What Is Chicken Curry?

There are a lot of variations for this scrumptious dish. But don’t you know that aside from the Indian subcontinent, chicken curry is also widely popular in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean? Moreover, Indian curry has more depth using a variety of spices like turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and more in an onion-tomato based chicken stew.

On the other hand, notable curries outside South Asia are often prepared with a pre-made spice mixture known as curry powder.

Nevertheless, curries are always a satisfying, flavorful and is a finger-licking good dish. This is the kind of meal where you won’t want to pull out a plate. You’ll just start digging in and then nibbling on the chicken, and before you know it you have consumed twice your portion. 😀

Variations Of Chicken Curry With Different Ingredients  — 

Bhuna  —  Made from tomato and tamarind with plenty of onions and sautéed slowly over a low flame.

Pasanda  —  Rich and creamy, made from almonds and coconut. It is a sweet dish without too much heat.

Rogan Josh  —  Hails from Kashmir and is a spicy red sauce made from tomatoes, cardamom and Kashmiri chillies. Not too spicy, this dish is full of flavour thanks to the cardamom and other spices.

Biryani  —  Found all over India, but every region has its own version. In simple terms, it is rice with meat and/or vegetables.

Butter Chicken  —  The most common Indian dish enjoyed by Australians. It is made from tender chicken cooked in tomato, garlic, ginger, tamarind and, of course, butter.

Tandoori and Tikka  —  These are similar, but slightly different. Tandoor refers to the oven and a cooking style founded in Northern India. Tikka generally refers to boneless, marinated chicken while Tandoori has the bone in and can be any part of the chicken. Once you change the meat or make it with vegetables, the curries become the same. They are marinated in yoghurt and spices and cooked in a tandoor oven.

Dopiaza  —  Made with tomato and onions, cooked two ways. It’s generally a mild dish that derives its sweetness from the onions.

Jalfrezi  —  This has red peppers in the sauce. Other ingredients include sweet peppers, coconut, tomatoes and spices all cooked together. Originating from Kashmir the word “Jalfrezi” means stir-fry.

Tikka Masala  —  British dish that combines tikka (boneless Tandoor grilled chicken) with masala — tomatoes and onions cooked with spices.

Madras  —  From Southern India and is a region as well as a dish. Featuring tomato with coriander, cumin and fenugreek, these dishes are hot and spicy, just like the region.

Vindaloo  —  Often the hottest item on the menu at any Indian restaurant. It is made from tomato, chilli and cumin and was influenced by Portuguese traders who visited Goa (Western India) in the 16th century. The Portuguese introduced chillies to the Indian culinary scene.

Korma  —  This is as mild as Vindaloo is hot. Made from coconut and almond, it is similar to Pasanda with the difference being that Korma includes saffron. This creates a pale-yellow colour while Pasanda is always white.

Masala  —  Ultimately both curry powder and masala are blended spice mixes that can be added to food to pack a spicy and aromatic kick. In the end, the difference boils down to the different mix of spices, masala being more of a warming aromatic blend and curry powder being more of an earthy blend.

Recipe Variations  —  Indian chicken curry is typically made with whole spices and sauteed in oil. The sauce is made with ginger, onions, garlic, and tomatoes, and powdered spices.  Chicken thighs or Chicken breasts are then added to the sauce and cooked through in low heat for about 15 minutes or so.

In South India, people also use curry leaves & coconut to give it a different taste.
You can garnish your Chicken curry with coriander leaves, and served with roti (chapatti) or rice.

What Is Curry Powder and How To Make It At Home?  —  It's a mixture of few spices and seasonings that are crushed and mixed together – cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom seeds from cardamom pods, cloves, fennel seeds.

Is it just me, or did you guys know that curry is not just a spice but a balance of mixed flavors made by assembling and infusing individual spices. You know, I recently stumbled upon this information and felt just a little bit stupid.

No wonder certain brands never appealed to me – some are too spicy while others are mild and sweet. So if you are like me, make a selection based on your preference.

What Are The Ingredients Of Chicken Curry?  —  All thanks to homemade curry powder, this chicken has never been this easy and oh-so-tasty.  Whenever I can, making your own seasoning guarantees that you know what goes into your dish and adjusting it to your preference.

Quick, easy, no additives or fillers AND it tastes way better than your store bought brands. I also added half a teaspoon of paprika for more depth and of course, and coconut milk for creaminess.

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs For Chicken Curry?  —  Chicken curry works with all parts of the chicken.  It comes together quickly and you can use whole chicken, legs, and thighs with or without bone.  For a really quick meal like this one here, I use boneless chicken thighs and you are set.
No time wasted pulling bones and de skinning if you don’t have the skills.  But thighs are great with skin and bones price wise as low as 90 cents a pound and when you get good at removing the bone and skin you will get three times the amount for the same price as those process. I can do a five pound tray in twenty five minutes.
I used about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of curry powder; feel free to adjust according to taste and blend of curry.  Serve it on it’s own or with this rice and beans.

Chicken Curry Recipe  —  

Ingredients  —  

2-2 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs , chopped1
 teaspoon white pepper , optional
 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 1/2 -2 tablespoons curry powder (Homemade here)
1 medium onion , diced
 2 teaspoons minced garlic
 2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme
 ½ teaspoon paprika
 ½ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon tomato paste
 2 cups or more chicken broth/water
1 pound potatoes or more , peeled cut in medium pieces
12 ounce carrots and green pepper, sliced
 2 -3 tablespoon chopped parsley
 salt to taste

Instructions  —  Season chicken with, salt and pepper  and set aside.  In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the chicken and saute for about  3-5 minutes or until slightly brown.

