween.
22. Garnish with Cilantro (and a dash of Lime Juice!).
23. Serves 6.


1. For this Chicken Curry recipe, chicken with or without bones can be used.
2. Healthiest part of the chicken is the breast but the thighs and drumsticks tend to the more tender and tastier.
3. This is a great recipe for the Fozen Masala…just throw in the chicken, water, dry spices and cook till it is done.

0 thoughts on “Spicy Chicken Curry

  1. Hi H&A, Thanks for all wonderful receipes you share with us. About a year ago, i didnt know anything about cooking, now I can cook almost everything, thanks to you both.

    Regarding this receipe, do you think we should take out bay leaves before food processing step ?

    Thanks again .. Kabir

    1. Hi Kabir,

      We’re so glad you are finding SMTC useful! Regarding the bay leaf, it is absolutely fine to grind it. Many garam masalas have bay leaves grinded into them.

  2. I’m having a hard time getting the peppercorns and cloves to blend in my processor. Any tips, or are they supposed to remain whole?

  3. Hi again, ladies:

    I made this tonight and it was amazing. I have been cooking Indian food at home for about 20 years and this was probably the best tasting dish I have ever made. I used 2 leg quarters which I skinned and separated, then cut the thighs in half making six pieces of roughly even size. We like our food quite spicy so I increased the red chili powder to a whole teaspoon. I used the extra hot one from the Indian market. I also used 4 small fresh green chilis, also from the Indian market. Really fantastic. Thanks for all the recipes on your site. I just shared your site with my daughter who is a vegetarian and lives in a neighborhood which has a lot of Indian sites an markets to buy ingredients.

  4. I just wanted to thank you all for this recipe! I’m a college student and a novice cook, and this was really easy to follow and super yummy. My parents are out of town on vacation and after eating pizza for a while it was nice to be able to cook something fresh. Cooking did take me awhile, over an hour I would say but thats just because I kept using the video and recipe for reference. Also I used fresh tomatoes as I didn’t have canned ones and the masala had a tone of sweetness to it. But hey I don’t mind, thanks again for the comprehensive recipe. I’m making it again tonight!

  5. Hello Hetal and Anuja,

    This is Remya from England.I have tried this recipe yesterday…..wow wow awesome
    My husband asked me so many times to make this gravy kind of chicken curry. so I tried many times but that doesn’t came out well. But this time I have got fabulous comment from my husband Because of you ladies. Thank you so much Hetal and Anuja.

  6. Hi
    Hetal and Anuja,
    I have tried lot of ur recipes and they all turned good every time. Ur website is really good. One thing about ur recipes that they always turns out good and testy. Pls keep posting new recipes always.

  7. I have to say, I am really picky, and this recipe worked quite well. I’m making it again tonight which is why I’m here. I also liked the fact that there was no yogurt or ghee, or other dairy in it, and it still tasted amazing.

  8. Hello Anuja and Hetal,

    First off let me say thank you for this wonderful website. I am a fan and a die-hard follower.

    My question for you is as follows:

    I want to make several jars of the masala paste (described in steps 2-11 above) and freeze it for future use. This way, I hope to cut down on the cooking time for the chicken to some extent.

    Do you think it is possible to do so? Also, should I just make the masala paste and freeze them as is or should I alter the recipe in some way to make sure the masala paste keeps in the freezer?

    Thank you so much!


  9. After leaving graduate school and cooking 20 years back, I am now a student again living away from family and cooking again. Your recipe and videos have hooked me into cooking. May I give suggestions how to improve your teaching?

    To make a good dish we need to understand why you do certain steps. For example, you ask to fry turmeric powder in oil briefly but not corriander or cumin powder. Why? Most Indians don’t fry turmeric powder. Why should ingredients go in certain order? Why certain ingredients?

    I know you have time limitation. But for those of us who are interested in “science behind” your dishes, you can spend a bit of time at the end of the video to explain some of these concepts. I believe that information will make us better cooks, we return often to your sites, and our dishes will be liked around and more traffic to your website.


    1. Hi SM,

      Thank you for your valuable feedback and suggestions. We will keep them in mind for future videos. To answer your question… we add turmeric into hot oil because it removes the “raw” flavor immediately. Also, turmeric mixed with oil spreads across the dish more efficiently then sprinkled over the top, where it may clump and stick to only one portion of the dish. This prevents over-mixing, especially for dry dishes.

