HOW TO MAKE AN EASY, SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS CHICKEN CURRY

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Are you one of those people who want to make chicken curry but are too afraid to try because you think it is complicated or too spicy and too fatty?
Let me put your mind at ease because this recipe is so easy to make.
I will show you a step-by-step method of making the tastiest, simplest, and fastest way to make chicken curry.
I will give you the recipe, and I will answer the most frequently asked questions people have about how to make chicken curry.

Is chicken curry an Indian dish? 

The answer to that is no. In fact, the word curry does not exist in the Indian vocabulary. According to the article called ” Curry Isn’t Actually From India, And We Officially Know Nothing,” by Julie R. Thomson from Huffingtonpost “British manufacturers came up with curry powder in an attempt to create a ready-made flavor that could recreate the flavors of South India that British colonists came to love.” And from another article titled “Why Shouldn’t You Ask an Indian for Curry? And a Recipe for Garam Masala”,  by Puja Thomas-Patel from Indiaphile.com, “curry is a word invented by the British back when they ruled India. It is the anglicized version of the Tamil word kari, meaning sauce and is now commonly used to describe almost any food of South Asian origin.”

“Indian cooks do not use a single spice mixture to flavor all their dishes. Instead, they mix various spices into a paste called a ‘masala,’ which varies from dish to dish and region to region:” according to BBC food.

The word curry is often used to refer to a meat or vegetable dish that is cooked in a spiced gravy or sauce with curry powder. Over the years, thanks to trade, the world was introduced to curry powder, and now each country has its own way of making a dish with curry.  

So, there is no real authentic Indian curry dish. They have a unique way of making the dish since it has become popular, but each part of India has its way of making curry. Every country has its unique way of cooking with curry, too – and one cannot compare an Indian curry or Thailand curry or African curry to one another because they all have different methods of making it. 

What is the difference between chicken curry and curry chicken?

That is an excellent question. Here is a straightforward way to explain it.

 Curry:  Curry describes the type of dish it is, so the word curry goes last. Some examples may include: 

  • Beef curry
  • Vegetable curry
  • Shrimp curry
  • Vegan curry

Chicken: The word chicken describes the type of curry. For example:

  • Chicken curry
  • Vegetable curry
  • Shrimp curry
  • Vegan curry 

The best way to explain the difference between chicken curry and curry chicken is: 

Chicken curry:  when it is mostly chicken cooked in curry sauce or gravy.

Curry Chicken: when it is mostly chicken seasoned with a little curry powder or a seasoning with curry powder on it. 

chicken curry with rice garnished with green onions
Chicken curry

raw chicken breast with yellow curry seasoning and black pepper
Curry chicken

What spices do you use when cooking chicken curry?

You can use endless combinations of spices in chicken curry. 

But in this simple recipe, we will stick to only a select few: curry powder, onions, garlic, coconut milk, and tomatoes. If you use curry powder alone as the main spice, it will not taste good. So, it is better to mix it with other flavorful spices to get the maximum flavor.

Curry powder is usually a mixture of turmeric, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, pepper, and chili powder. You can make a homemade curry powder or purchase it in mild, medium, or hot levels of heat. So, all the spices needed to make the sauce are already included in the curry powder. And that is all we need, plus some few extra ingredients to boost the flavor.

If you do not have curry powder, you can use turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, cardamom, ginger, or whatever you want. Those are the most common spices that people use. You do not have to use all the aforementioned spices; you may choose whichever you like.

If you use too many kinds of spices in curry, the taste can be overpowering, and it will not taste good. Simple is always better.

How to make the curry’s flavors penetrate deep inside the chicken and how to make the chicken soft? 

Solution #1: Cut your chicken breast thin and into small little bite-sized cubes. The bigger and thicker the meat is, the harder it is for the sauce to penetrate inside it, and it will take a long time for the chicken to cook, so it becomes more tough.  

If you are using meat with bones, use dark meat. And you must marinate the meat first, at least with salt and pepper.

Solution #2: If you are using pre-frozen meat, avoid meat that is partly frozen or too cold. The meat must be defrosted entirely and cannot have any ice in it. This applies to fresh chicken also, or else the meat will create too much water when boiling. The cook time will become very long, and the sauce will not thicken because of the water. 

I love using frozen tenderized ready to cook chicken breast because it is so tender and perfect for cooking with curry. I make sure that meat is at room temperature, and that is what I use to make my chicken curry.

