A deeply aromatic and flavourful chicken curry served with roti and cucumber raita is perfectly suited for fuss-free weeknight cooking.
“What are we eating for dinner?” is probably my most dreaded question and I get it every day from my kids. It’s like they live for dinner and to be honest, there are too many days where I wish cereal was an appropriate dinner. Luckily I have fail-safe, tried and tested recipes that are quick and fuss-free. Perfect for busy weeknights or days when cooking dinner is the last thing you want to do.
This glorious easy chicken curry recipe has been in regular rotation over the last few weeks because I love curry and because it really is very quick and easy to throw together. I use whatever chicken I have in the fridge/freezer and have served it with a simple drizzle of Greek yoghurt, steamed jasmine rice, a chopped salad and even toasted pitas to mop up the delectable sauce. It really depends on how much time I have to prepare the accompaniments.
The curry itself though takes approximately 10 minutes to get going before you can cover it and leave it to simmer away for 20 minutes while you bathe the kids/take a shower/pour yourself wine/pour yourself more wine. It also makes for fabulous feasting when you’re entertaining a crowd because this recipes doubles beautifully. Add pillowy naan bread, an arrangement of raitas and a big bowl of chopped salad and you have a casual, delicious meal. But make sure you have enough left-over because this stuffed in a roti with some raita the next day makes for a mighty fine lunch.
How do you make a simple chicken curry?
Sear chicken pieces (you can use bone-in pieces or cubed chicken breast) in a large, deep frying pan or skillet set over high heat. Allow to cook until chicken is golden brown all over then remove and set aside. Sauté onions, garlic and ginger until soft and fragrant then add spices. I like using a Garam Masala boosted with some added paprika and chili flakes. You can use a combination of spices you have (coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon) or use a curry powder or masala mix of your choice. Allow the aromatics to cook for a minute then add the tomatoes, stock and cream. Canned tomatoes will result in a darker curry while fresh tomatoes will make for a lighter curry sauce. Add the seared chicken pieces and season to taste. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
What are the ingredients in chicken curry?
There are many different variations of chicken curry but the ingredients for this easy chicken curry are:
- Aromatics like onion, garlic and ginger.
- Spices: Garam Masala, paprika, red pepper flakes (chilli flakes) and ground cinnamon.
- Chopped tomatoes.
- Chicken stock/broth.
- Chicken pieces or chicken breast, cubed.
- Salt, pepper and sugar (optional).
What should I serve with curry?
- Buttery roti.
- Naan bread.
- Steamed Basmati/Jasmine rice.
- Cucumber raita (you can use other vegetables like beetroot, as well).
- Tomato cucumber salad
- Crispy poppadoms.
Easy weeknight chicken curry with cucumber yoghurt and roti
- 12 pieces chicken of your choice bone in, skin on (drumsticks, thighs and wings work well)
- 1 large onions finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 5 cm piece fresh ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes / 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons sugar optional
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 150 ml cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh coriander chopped, to serve
- warmed roti to serve
for the cucumber yoghurt
- 1 cup grated cucumber
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- lemon juice salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a large, deep pan over high heat and add a splash of oil to the pan.
- Brown the chicken all over then remove and set aside.
- Add the onions to the pot and allow to soften for 5 minutes then add the ginger, garlic and spices.
- Add another splash of oil if the mixture is too dry and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken back to the pan then pour in the tomatoes, chicken stock and sugar.
- Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- After 15 minutes, add the cream and season to taste then allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve with the roti and cucumber yoghurt.