Looking for a homestyle chicken curry or chicken kuzhambu recipe? Here’s a super yummy recipe you’ve got to try!
Here’s what you’ll need:
About homestyle chicken curry
If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be rice and chicken curry hands down.
For me, this meal is the epitome of comfort food. Chicken curry is a dish that I grew up eating at home. Even when I was in college, I remember having rice and chicken curry for lunch on most days between classes.
In fact, I used to have this meal so much that I earned a special nickname from my friends: Chicken Curry. And I carry that nickname with pride!
I never met anyone as enthusiastic about chicken curry as me, until I met my husband. Rice, chicken curry, and stir-fried veggies are a favorite for both of us! Match made in heaven, right?
I’ve definitely eaten my fair share of chicken curries over the years. Along the way, I started making it myself, too. I learned the basics from my mother, who learned it from my grandmother. After that, I started tweaking and experimenting in the kitchen.
Cooking chicken curry in the kitchen is one of those things that spark joy for me. The process of preparing the ingredients, taking my time to cook this humble yet divinely delicious dish, and finally, savoring the end product is a satisfying one.
I’ve cooked many, many chicken curries in my time, but somehow, I still get excited when I make and eat this dish. It just brings me back to my childhood, back to my roots, and that’s an immensely comforting feeling.
I’m super psyched to be sharing this Indian chicken curry recipe with you! I hope this meal brings you as much joy as it brings me.
Why opt for homestyle curry?
When you order chicken curry at a restaurant, you usually get a rich, fatty curry with a thick layer of oil floating on top. As delicious as that is, it isn’t the healthiest curry. The best thing about cooking at home is that you can control what goes into your food.
My family tends to use less oil for our home style chicken curry. But trust me, this recipe doesn’t skimp on flavor or taste! This chicken curry is DELICIOUS.
What is the secret to a good curry?
The base of any good curry is nicely browned onions. It’s tempting to just sauté the onions for a minute or so, and get on with the recipe, but this is a cardinal sin when it comes to Indian cooking!
Browning those onions is an important step, so be patient. Trust me, your patience will be handsomely rewarded.
Ingredients for homestyle chicken curry
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this thick, delicious curry:
I use 25oz/700g of bone-in chicken pieces for this recipe. I prefer using drumsticks, thighs, and/or wings as they become incredibly tender and succulent when cooked in a curry like this. Cut the chicken into equal sized pieces.
2. Ginger-garlic paste
You can get this at your local Indian grocer, or you can make it at home. Just peel and chop equal amounts of ginger and garlic, pop them into a blender, and blitz. You can store this paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I use several whole and ground spices in this recipe, namely:
4. Curry leaves
These small yet flavor-packed leaves are a staple in South Indian cooking. These may be hard to find, depending on where you live, but try asking your local Indian grocer whether they have this. Trust me, it’s worth the effort!
My husband LOVES devouring the potatoes in my chicken curry! As the curry simmers, these potato chunks soften and absorb all that delicious gravy. They’re like soft (but delicious) pillows full of flavor that you can bite into, YUM.
You can skip the potatoes when you’re in a pinch (as I have done many times before), but they are really worth adding!
6. Grated coconut
For this recipe, I blend grated coconut with water to form a coconut paste, which I then add to my homestyle chicken curry. This helps to thicken the curry, and makes it extra creamy!
This is my favorite herb of all time! It’s popularly known as cilantro in the States, but here in Malaysia, we call it coriander. I use it generously to garnish all the Indian dishes I cook at home.
Yes, it provides a beautiful pop of color, but beyond that, it also adds a wonderful aroma and fresh flavor to this curry.
You can use both the leaves on top and the stems at the bottom for this. Just wash thoroughly with water before coarsely chopping.
How to make homestyle chicken curry
This chicken curry is beginner-friendly and easy to make! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make it:
1. Temper whole spices.
Heat oil in a non-stick pot on medium high before adding cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Fry for about 1 minute.
2. Add aromatics.
Add the onions, chili, and curry leaves. Sauté until onions brown, around 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and ground spices.
On medium-low heat, add tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, and ½ tsp salt. Once the tomatoes soften, add the curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, and 2 tbsp water. Mix well and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
4. Blend grated coconut.
While the spices are cooking, put the grated coconut, and ¼ cup water into a blender. Blend to form a smooth paste.
5. Add chicken and other ingredients.
Then, add the chicken, ½ cup water, the coconut paste, and 1½ tsp salt. Mix well and simmer on low for 5 minutes, before adding the potatoes. ½ cup water doesn’t seem like much, but chicken tends to release water as it cooks, so you don’t want to add too much liquid at this stage.
6. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes.
