Easy South Indian Chicken Curry

November 16, 2015


By Nik Sharma

Serves 4–6


2 pounds chicken (I use a mix of thighs, breasts and drumsticks)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 inch cinnamon stick

4 black peppercorns

6 cloves

4 green cardamoms, cracked with pods

½ teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon red chili flakes or ground chili powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

¼ cup freshly grated coconut

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon salt

1⅔ cups (400 ml) light coconut milk

2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, freshly chopped


Remove the skin and trim off any excess fat from chicken pieces and discard. Wipe chicken pieces with a clean paper towel and keep aside.

In a large thick-bottomed stockpot, heat the oil on a medium-high flame for 40 seconds, until hot. Add the red onion and garlic and sauté until the onion becomes translucent. 

Add the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, garam masala, chili and turmeric to the pot and cook for another minute.

Add the chicken to the pot and brown for 4 minutes. Stir in the grated coconut and tomato paste and cook for another 1 minute. Add the salt and coconut milk and bring the contents to a boil on a high flame; immediately reduce the flame to a gentle simmer and cook the chicken for 50 minutes. Once the chicken is completely cooked, taste the curry and adjust with salt if necessary.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice or bread.

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