Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Chicken curry with ginger and red pepper served with pilau rice

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From Chefs: Put Your Menu Where Your Mouth Is
Chicken thighs on the bone are perfect for this easy chicken curry. If you have any leftovers, this dish is even better the next day.


  1. For the chicken thighs, put a large frying pan on a high heat and add two tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the chicken thighs skin-side down and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown on each side. Put the chicken on a plate and set aside.

  2. Heat a large frying pan and add the rest of the oil. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper. Cook until soft, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Tip the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

  3. Add the purée back to the pan and cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Add the tomato purée, curry paste, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, ground coriander and fresh turmeric and cook for a further five minutes.

  5. Place the chicken thighs back in the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.

  6. For the pilau rice, heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and bay leaf. Once they start to pop, add the rice and continue to stir until the rice is lightly toasted.

  7. Add 650ml/1¼ pint water and the salt and bring to the boil. Place a lid on top and turn the heat to low. Leave to steam for 20-30 minutes.

  8. Just before serving mix in the butter with a fork.

  9. To serve, place the rice on the plate and the curry to one side. Garnish with the chilli and coriander.


For the chicken thighs

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5cm/2in piece root ginger, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ¼ root turmeric, finely grated
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander

For the pilau rice

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g/1lb 2oz basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter

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