Solution #3: Do not close the pan’s lid all the way; close it halfway. 

When you close the lid all the way, it creates steam, and the steam turns into water, which causes the sauce to be runny and not thick. This will also cause the meat to overcook.

Solution #4: Cook the chicken into the spices, simmer, do not use high heat, do not overcook, and do not add water. Also, do not cook for too long. 

Solution #5: Let the sauce set. Curry sauce has the best flavor when it has had the time to set. Do not leave it on the stove; the sauce will break, and chicken becomes tough. You must let it sit for at least 15 minutes before all the flavors can have time to set.

How do I make my chicken curry sauce more flavorful and thicker?

There are so many ways that you can do this. You can make the curry sauce as rich as you want.

  • If you want a richer coconut flavor, double the amount of coconut milk needed, or add coconut cream to boost the coconut flavor. 
  • To bring out the flavor and the taste of the coconut, you need to add sugar to the recipe. The tomatoes’ acidity and the curry powder’s mild bitterness mask the coconut milk’s flavor, so you need to add sugar to bring it out. 
  • You can add Greek yogurt for a creamier and thicker sauce. Greek yogurt has excellent consistency and will not curdle in the pan. It also adds acidity to the dish. Make sure you use plain Greek yogurt.
  • You can also use heavy cream or low-fat cream cheese. But you must add them last so they will not break.
  • Add some heat. You can add chilis, ginger, black pepper, or any spicy spice to raise the curry’s flavor. 
  • Use lemon or lime juice for more acidity. Vinegar also works.
  • Add butter. People also use ghee, which is an Indian butter.  
  • Lightly fry or toast the spices before adding more ingredients. All ingredients in the curry powder release essential oils when they are fried. That is why, in this recipe, you must fry the curry powder for at least two minutes before you add other ingredients. 
  • If you want a reddish color for the sauce, add tomato paste. 
  • For more intense flavor, add chicken bouillon. 

Ingredients to use in this recipe

Chicken breast: cut into small thin cubes so it can be easier for the curry sauce to penetrate the inside of the chicken. 

cubed chicken breast on a cutting board

If you use bone-in chicken, use dark meat, and season the meat first with salt and pepper or any of your favorite seasoning.

Curry powder: Curry powder is usually a mixture of turmeric, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, pepper, and chili powder. You can purchase it in mild, medium, or hot strengths.  

I use mild curry powder; my favorite brand is this Rani Curry Powder Mild Natural 10-Spice Blend. It has a great flavor and it is 100% natural.

Onions: The onions elevate the flavor of the curry and add sweetness to the sauce.

Garlic: For aromas and delicious taste.

Diced tomatoes: Use Italian style diced tomatoes if you have some, but you can also use traditional style diced tomatoes. Do not drain; its juice is what we use for cooking the chicken. 

I prefer using the Italian style diced tomatoes because the Italian seasoning in it adds a delicious taste to the sauce.

Olive oil:  Addsheat to the dish and used it for frying. 

Coconut milk: Enhances the flavor of the dish and adds excellent texture. Adds a subtle sweetness to the rich and tangy taste of the sauce.

My favorite coconut milk brand is hands down the Thai Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk. It has a very rich coconut flavor and it tastes exactly like coconut. I love it.

Sugar: Helps reduce the acidity of the tomatoes and the mild bitterness of the curry’s flavor. 

Sugar brings out the sweet taste of the coconut flavor. And it balances all the combined flavors. 

Salt and pepper to taste: For more flavor

How to make flavorful and easy chicken curry?

Here are the step by step instructions:

Step 1:  -Prepare the chicken. Trim any excess fat. Cut the meat into small thin bite-sized cubes. Set aside.

  • Chop the onions and garlic. Set aside.

