Easy weeknight chicken curry with cucumber yoghurt

A deeply aromatic and flavourful chicken curry served with roti and cucumber raita is perfectly suited for fuss-free weeknight cooking.

easy chicken curry

“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.

easy chicken curry

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.
  • Cream.
  • 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 chicken curry

Curry recipes

  1. Creamy shrimp curry
  2. Cauliflower korma curry
  3. Coconut curry chicken thighs
  4. Butter chicken curry
easy chicken curry

Easy weeknight chicken curry with cucumber yoghurt and roti

A deeply aromatic and flavourful chicken curry served with roti and cucumber raita is perfectly suited for fuss-free weeknight cooking.
4.56 from 69 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken curry, Chicken curry recipe, Indian chicken curry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6


  • 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.



Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 431mg | Potassium: 897mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 10.5mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1.6mg

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  1. I’ve made this twice now and the 2nd time by far was better than the first. Mind you, I do not know how to build flavor profiles so the changes that were made to elevate this recipe to a 5 were pure luck. The first time we made this it was ok. My first true curry experience so I didn’t really know what to expect. My 15yo daughter thought it tasted “off”. She didn’t care for the cinnamon. Fast forward to last night. I have a Thai exchange student so I’ve been experimenting with different recipes to give her a taste of home, including curries and remembered this as my first attempt. This time I opted to omit the cinnamon per my daughter’s wishes and made as is, but adding only one can of petite diced tomatoes I had on hand (instead of two). My exchange student gave it a taste and we both thought it was lacking in flavor. She asked if we could add fish sauce. I said sure thing, I mean I want her to enjoy the dish, right?! With the addition of the fish sauce and omitting the cinnamon, this dish was absolutely amazing!! So much so, I’m here commenting which I never do because I just have to sing it’s praises!! My sauce was a bit thin but after simmering and sitting for an hour, and even more so today, it did thicken. However the flavors were so damn good a thin sauce did nothing to hinder it. I specifically used 8 chicken legs since that’s what I had in the freezer and I accidently added the cream early (with the chicken stock) so I thought that was the cause of the bland flavor. But nope!! Just give it time to simmer and build on the flavor profiles and you will have a beautiful dish! The best way to describe this dish is sophisticated flavors with simple ingredients!! IThank you!!

  2. Hi! I just wanted to know instead of cream, can I use yogurt? And if so, how much yogurt can I use. I have the whole milk yogurt and I don’t have cream for this recipe.

  3. Made this last night using a masala mix made by a Hindi woman who works with my husband. This was so delicious and my student son says he’ll make it once back at varsity since it’s so quick to make and so delicious!