I love curries as they are often naturally wheat and gluten free. For a cold summer’s day, this makes a lovely homemade authentic chicken curry experience. This is a very simple chicken curry recipe. It really is one of the easiest chicken curry recipes out there, without the compromise on taste.
I say easy, because the only slight objection that you may have when preparing Sri Lankan food is accessing the ingredients. If you don’t live near an area that caters well for spices, then simply head to Waitrose who stock a broad range of spices. Yes spices are pricier at Waitrose, but you will leave the store with a more manageable amount of spices (instead of the bulky bags of spices that you may end up purchasing from local Indian shops).
If you struggle to find fresh curry leaves, I was ecstatic to find these in Tesco. They do make a world of difference to the final dish.
You can also manipulate the ingredients so that this turns into a mild chicken curry recipe. For example, you can skip the cayenne pepper and choose ‘mild’ curry powder from your local supermarket.
When you give this recipe a go, you’ll soon appreciate that this is one of the easiest and definitely the best chicken curry recipe. Who would ever complain about throwing a bunch of ingredients in to a pot with dinner served approximately 40 minutes later! And it’s full of flavour and spice without the bite.
This definitely is my all time favourite curry recipe!
900g chicken thigh or breast pieces
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 cardamom pods, crushed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon garlic puree
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
3 large tomatoes, diced
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ thumb sized ginger, chopped
¼ teaspoon tamarind paste
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 stalks of curry leaves
150ml coconut milk
Salt to taste
Preparing the marinade
Trim all visible fat off the chicken thighs. This is the only time consuming aspect of the recipe. It’s worth it to have a good go with a pair of kitchen scissors when you realise that nearly half the chicken is fat! In a bowl, add chicken, crushed garlic, curry powder, tomato paste, garlic puree and the lemon juice. Mix well. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
1. Add oil to a large saucepan. Add sliced red onions and fry for a couple of minutes. I would add salt at this stage as onions absorb salt well.
2. Next add in the crushed garlic, cloves, mustard seeds and tomatoes. Stir for a few seconds then add fenugreek seeds. Cook until the tomatoes create a paste like texture.
3. Tip in the chicken, stir well and add 1-2 cups of water (or enough water to completely immerse the chicken). Cook on high for 5 minutes.
4. Add cumin powder, fennel seeds, ginger, tamarind paste, cayenne pepper and cinnamon powder.
5. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
6. Uncover and add curry leaves.
7. Simmer partly covered for a further 20 minutes or until the chicken is well cooked through.
8. Stir in the coconut milk and serve with rice and a salad.