  10. Great recipe. When would you add the yogurt if i wanted to add some in my next dish?

    Same goes for the mint or the fenugreek leaves?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      You can add yogurt to this recipe by using it to marinate the chicken. You can also add mint and some spices like red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, etc with the yogurt. Dried fenugreek leaves can be added to the onion, tomato mixture after its been cooked and before adding the chicken.

      1. I actually ended up adding some leftover reduced-fat sour cream to this dish, and it turned out exactly like “restaurant” chicken curry does… only without the gazillion calories! My (white) husband actually liked it better than the usual stuff we order in, and that’s quite a compliment. We find that sour cream holds up better than yogurt does if you’re comparing the lower-fat versions of each: yogurt tends to separate more easily than sour cream does, but the taste ends up being quite similar.
        Thanks for such a great recipe! This is a keeper!

  11. I tried this recipe and it turned out phenomenal. It’s a very healthy version and I thank you for it!

    Washington DC

  12. Hello there,

    Thanks a lot for the fabulous work. My spicy chicken curry tastes yummy and is easy and straightforward to make.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. thanx hetal for ur reply….i wud lastly ask for crushed tommatoes do we need to first boil them…remove the skin of tomatoes n den crush them or straight away?

    1. Hi Madiha,

      Its really a personal preference. If we are running short on time, we just run fresh tomatoes (skin and all) in the food processor. The canned crushed tomatoes usually are blanched and have the skin removed. It doesn’t make a huge difference. The color is intensified if you do blanch them and remove the skin.

  14. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    i was wondering if we can use the tomato puree(paste) wich we get in small boxes in stores….i hope it will work out…??

    1. Hi Madiha,

      Technically, yes you can use tomato puree. However, the crushed tomatoes will have a different taste and texture than tomato sauce or tomato paste. You best substitute would be to crush fresh tomatoes in a food processor and use them.

  15. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    I made this last night and everyone thought it was FANTASTIC. Here in Wales, UK we love our curries and often go out for a balti but we will be staying in and working our way through your fantastic recipes. You are SO CLEVER!!!!! Many thanks. It was tasty an the chicken was the most tender we have ever cooked in this curry way. ‘Diolch yn fawr’ Means thanks very much in Welsh.

      1. You are more than welcome. I have made it again since and plan to make this curry and a vegetable (yet to decide which) for 40 people at a quiz night this weekend. I will of course be telling everyone where they can also discover your fabulous cuisine!!!
        Many thanks, again.
        PS any suggestions for the vegetable curry (medium)??

        1. Hi Clive,

          You can try Sukhi Bhaji. It is a really flavorful dry potato dish that will go well with the chicken. Of course, Palak Paneer is always a big hit as well.

        2. Hi Hetal,
          you are so good to answer. You must spend so much time doing this. The party was great and your curry was fantastic, again. I gave out the website details and I’m sure others will be coming here.

          Will try Sukhi Bhaji next weekend

          Many thanks,

  16. Hi,
    I tried the recipe. It turned out well..
    This was my first attempt at cooking. πŸ™‚

    The taste as expected was good.
    However, I need one advise… the chicken dint turn out to be tender.. it was tough!

    It was a good broiler.. It was cooking well, getting tender till the time i added water.. then it became hard..instead of “flowering” and getting soft, it kind of shrunk and became stony…

    can u pls advise me how to handle this in the future…


  17. I am an expat living in Central America. I was tired of the usual cooking and was missing the great flavours of the Indian restos I love in my home town in Canada. I found your website and am making all kinds of your recipes. I can’t get some of the spices but try my best. I have made curries for years but it is through following your videos that I have been able to get those subtle layers of flavour that I love so much. This chicken being my favourite.

    Good luck with Food Network. I have been voting for you!!!

  18. Hi Hetal n Anuja

    a quick question… how do you suggest to store the canned pureed/crushed tomato after opening it once? since most of them dont come with a lid and the metal cover starts to get rusted. any tip?


  19. I just found your website a few days ago and I am surprised with the practical and easy way you explain the recipes. Nothing complicated or elaborated. You guys are AWESOME!!! Thanks to you I have a SUPER dish to give to my visits. Also, I am translating this recipe to my sister and sending the spices to her in Mexico so she can try it too. I know she will love it. My next goal is to prepare and try the Pani-Puri. Muchas gracias muchachas!!!

  20. Hi Guys, Just made the spicy scandal chicken.. and have to say that it is the best chicken dish I have ever made…
    Since I anyway had to blend the masala, I used the blender to chop the onions and the tomatoes (like them fresh!) so no hassles… just simple.. easy… and convenient…
    Thank you guys

  21. Hey, just made this recipe for my girlfriend tonight… turned out absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe and for your hard work.

