This North Indian chicken curry is a warming comforting dish that's easy to make, tastes delicious and is great for a homemade curry night!
This North Indian chicken curry has become one of our favourite curry recipes. I've been making it regularly for more than ten years and I almost always have all the ingredients at home that I need to make it.
All the ingredients are easy to find in the spice section in the supermarket so you don't need any unusual ingredients. They are also spices that are commonly used in lots of curry recipes so if you like curry it's definitely worth buying these individual spices.
We often have curry at least once a week and this North Indian curry is a really easy one to prepare. I often make it in advance then reheat it at dinner time. Some meals lose flavour when you heat them up again but curries just get better and better.
Ingredient notes for North Indian chicken curry
To make this easy tomato based chicken curry you will need:
- Whole spices - cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods. These add loads of flavour to the curry sauce as they are fried in the oil at the start which releases flavour into the curry.
- Aromatics - onion, ginger, garlic - You can use garlic and ginger puree instead of fresh ones if it's easier.
- Spices - turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and garam masala
- Tomatoes - You can use fresh tomatoes and blend them before adding to the curry or a tin of tomatoes.
- Chicken - Ideally I would use chicken thigh meat but my family prefer breast. Use whichever you prefer.
- Green pepper - Feel free to miss it out or even add a different vegetable or selection of vegetables instead.
How to make North Indian chicken curry
This curry is a very simple one to make and ideal if you are not used to cooking curries.
First heat a little oil in a saucepan. When it is hot, add the whole spices and fry for about 30m seconds. When they start to smell fragrant, add the diced onion. Stir fry gently for a few minutes.
Stir in the crushed garlic and grated ginger. Then the turmeric, chilli powder and coriander. If the pan seems too dry add a tablespoon of water. Stir fry for a minute and then add the tomatoes, followed by the chicken.
Bring the pan up to the boil but then lower immediately to a simmer. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.
How can you adapt this curry?
This is a great curry recipe for our kids too as it's not too hot and spicy. Of course, you can add a few extra chilli peppers to give it more of a kick or serve some fresh sliced chillies on the side so it suits the whole family.
You can also adapt it by making it with lamb instead of chicken. If I make it with lamb I use the same method but I cook it in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low so the meat is really tender. Alternatively you can cook it in the pressure cooker for 22 minutes. If you wanted to pressure cook it with chicken it would only need about 8 minutes.
You can even miss the meat out altogether and just add lots of vegetables and chickpeas. It's a really versatile curry recipe that is easy to make your own!
What can you serve with this North Indian chicken curry?
I usually serve this curry with plain basmati rice. It's quick to cook and the sauce from the chicken adds loads of flavour anyway. It's also great with Indian breads such as naan to mop up all that sauce. These nigella seed flat breads are one option I occasionally make.
Storing and freezing this curry
This curry is a great recipe for batch cooking. It easily serves six people so if you are a smaller family there are leftovers for the next day anyway. I love leftover curry!
You can keep any leftovers in the fridge in a covered container for up to three days. Reheat either in the microwave or in a saucepan until piping hot. You may need to add a splash of water if you are reheating in a saucepan so that it doesn't go dry.
Alternatively you can freeze any leftovers or even just make this chicken curry as a freezer meal to eat later. You can freeze this curry for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before eating. Then reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan.
The recipe is from Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand.
North Indian Chicken Curry
- 7 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 7 cardamom pods
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 3 tablespoon fresh ginger finely diced or grated
- 9 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
- 4 tomatoes pureed, or a 400g tin of tomatoes
- 900 g chicken ideally on the bone
- 1 green pepper sliced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Fry the whole spices in oil for about 20 seconds. Then add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the ginger and garlic, then the powdered spices (except garam masala), then the tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken and brown for a few minutes. Add the peppers if you're using them. Then cover with water, bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
- Stir in the garam masala at the end. Serve with rice.
More tasty chicken curry recipes
I love all curries and here are a few more of the chicken curry recipes you can find on this site.
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this North Indian chicken curry or any of my other recipes.