Friends, weeknights don’t get any easier than this easy delicious chicken curry. You also don’t have to use a box mix of spices either. I am sharing my go-to chicken curry recipe that is always on our menu. I have two kids, so I know how schedules can get hectic especially during the week. But that does not mean your quick dinner has to boring. Chicken curry is great for meal prepping because it always tastes even better the next days and the chicken stays moist in the sauce.
This style of chicken curry is from Pakistan and Northern India. So there is no coconut milk/cream or yogurt. The delicious thick gravy is made from onions and fresh tomatoes. This dish is also called chicken karahi, which is a word for cooking pot that is similar to a wok. There are many variations of this dish depending on the region. Each family will have their own way of making this dish.
Like I have mentioned before South Asian dishes have so much flavor from the aromatics that are used in most dishes. The base is often started with onions, fresh garlic, ginger and tomatoes.
Usually I would use bone in chicken but today I used chicken thighs. I have also made this dish with chicken breast and tenders. It really just depends on what I have on hand. I also used 3 small tomatoes and purred them. You don’t have to puree the tomatoes if you don’t care to see tomato skin in the curry. You could also do 2 large tomatoes. Always remember if you add more of onions and tomatoes to make a thick gravy. You always have to make sure you have enough oil for the mixture to cook in. Sometimes that is a common mistake made not enough oil. The technique for South Asian cooking is for onions/tomatoes/spices to really saute in the oil.
As always you can omit the green chili and the chili powder if you don’t want any heat in the curry. There is still so much flavor with the other ingredients/spices. I always add less chili powder and usually omit the fresh chili pepper because of the kids. Spices are very basic and are readily available. I always like to use a neutral oil for South Asian cooking. Today I used light olive oil which is good for high cooking temperatures. You could also use Avacado oil, canola oil, ghee.
We always enjoy this curry with chapatis, rice or naan.
EASY CHICKEN CURRY
- 6 chicken thighs cut into cubes (about 2 lbs. also do chicken breast or tenders)
- 1 med. onion (chopped)
- 3 small/med tomatoes (pureed)
- 4-5 garlic cloves (minced. I grate it)
- small piece of ginger grated about 1 tsp.
- 1 green chili chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 2 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1/4 tsp. tumeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. red chili powder (optional use more or less depending on how hot it is)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup neutral oil. I used light olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- Fresh cilantro
- 1/8 tsp. dry fenugreek optional (brings a amazing flavor)
- Use a heavy-bottomed pan. On med heat.
- Heat oil. Add onions. Let saute til light golden brown. Take about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic,ginger,cumin seeds & chopped green chili. Saute for about 10 seconds. The garlic and ginger can easily burn keep eye on it.
- Add chicken saute for about 1 minute. Quick sear on all sides.
- Add tomatoes and powdered spices, mix well.
- Heat still on med. Let it cook til most water evaporates. Keep checking to make sure not sticking to pan. Turn heat lower if needed.
- After about 10 minutes. Oil will rise and kind of separate from tomato/onion mixture. Saute for another few minutes. Keep heat lower because as the water has evaporated it will stick to pan.
- Add 1/2 cup water to make more gravy. You can add a little more or less, depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro. Rub the fenugreek leaves in palm than add as garnish