Musings about Parenting Through Culinary Creations

Praveena’s Chicken Curry

Every  family has their version of comfort food. The one food that everyone likes, that everyone will eat, and that makes everyone feel happy.  For our family, it is my take on chicken curry. If you ask my kids on any given day, what they want for dinner, they will say “chicken and rice”. These days, my husband will say things like “I think the KIDS really want some chicken curry”. Right…. the kids.  This is the dish I make when someone has a bad cold, its the dish that I make when we celebrate and when we feel down to lift our spirits. Sometimes I just make it because its easy to make and I know everyone will eat it to stop complaining.

The recipe has been tweaked and tested over time.  I started out by making it just how my mom made it when I was a kid. I soon realized that it was too strong on the spices and heat for my kids and had a little too much oil for us to eat on a regular basis. I tweaked it by adding in more flavor through cilantro, onions, cumin, and mustard seeds, reducing the oil content and using chicken broth as a flavor enhancer.

I have often been confused when people tell me they love “curry”. I didn’t understand because to me, I refer to any Indian dish that has a gravy like consistency as a “curry”.  It finally occurred to me that what people were referring to was the particular spice mixture that was used. In our particular community we refer to this spice as “masala” and some people refer to it as “curry”. So for this dish, you can use a pre-made “masala” or “curry powder”. You will get a similar result. Any Indian store will carry a large variety of pre-made powders. I like the Shaan brand but the difference between brands is minimal and they all contain the same ingredients. You can get the Chicken Curry Masala Powder or the Meat Masala Powder. Or, just buy a few different ones and see which ones taste the best.

Don’t be afraid of spices. Spices add flavor and don’t necessarily mean heat.  It will take a few tries to figure out the flavor that you like best so feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking. All of the spice amounts are suggestions. Be bold and make this dish your own. I hope you enjoy making and eating this dish as much as we do!

Print Recipe
Praveena's Chicken Curry
Succulent chicken dish with bold flavors. Can be eaten by itself or with white or brown rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
  1. Grind onion, tomato, and cilantro until it makes a nice smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in a non stick pan on medium heat.
  3. Add cumin and mustard Seeds (if using powdered versions omit this step).
  4. Add ginger garlic paste* and fry until light brown in color. It is really important that it cooks well before you add the remaining ingredients, otherwise you will be able to taste the raw flavor of the ginger and garlic and it does NOT taste good.
  5. Add the onion, cilantro, and tomato paste that you made. Fry until it comes together and turns a light brown as well. The same thing goes for this paste. Its really important that it is cooked through. Otherwise it will offer a raw taste to the final dish.
  6. Add the cubed chicken thighs**, salt, chilli, turmeric, and masala powder. If you are using cumin and/or mustard powder, add them here. Mix well and let everything cook together for awhile.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, add the chicken broth and let everything simmer on a low flame for about 10 minutes or until everything comes together.
  8. Dish up and eat with brown or white rice, roti, naan or just by itself.
Recipe Notes

*careful as sometimes this can splatter, if this starts to happen reduce the heat

** Feel free to use chicken breast as well. I prefer thighs as they are more juicy.

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