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Quick chicken curry recipe

Quick chicken curry recipe

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A quick chicken curry from India that doesn't sacrifice on flavour. The aromas and flavours are a delight to the senses! Serve with fluffy basmati rice and warm naan.

Geneve, Switzerland

1087 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh root ginger
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets - cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 180ml coconut milk
  • 225g natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, mustard seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, bay leaf and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato puree and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Remove bay leaf, and stir in yoghurt, lemon juice and chilli powder. Genly simmer 5 more minutes, then serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

Reviews in English (5)

Very nice,will make again-15 Mar 2010

This was very nice and a good texture, it was a little too spicy for me so next time I will add 2 tablespoons of curry powder instead of three.-22 Oct 2017

Chicken Curry

This is the perfect weeknight curry &mdash it's primarily comprised of ingredients you probably already have on hand: chicken, onions, garlic, spices, double cream, and tinned tomatoes. Not a spice lover? All good while there are a lot of warm-ground spices that season the dish, this curry isn't spicy at all.

Wait, shouldn't there be curry powder in this curry?

Curry powder is simply a combination of various ground spices, which are present in this recipe! This combination of spices will yield that familiar curry flavor, and it's on the milder side. If you're looking to kick up the heat, try stirring in some cayenne a little at a time.

What condiments should I serve with this?

Mango chutneys or lime pickle are great accompaniments for curry. Their uses go way beyond curry, so you won't have any problem getting to the bottom of the jar.

How long will the leftovers last?

Kept in an airtight container, this curry can last up to 4 days.

And don't forget the homemade naan! Or check out our easy guide for how to cook rice and make yourself a perfect fluffy bowl of the good stuff.

Editor's Note: This introduction to this recipe was updated on 15 September 2020 to include more information about the dish.

Quick green curry chicken with peanuts


  • 8 oz. (1½ cups) 230 g (350 ml) yellow onion , cut into thin wedges yellow onions , cut into thin wedges
  • 10 oz. 280 g fresh broccoli
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb 450 g cooked chicken breast, sliced cooked chicken breasts, sliced
  • 14 oz. 400 g unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1½ tbsp 1½ tbsp green curry paste
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1½ oz. 45 g salted peanuts finely chopped, for topping

Besides being tested by the original recipe creator, this recipe has also been tested and quality approved by our test kitchen.


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It would be great if you had a "print my recipe" next to recipe. When one prints the recipe we have to print all the stuff at the bottom of the page wasting ink and paper. I only want the recipe on a nice page and not all the other stuff.

Thank you, love your site.

Use the print icon right above your comment, next to the Facebook and Pinterest icons. That way, all you get is the picture and the recipe.

Is the chicken supposed to be cooked before adding it in? It seems like just adding raw chicken and let it simmer "for a few minutes" won't cook it through.

Yes, the ingredient list specifies cooked chicken.

Learn from my mistake: be sure to use UNSWEETENED coconut cream. I bought the Goya brand coconut cream and didn’t notice that it had a whopping 18 g net carbs per serving, with 12 servings per 15 oz can. We didn’t notice until after we devoured our servings. I should have known something was up with how sweet it tasted. I never would have suspected the 17g of added sugar per serving. My wife and I were so close to our 2 month keto milestone, but no way we aren’t kicked out of ketosis.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, halved and thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 red finger chile, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • Steamed basmati rice, toasted sliced almonds, and cilantro leaves, for serving

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

In a large braising pan, melt butter over medium-high. Working in two batches, brown chicken until golden, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Reduce heat to low and add shallots and cinnamon stick. Cook, stirring often, until shallots are soft, 8 minutes. Add ginger, spices, and chile. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add lemon juice and sugar and cook 30 seconds more. Stir in coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, chicken, and any accumulated juices. Season with salt and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add peas and spinach just to heat through. Serve over rice, topped with almonds and cilantro.

Watch how to make Caribbean chicken curry

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm (1in) cubes
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 5cm (2in) piece of root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded
  • 1tbsp of mild curry paste
  • 400ml (14fl oz) can of coconut milk
  • 1 large mango, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Rice and peas
  • 350g (12oz) long grain rice
  • 130g (5oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

Quick Chicken Curry

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Ready to use those spices sitting in the back of your cabinet? We're shaking things up with this recipe for Quick Chicken Curry. You can have a dish that's full of flavor on the table in about 30 minutes and your whole gang'll be saying, "OOH, IT'S SO GOOD!!"

Recipe Summary

  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups prechopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • .63 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 ¼ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 2 garlic naan flatbreads (such as Whole Foods 365) or pita breads
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil swirl to coat. Add onion sauté 2 minutes. Stir in flour and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) sauté 1 minute. Add chicken, stock, carrot, and 1/2 cup water bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in peas and coconut milk cover and cook 5 minutes.