Add curry powder, onions, followed by minced garlic, thyme, and paprika. Stir for about 5 minutes for the flavors to blossom,  then Pour in coconut milk, and tomato paste, continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Then add about 2-3 cups water. Season salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.

Gently throw in potatoes, followed by carrots. Cook until potatoes are tender - 7 minutes or more. Add sliced bell pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add chopped parsley.  Adjust sauce thickness and seasoning with water or broth, salt according to preference.

This Jamaican Curry Chicken Is Different  —  While it has some of the usual curry ingredients like coconut milk and spices, the heat has a subtle sweetness to it and the spices are more warm than other curries.

The sauce is thick and rich, so this curry is comforting on a chilly evening if that’s when you are craving it, but the spices also work surprisingly well on even the hottest summer day. I suspect that’s why curry is so popular in countries known for their warm climates, like India and the Caribbean.
Traditional Jamaican curry is made with Scotch Bonnet peppers and Jamaican curry powder.  

Bold and Flavorful —  This is an adapted, easy-ingredient version of traditional Jamaican curry chicken. If you want authentic flavor, made over to be healthy and done with ingredients you can find at the average American supermarket, you’ve come to the right place.

Traditional Jamaican chicken curry is a bold, flavorful dish that’s cooked slowly over low heat, allowing time for the spices to develop. It’s believed that the dish (and its corresponding spices) came to Jamaica in the 17th century when workers from East India were brought to the British colony.

Here’s how I substituted Jamaican curry powder and scotch bonnet peppers for my at-home version.

How to Substitute Jamaican Curry Powder  —  

Like all curry powders, Jamaican curry powder is a blend of different spices. There’s no one single recipe for it, though most blends contain cumin, coriander, mustard, anise, fenugreek, allspice, and turmeric.

Jamaican curry powder is different than curry powder you’ll typically find in the average U.S. supermarkets because it contains more turmeric (which is why Jamaican dishes are often yellow) and more allspice in comparison to the other spices.

To Substitute Jamaican Curry Powder, I started with regular curry powder (which contains most of the same spices), then added extra turmeric and allspice. This allowed me to use ingredients that were easy for me to find, AND I didn’t have to toast and grind the spices myself.  It might not be a perfect, 100% authentic option, but it is a delicious one that gave me excellent results.

Substituting Scottish Bonnet Peppers  —  Scotch bonnet peppers are also called Habaneros, and are the other Jamaican ingredient you can find easily. They are very spicy but also a little sweet and fruity.

To substitute scotch bonnet peppers, dice a red bell pepper VERY finely. This mimics the sweetness of scotch bonnets.
Add a spicy pepper you *can* find.  Jalapeño is also a good option.

Up the spice level. Scotch bonnets are spicier than Jalapeños —  A pinch of cayenne pepper and extra hot sauce are a good way to increase the heat.

Jamaican Chicken Curry From Scratch  —  Here’s what you’ll need to make Jamaican curry chicken with coconut milk. It’s a fresh way to liven up your dinner routine.

The Ingredients

Chicken  —  . Lean, boneless, skinless chicken breasts become perfectly tender and moist as they slowly cook in the sauce. The protein-rich chicken helps make this curry hearty and satisfying. You can also use chicken thighs.

Red Bell Pepper + Jalapeño  —  . My easy swaps that mimic the flavors of the traditional scotch bonnet peppers. Both red peppers and jalapenos are rich in Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C, making them healthy additions to this curry (see more health benefits of jalapenos here and red peppers here).

Garlic + Ginger  —   Essential flavor additions to curry dishes.

Spices  —  The flavor powerhouse! A mix of curry powder, turmeric, and allspice make this curry warm, cozy, and deeply satisfying.

Potatoes  —   I used Yukon gold potatoes because they have a deliciously buttery flavor, and their texture holds up nicely. Regular russet potatoes would work too. For an extra veggie, you could make this Jamaican curry chicken with potatoes and carrots, swapping out one of the potatoes for two medium carrots.

Coconut Milk  —  Making Jamaican curry chicken with coconut milk thickens the sauce and also helps tame the heat. I found light coconut milk resulted in a sauce that was still plenty thick and satisfying, but if you’d like to make it even richer, you can use full fat coconut milk.

Worcestershire Sauce  —  Adds a touch of savory, umami flavor to the curry.

White Wine Vinegar —  Brightens up all the flavors and adds a touch of acidity.

Cayenne + Hot Sauce  —  To achieve that signature Jamaican curry heat, I used cayenne and hot sauce. Use a little or a lot of each to reach your desired level of spice.

Cilantro  —  For freshness and beautiful color.

Ingredients  —  

4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned and trimmed of fat (1 1/4 pounds)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoons white wine
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder (no salt added)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey

Preparation Instructions  —  

  • Combine all ingredients, except chicken and honey, in a medium skillet. 
  • Mix thoroughly.   Place chicken in the pan and turn several times to coat. 
  • Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.   
  • Turn on heat and simmer for 25 minutes, turning chicken every 10 minutes. 
  • Add honey, stir and cook for 10 minutes more.