Authentic Chicken Curry

Making curry at home can be a bit of trick if you’ve never done it before – but trust us, it’s worth it…

This curry is a delicious, casual meal that can be shared over a couple cold pilsners. The trick with this recipe from our friend Khalil Akhtar is to remain patient – it’s a good couple of hours from start to finish. If you take your time everything will work out just fine. It’s not complicated – you just have to try not to rush it. Thanks Khalil!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours (ish)

Photos: Adrien Sala
Recipe: Khalil Akhtar


1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion

8 chicken thighs, skinned (bones optional)

2 plum tomatoes (diced)

1 tbsp finely minced ginger

1 tbsp finely minced garlic

1/2 stick cinnamon

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric

3/4 tsp cayenne

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water

1 or 2 fresh green chillies (optional)


Chopped cilantro

2 tbsp yoghurt (optional)


Measure out all your spices and portion your veggies and meat

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan over HIGH heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, place the chicken in and sear all sides until it is lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Remove the chicken and set aside

Caramelize the onions by adding them to the same pan used for the chicken and stir them constantly until they are slightly transparent. Reduce to LOW and cover the pan

Let the onions cook for 40 minutes (this is where the patience comes in). Stirring regularly, allow the onions cook so they become very soft and a uniform golden colour

Add the ginger and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the tomato and sauté for another minute

Add the rest of the spices and salt. Sauté for a few more minutes until the spices are well blended with the tomato and onion

Add the seared chicken back to the pan and mix with spice paste

Add chillies if you’re using them

Add the water

Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook for minimum 30 minutes

Remove from heat and squeeze in the juice of an entire lemon

Spoon out the rice into a shallow bowl either on its own or over rice

Add a small spoonful of yoghurt to the curry (optional)

Chop a handful of cilantro and sprinkle it on top


  • A woman's perspective says:

    My boyfriend made this and it was delicious. The lemon was a bit weird – but didn’t interfere with the ultimate objective!

    • Adrien Sala says:

      Glad you liked it! If you find the lemon peculiar, it’ll totally still work without. I made this for a few people last night and it was a hit. It’s quickly becoming a go-to for me.

  • Mehul Teli says:

    Looks quite simple and interesting. I recently happened to stumble upon another Chicken curry recipe, Coconut chicken curry and found that really interesting as well.

  • Suzanne says:

    Been trying forever to cook curry that passes the test for my boyfriend, who was raised by an Indian chef mom. He was raving about this recipe! I made it true to your instructions with chicken (except no yogurt) and threw in scorpion pepper, then mimicked the recipe again but with egg, and added the yogurt for egg curry. Both were amazing. Thanks for posting!

  • Too Far says:

    Excellent; made it in the morning with out the chicken & let the sauce marinate, serving for supper with the chicken..

  • superman tv series 1950's says:

    Your place is valuable for me. Thanks!

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