Basic Chicken Curry

Chicken curry is a staple of any modern Indian kitchen. Using a delicious tomato base and aromatic spices, this recipe brings diversity through taste. The end result is balanced yet complex. This dish pairs great with basmati rice or naan. If the dish comes out to spicy, make a simple cucumber raita to cool down the flavors. 

Serves: 4 

Time to complete: 40 minutes

Spice Level: Moderate



  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, Finely Grated 
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, Finely Grated
  • 5 Medium Roma Tomatoes, Diced (This can be substituted for one 8oz can of diced tomatoes) 
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ Tsp Garam Masala (This is spicy, reduce to accommodate taste)
  • ½ Tsp Red Chili Powder (This is spicy, reduce to accommodate taste)
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • ½ Tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ Cup Cilantro Finely Chopped for Garnish
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt to Taste


  1. Cut chicken thighs into small pieces. Approximately 1” cubes. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine ginger and garlic. Stir until a paste forms.
  3. Using a medium to large sized pan, heat oil over medium heat. 
  4. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds. Stir until audibly sizzling. Watch closely as cumin seeds can burn quickly, char, and smoke.
  5. Add chopped onions to pan and saute for two minutes.
  6. Add ginger, garlic paste to onion. Saute for 4 minutes until onions are soft and lightly browned.
  7. Add tomatoes to pan. Stir curry for 3 to 5 minutes or until the tomatoes release their liquid. Be mindful that the curry might stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  8. Add 1 or 2 tsp of water to release the curry. Repeat step if curry continues to stick. Continue to stir.
  9. Add turmeric powder, garam masala, red chili powder, cumin powder and stir thoroughly for 1 minute.
  10. Add tomato paste and stir until fully incorporated about 3 minutes. 
  11. Add chicken pieces to curry and stir for 3 minutes until coated well. 
  12. Cover the pan with a lid and lower heat to medium-low. Cook covered for 10 to 12 minutes. The chicken should be tender and will break apart easily. 
  13. Remove curry from heat and garnish with cilantro. Salt to taste. Serve with naan, white rice or lightly buttered bread. 

* release food stuck on the bottom of the pan

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