While curry cooks, brush naan evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon oil bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until crispy. Cut each naan into 4 pieces.

Spoon 1 3/4 cups curry into each of 4 shallow bowls sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Serve each bowl with 2 naan quarters.


Thank you to all the cooks who added notes, I adapted based on their recommendations and it was fantastic. Specifically: blended ginger/garlic/onion with 2 TBSP water to make paste, used 2lb chicken thighs and 13oz peas, cut tomato paste, reduced crushed tomato to 14oz + 1/4 cup water, and let it cook 15minutes after adding tomatoes. And then yes this was awesome.

After sautéing the seasoned chicken in the pan, it appeared most of the salt, pepper and garam masala, which adorned the chicken cubes, were now adhered to the bottom of the pan. No worries because it was easy to "deglaze" once you add the butter and ginger-garlic-onion mixture. This was like we went to a really good Indian restaurant. We just happened to have a package of frozen naan in the ɿridge from Trader Joe's (highly recommended), as well as some mango chutney in the cabinet. Great meal.

I used more peas than it called for, and did some filleted chicken thighs instead of breasts. Turned out pretty tasty- better after being in the fridge for a day after cooking.

Here's how to make this taste more like the Indian dish you get from a restaurant and less like Chicken Marinara. My four stars are for the edited version. First, instead of chopping ginger, garlic, and onion in a food processor, do it the Indian way by blending all three with just enough water to make a paste, and then fry them all together. This is just as fast as a food processor and will give a more authentic texture to the sauce. Then use only a 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Cut what the recipe recommends *in half.* I also left out the tomato paste, but it would probably be fine to include it. With these alterations, this recipe is going into my regular rotation. It's very fast and easy and tastes great.

My husband and our guests both loved this. (I'm now a vegetarian but still cook poultry for others. So I didn't taste the chicken itself I asked my husband what he thought. Used 14-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, and let the dish simmer about 10 minutes with no top , stirring occasionally, before proceeding with recipe. I thought that produced a very nice consistency.

I like this recipe, with a few alterations. I make this for adult tastes, so I add a good bit more garam masala, and some white pepper, to give it a little kick. I cook the tomato mix a while to get the flavors to meld. And I add yogurt to the sauce directly, to give it that balance. I do skip the cilantro, since I don't like it.

Delicious recipe!! I made some adjustments according to what other reviewers said. I added less tomato and I diminished the spice, to make sure that my kids would eat it. Definitely a keeper recipe.

agree with other assessments -- too acidic and tomato-ey. other recipes do take more time, but are by far better. I will not make this again.

Very much a "white spice" recipe. It ended up with a bit too much of a tomato taste. If you like Indian food and flavour, Iɽ suggest being more aggressive on the spices. I will make it again though as it is relatively simply and reasonably quick. The coriander at the end makes a good difference, don't skip it.

Due to partially empty shelves I used chopped tomatoes w/water instead of paste and canned tom and heavy cream instead of yogurt - also added butter to sauce at end. Was delish - very mild, my 2 year old had seconds.

Excellent Recipe. Better than I've had at some restaurants, After cooking this I'm no longer afraid of cooking Indian food!

I quite enjoyed this dish - i also added chickpeas to bolster the recipe a little bit.

I wanted to love this recipe, but it tasted nothing like the tikka masala we love at Indian restaurants. For one, there was no cream added at the end! It was also much spicier than I expected, even leaving the cayenne out. I was hoping my kids would enjoy this recipe (they love tikka masala) but they called it "spicy tomato sauce" and that's pretty much what it tasted like too. My husband liked it, but to call it tikka masala is a stretch.

The observations about recipe being "too tomato-y" is because after the adding the 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes there is not enough cook time. That needs to be cooked and developed at least 20 minutes before the chicken is added back. :)

Definitely a fast weeknight meal and quite flavorful. Tried not to add as much tomato from everyone's reviews and still tasted too tomato-y. Will tweak with some of your suggestions - more yogurt and added curry spice next time.

The recipe is good but my family did not like the intense cinnamon and turmeric flavors. I was asked not to cook this recipe again.

I agree with other reviews that there was too much tomato flavor. Next time I will use a smaller can of tomatoes, and perhaps either add some additional yogurt. It was a quick, tasty flavorful dish though, so I will definitely try again with that adjustment.

This comes together very nicely and is pretty close to our favorite restaurant version - in about a half hour - Impressive. I love that I have some heat control (we like the heat) with the cayenne. Thank you epicurious!