  22. dear hetal and anuja,

    just wanted to write in and thank yall sooooo much for this wonderful recipe..had guests over for dinner and i made it.. i was soo worried about how it would turn out but guess what it was a hit!!! im alll happy and smiling now..its 3am here in bahrain and the party is just done.. thought i must thank u lovely ladies before im off to bed..thankss so much.. πŸ™‚


    1. Hi Nisha,

      Thanks for taking the time to write to us at 3 am! That’s really sweet! We’re so glad your dinner party was a success. Now, get some sleep! πŸ™‚

  23. Hi Anuja & Hetal,
    can you use the same recipe for Mutton(goat meat)?
    My husband loves goat meat & I haven’t found any restaurant kind of mutton recipe.Please oblige

  24. Hi both,

    Just a request. When you provide a recipe, please try to do it for 2 persons or 4. It’s difficult to converge from 6 to 1 but it’s easier to extrapolate from 1 person to 6 persons. In this age, there are not many joint families, instead people are more alone or with a wife or girlfriend and at most, 1 or 2 child.
    Hope you will think about it. I am just asking this when it’s possible to do it.

    1. Hi kedar, living on my own I had the same issue, wasted a lot of good food so bought a small freezer. I often work late,so always have a good supply of yummy food in meal sized portions to shove in the microwave. As long as I remember to take it out to defrost in the morning!!!

  25. This turned out super-awesome! Thanks a bunch for the detailed instructions! This is going to be one of my favorite chicken curry recipes!

  26. hey guys.. i tried this recipe today and it turned out excellent.. me and my husband loved it.. I just followed the same procedure but used little less spices than mentioned and in the end i put some coconut powder and left it for 5 mins and it tasted awesome..

    anyways thanks for the recipe and your effort.

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  28. Hi Anuja and hetal,

    I have a question today, about masala powders.i always have extra non veg masala powders in my pantry.just noticed couple of them got expired a month ago .Ex: best before mar-2009.what should i do now?help me.


    1. Hi Nicki,

      Spice powders do not ever really go “bad”. They usually just lose their potency. You may have to use more of it. Sometimes with fragrant spices, they will be of no use once the fragrance is gone. Just smell the powder. If it still has a good smell, you can still use it. If you don’t smell the nice aroma of spices, then you’ll have to throw it out.

  29. thanks for a great recipe!!! I am just learning to cook Indian food. my husband and i find the videos very helpful. thanks again

  30. Hi,

    This is the first video recipe I tried and I made it Saturday, Sunday, and again last night. It turned out better each time and I was able to complete it in 35 minutes the last time. It turned out delicious, and was as good as we had in most restaurants! Thank you, I will continue to try your recipes in the future.

  31. Hi,
    I am newly married and do not know how to cook to save my life. This site has been so helpful, making dishes in simple steps with very good tips. I have to say you have got me interested in cooking and am looking foward to try this recipe out.

  32. Your website is simply amazing.. your recipes and tidbits have saved me a lot of effort and keeps my husbands taste buds tantalizing

  33. On the Video, they say to add the garam masala at the point where you add in the water to the chicken (step 19 & Step 20) and add the salt.

    I just found this website by accident today and I have been watching the various videos and can’t wait to try the recipes out!! Both of you are great and make indian cooking less intimidating and easy!! Can’t wait to see what you guys show us next! :o)

  34. Just finished all the work and am simmering it now. All I have to say is WOW! I added red pepper flakes and some pickled peruvian hot peppers to increase the spice. I tasted it just a second ago and man is it good + spicy.

    The only thing I would recommend is 1/2 the cloves (unless you love clove flavored curry). They tend to overpower the other spices and take away from the subtle flavor of a damn hot curry. I’ve saved this recipe for the next time I’m in the mood for a burning ring of fire πŸ™‚

    /my $0.02c

  35. i cant wate to try it my faimley loves spicy food but i raly dont soo im going to try it but i have to say it looks delishes and u guys presents perficly!!!!!

    Anjna Sampely

  36. I’m making this right now-currently in the Masala cool down phase before putting it in the food processor. I noticed that my masala looks a little wetter than that shown in the video, even though I at least had it on the stove for 10-15 minutes after adding the tomato sauce. I think my med heat isn’t high enough.

    Also, I noticed you dropped the “add crushed tomatoes” (should be before Step 10).

    Cheers and thank you!

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