Archive of BBC Food Recipes

South Indian chicken curry

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best
Good curry depends on a good curry paste. Making your own from scratch will bring out the full fragrance of the spices and make your curry sing.


  1. First make the masala paste. Grind all the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a small food processor, until you have a fine paste.

  2. For the curry, make a paste by pounding the ginger and garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar or by blending them in a small food processor.

  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a lidded pan and fry the onion and chilli until softened. Add the masala paste and the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2–3 minutes.

  4. Add the chicken pieces, chilli powder, turmeric and salt, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Then add about 125ml/4fl oz of water and cook gently until the chicken is tender.

  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.


For the masala paste

  • 2.5cm/1in piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tbsp white poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coconut flesh

For the curry

  • 2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

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South Indian chicken curry

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