I agree with a couple of other reviewers, particularly Angela from TX. It's a bit too tomato-y and would reduce that next time. I also took someone's advice and added some additional cumin and coriander. Bringing leftovers to a friend's house for dinner so I see how if would be for guests. Does anyone have a great recipe for onion chutney?

After two trips to India and an exchange student from Maharashtra, we love the food (as long as it's not TOO spicy), so this headline was a grabber for me. I've read that Tika Masala is considered the prototypical dish of the UK, so I'm not too sure of its authenticity, but I wanted to try it anyway -- and it was a hit! l love the blend of spices, and their interaction in the dish, and (without the peas) it is satisfyingly low in carbs, which completely fits my current regimen. I'm now enjoying the leftovers, and will definitely make this again, and again, and again.

This recipe has great flavor for the time spent on it. I thought the tomato flavor too strong for a true tikka masala, so I added about 3/4 of a cup of heavy whipping cream with some more garam masala. It made too much sauce that way, so next time I'll leave out some of the tomato but keep the cream. I also prefer boneless skinless chicken thighs to breasts. Brown rice mixed with cilantro is a quick and easy accompaniment.

I was happily surprised by the amount of flavor this quick version created. I had a fresh jar of garam masala and used it liberally, but generally, I followed the recipe. One major difference was I allowed the tomato sauce to simmer for much longer before adding the chicken, adding some broth to keep it from scorching, to mellow it. I also used half dark meat, because it handles the simmering process without drying out. It's important to taste as you go so you can decide when the raw onion and tomato edge has dissipated. I served it with the Saffron Spiced Rice on this site. A delicious meal, even if the time invested was three times the amount cited. This one is going in the rotation.

So delish, the spices are the hit.

Quick? Like another reviewer here commented (Petra) there was nothing quick about this 22 minute chicken masala. By the time I was finished washing, slicing, cutting and cooking everything I was in about 3 hours. I doubled this recipe. It came out very good looking just like the photo at the top. Some people here commented that the recipe was bland so I added a 3/4 teaspoon of both cumin and coriander powder to the sauce. Nothing bland about this . It was on the spicy side. Not marinading the chicken in yogurt didn't make much of a difference. I used chicken tenders. When are they ever tough or chewy anyway.

My 30 Minute Quick Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

I would like to stress that the base sauce you make up to and including the ginger can be used as a base sauce for many curries. You can make a larger amount and freeze it.


  • 3 large chicken breasts - sliced diagonally as shown
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (authentic) or rapeseed oil (more healthy)
  • 1 one inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom pods - smashed
  • 2 large white onions - finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves - finely chopped or 1 tablespoon garlic puree
  • 1 inch ginger - finely chopped or 1 tablespoon ginger puree
  • 1 fresh green chili - finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tin (400ml) coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of one lemon or lime


  1. Heat the oil or ghee over medium heat until quite hot but not smoking.
  2. Reduce the heat and through in the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods.
  3. Move the spices around in the oil so that the oil takes on their flavour. Be careful not to burn the spices or you will need to throw in all away and start over.
  4. After about two minutes, add the onions and fry for about five minutes over medium heat until they are translucent and soft.
  5. Now add the garlic and ginger along with the green chili and fry for a further minute.
  6. Throw in the sliced chicken and mix it all to combine.
  7. Pour in the cumin powder, fenugreek powder, paprika and turmeric and give it another nice stir.
  8. Pour in the coconut milk and the tomato and the sugar (to taste - if using).
  9. You may need to add a drop or two of water to ensure the chicken is covered.
  10. Simmer your chicken tikka masala until the chicken pieces are all cooked through - about 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the chopped coriander and squeeze the lime/lemon juice over the top.


This chicken tikka masala can be made in about 30 minutes. As with most good meals, a longer cooking time will benefit in flavour. You could even make this dish the night before you eat it for an even better result.

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  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3cm root ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander by Sainsbury's
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin by Sainsbury's
  • 500g diced British chicken breast by Sainsbury's
  • 1 x 390g carton Sainsbury's chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 300g pack dwarf beans by Sainsbury's, halved on the diagonal
  • 2 x 250g packs microwaveable long grain rice by Sainsbury's
  • ½ x 31g pack fresh coriander by Sainsbury's, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons natural yogurt

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion for 2 minutes. Add the chilli, ginger, ground coriander and cumin, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until fragrant.

Add the chicken to the pan, and fry for 5 minutes until brown. Pour over the tomatoes along with 100ml water and the beans, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no pink colour remains.

Meanwhile, cook the long grain rice according to pack instructions.

To serve, stir most of the chopped fresh coriander through the curry and divide between 4 bowls along with the cooked rice. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the yogurt and the remaining coriander.