Step 2: – In a heated saucepan, add olive oil and curry powder. Gently sauté the curry powder over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes to release their aromas and essential oils. This technique brings out the curry powder’s flavor more.

yellow curry powder frying in a pan
Fry the curry powder

Step 3: – Add chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute until onions have turned a little brown. Now add the chicken. Raise heat to medium-high heat. Stir and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Do not cover. Do not worry if the chicken has water. Just keep cooking over medium-high heat until moisture is almost gone. For about 7-10 minutes.

onions and garlic in a pan
Add onions and garlic
raw chicken cubed chicken breast and onions and garlic sauteed in a pan
Add chicken breast

Step 4: -Add coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Cover the lid halfway, not all the way, not all the way. Boil for a few minutes so you can be able to taste the seasonings. Add just a tiny bit of salt, sugar, and pepper to taste. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes with the lid partially closed. Keep tasting it and add more sugar and pepper if needed until you are satisfied with the flavor. 

cooked yellow chicken curry
Cooked chicken
chicken curry with diced tomatoes
Add diced tomatoes
coconut milk being poured in the chicken curry
Add coconut mild
pan with the lid closed halfway
Cover the lid partly

Step 5: Remove from the stove. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to let the sauce set and thicken. 

Step 6: Serve and Bon appetite!

What are the best side dishes to serve with chicken curry?

There are so many dishes from which you can choose. The most popular ones are rice, flatbread, bread, and potatoes. You can choose whichever you like.

Here is an easy and delicious fried rice recipe that you can pair with the chicken curry. 

What vegetables go well with chicken curry?

There are so many vegetables that go very well with chicken curry.
You can choose from potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, root veggies, spinach, squash, or white beans.
The vegetables that you want to use only depend on what you are in the mood.

HOW TO MAKE AN EASY, SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS CHICKEN CURRY

In this recipe, you will learn the quickest and easiest way to make a delicious chicken curry. This is not an Indian dish but it is so yummy. It does not require a lot of ingredients and it takes very little time to make. Bonus: it is with coconut milk.

  • 2 Pounds Boneless, skinless chicken brests (Cut into thin bite-sized cubes)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil (You can also use vegetable oil)
  • 2/3 Cup Onions (Thinly chopped)
  • 3 Garlic cloves (Chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Curry powder
  • 1 Can 14 FL OZ Coconut milk (Unsweetened, full fat)
  • 1 Can 14.5 Oz Italian style diced tomatoes (Do not drain)
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar (White)
  • Salt and pepper (To taste)
  1. Step 1:  -Prepare the chicken. Trim any excess fat. Cut the meat into small thin bite-sized cubes. Set aside. Chop the onions and garlic. Set aside.

    Step 2: – In a heated saucepan, add olive oil and curry powder. Gently sauté the curry powder over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes to release their aromas and essential oils. This technique brings out the curry powder's flavor more.

    Step 3: – Add chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minutes until onions have turned a little brown. Now add the chicken. Raise heat to medium-high heat. Stir and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Do not cover. Do not worry if the chicken has water. Just keep cooking over medium-high heat until moisture is almost gone. For about 7-10 minutes.

    Step 4: -Add coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Cover the lid halfway, not all the way. Boil for a few minutes so you can be able to taste the seasonings. Add just a tiny bit of salt, sugar, and pepper to taste. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes with the lid partially closed. Keep tasting it and add more sugar and pepper if needed until you are satisfied with the flavor. 

    Step 5: Remove from the stove. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to let the sauce set and thicken. 

    Step 6: Serve and Bon appetite!

If you want the curry to have a reddish color, you can add tomato paste.

If you want a richer coconut flavor, you can add coconut cream. The sugar helps to bring out the sweet flavor of the coconut milk.

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Emily Flint

5 stars
This recipe sounds so delicious and I love all of your tips and info. I bet this makes the kitchen smell amazing while cooking, I can’t wait to try it!

Alyssa Hixenbaugh

5 stars
I am in love with curry! It’s been my favorite dinner recently and I’m sure this chicken version would be amazing! Thank you for sharing!

Sue

5 stars
This looks scrumptious and I love how you spell out the step by steps. I will be trying this for sure.

5 stars
I always associated curry exclusively with India. Thanks for clarifying a few things! My partner loves curry, I’ll check his knowledge, but I’m sure I’m already more advanced than him!😀

Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady

5 stars
I loved how simple this recipe is! I need to try this for my family 🙂

Lindsey

Looks yummy!! Love all the detail and extra explanation of everything! You’re rocking it, girl! Can’t wait to try some of these recipes!

Anonymous

5

Katrina Crandall

I am so surprised to learn about the origin of curry! Thank you for this informative post. I absolutely love curry dishes and am glad to know more about the history now.

5 stars
I have a wonderful co worker that makes the best curry. She has her family send spices from India. She also tried teaching me how to make it, saying curry powder sold here is not great, LOL. This is a lovely recipe!

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