Cover the pot and cook for another 20 – 25 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
7. Garnish the homestyle chicken curry.
Finally, taste and add more salt if needed before garnishing with chopped cilantro.
How to serve homestyle chicken curry
My favorite food combo is definitely rice, chicken curry, and veggies! You’ve got your carbs from the rice, protein from the chicken, and all that yummy goodness from the veggies. It’s the perfect, well-balanced meal that’ll leave you feeling super satisfied.
Here are some dishes that go great with this homestyle chicken curry:
How to store leftovers
When it comes to curry, I’m always excited for leftovers! As every curry lover knows, curry tastes even better the next day. The flavors have had more time to mingle and they’re just waiting to create a flavor explosion for your tastebuds!
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the the fridge for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can store it in the freezer for 1 month.
Frequently asked questions
Do you cook chicken before adding to curry?
No, you can add raw chicken to your curry. In fact, adding raw bone-in chicken and letting it cook in your curry sauce will give you’re an added boost of flavor!
How do you make creamy texture curry?
You can make your curry creamy by adding yogurt, heavy cream, or coconut cream. This also helps to thicken your curry if it has a watery consistency.
Should curry be thin or thick?
Your curry sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but it should be fluid enough to pour over a bed of rice, or dip your naan or roti into.
Will coconut milk thicken a curry?
Coconut is a great ingredient for thickening curries, whether in the form of milk, cream, or grated. Adding coconut to your curries not only helps to thicken the sauce, but also makes your curries creamier and more flavorful.
What ingredient gives curry its flavor?
Curry powder is a must-have when making curry! It’s a blend of various roasted and ground spices that add flavor and aroma to your curry. Typically, curry powder is made with spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, chili, and bay leaves.
What gives depth to a curry?
Here are 3 tips for making a great curry: brown your onions well, use fresh and aromatic spices (make sure your spices have not gone stale), and opt for bone-in meat (the bones impart great flavor to your curry).
If you’re using boneless meat or vegetables, add stock instead of water to your curry to make up for the loss of flavor.
How can I thicken my chicken curry?
If your curry is too watery, mix in some yogurt, heavy cream, or coconut milk to thicken the sauce. Keep in mind that you’re adding additional liquid here, so taste your curry and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Why does my curry taste harsh?
Your curry can taste off if the spices, garlic, or onions are burnt. When tempering whole spices and browning onions, keep a close eye on your pot. Avoid turning up the heat and leaving your pot unguarded.
Otherwise, the burnt flavor will permeate through your dish, giving it an unpleasant taste.
Is garam masala the same as curry powder?
No. Garam masala and curry powder are not the same. Curry powder is usually added early on in the cooking process, as it requires time for the flavor to develop. Garam masala, on the other hand, is typically added towards the end to add aroma to the dish.
How can I make chicken curry taste better?
If your chicken curry tastes bland, here are a few tips to spruce it up:
- Add more seasoning. Does it need more salt? Or perhaps more heat? Add salt, black pepper, or chili flakes (this isn’t traditional, but it’s a quick and easy way to add some heat to your curry) as required.
- Add fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Fresh herbs like cilantro and mint, and some lemon/lime juice will add bright, citrusy notes to your curry and make it more flavorful.
- Sprinkle some garam masala over your chicken curry to amp up its flavor and aroma.
Homestyle Chicken Curry Recipe
- 25oz (700g) bone-in chicken pieces
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 red chili, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup grated coconut
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Heat oil in a non-stick pot on medium high before adding cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds. Fry for about1 minute.
- Next, add the onions, chili, and curry leaves. Sauté until onions brown, around 8 to 10 minutes.
- On medium-low heat, add tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, and ½ tsp salt. Once the tomatoes soften, add the curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, and 2 tbsp water. Mix well and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
- While the spices are cooking, put the grated coconut, and ¼ cup water into a blender. Blend to form a smooth paste.
- Then, add the chicken, ½ cup water, the coconut paste, and 1½ tsp salt. Mix well and simmer on low for 5 minutes, before adding the potatoes. Cover the pot and cook for another 20 – 25 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- Finally, taste and add more salt if needed before garnishing with chopped cilantro.
Homestyle chicken curry is a great option for a hearty meal with your family. Serve a big pot of this curry, with rice and raita on the side, and watch as your family DEVOURS their meal.
People are often intimidated by the idea of making chicken curry at home, but this simple chicken curry recipe is easy to make and pretty much foolproof!
If you love Indian takeaway, especially a good curry, then try making this at home. When you make it yourself, you’re in complete control over how much salt and oil you use.
Enjoy a healthier curry without compromising on flavor – that’s the beauty of homestyle chicken curry!