Poornima’s Chicken Curry Recipe

Chicken Curry RecipeAnother year, another birthday, another party.  This year, as always, I formally invited the usual suspects by email and then issued invitations to other friends verbally. And again this year, as always, I lost count of the number of people I had invited.

It was the son who put his foot down five days before the event and came up to me sternly with a whiteboard and marker in his hand. I was to list down the invitees he said, or else he would not be able to lay the table properly.  And so I racked my memory (dear reader, it becomes harder with every passing year) to come up with a comprehensive list and we found that I had invited about 22 people.

The husband was very smug at this point as he had gone to the temple of Costco and had bought booze for 60 people the previous weekend. “Never knowingly Undercatered” as I have said before.

To cut a long story short I found that I had to cook about 2.5 kg of chicken curry for everyone and assorted vegetarian dishes for a couple of my vegetarian friends… not to mention that on the actual day of the party I would be in back-of-beyond Dulwich for work.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well. I marinated the chicken on Wednesday and cooked it on Thursday. The party was on Friday – so the chicken curry had enough time to mature and judging by the oohs and aahs on the night it wasn’t bad at all.

Here is my recipe – most of it made up on the spot owing to the panic of not having a suitably big container for the curry. I ended up cooking it in batches. The ingredients below are for chicken curry for 5 people.

Poornima’s Chicken Curry Recipe

Serves 5
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
A rich and spicy chicken curry with lots of onions, tomatoes and chillies.


  • 1kg chicken pieces (cut into small cubes)
  • 2 sliced onions (for the marinade)
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies (for the marinade)
  • 1 small cube of chopped ginger (for the marinade)
  • 4 cloves garlic (for the marinade)
  • 2 tbs. plain yoghurt (for the marinade)
  • 1 tbs garam masala (for the marinade)
  • 1 tbs salt (for the marinade)
  • 1 tbs. jeera dhania mix (crushed cumin and coriander) (for the marinade)
  • 1 tbs. whole cumin (for the marinade)
  • 2 tbs. sunflower oil
  • 2 cans of chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs. garam masala
  • 1 tbs. jeera dhania mix (crushed cumin and coriander)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander to garnish


I normally use a copper-based kadhai for frying the chicken as I believe it really adds to the taste.


Step 1
Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the chicken. Mix thoroughly and marinate overnight in a fridge.
Step 2
Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge a couple of hours before you start to cook.
Step 3
In a frying pan or a wok heat up 1 tbs. of sunflower oil and add the marinated chicken to it.
Step 4
Fry until all the chicken pieces turn whitish - you are doing this to seal the marinade into the chicken pieces. Keep aside.
Step 5
Heat up 1 tbs. of oil in another saucepan and when it's hot add in the garlic, chillies and the onions. Fry till the onions are soft and brown.
Step 6
Now put in the tinned tomatoes, the masalas and turmeric and mix until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes.
Step 7
Add in the chicken and mix.
Step 8
Pour in the water and cook on simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Step 9
Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rice.