Super simple chicken curry

By Div

Growing up in Durbs, one of the staples in my household was curry. Chicken curry, mutton curry, bean curry, vegetable curry…I could go on and on. Curries come in many different, vibrant colours, and some are definitely spicier than others.

One that has been my favourite ever since I was a little girl is chicken curry. I could honestly eat this every day. Tender, juicy chicken in a thick, spicy gravy? Pass me the pot and leave, please. And, despite it having a fair few spices in it, this dish is seriously simple to make.

Chicken curry

You will need:
– 1kg chicken (I use a whole chicken, cut into pieces of my preferred size, but legs or thighs only would work just as well!)
– approx. 2tblsp of your cooking oil of choice — I use a mixture of cold-pressed coconut oil and grassfed ghee
– approx. 1 tsp coarse salt
– 1 large onion, sliced
– 1 large tomato, chopped
– 1 heaped teaspoon crushed ginger and garlic mix (this mix is difficult to come by in Korea, so I just use crushed garlic)
– 2 elachi (cardamom pods)
– 1tsp soomph (fennel seeds)
– 2 medium-sized cinnamon sticks
– 5 cloves
– 3tsp masala
– 2tsp chilli pwd
– 0,25tsp hurdee pwd (turmeric)
– 0,5tsp garam masala
– optional: 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (or sixths, depending on their size)
– optional: roughly chopped fresh coriander

I promise: reading that list is the hardest part of this recipe!

(Kate found all the above spices on iherb, Gmarket , and at World Food Mart. You may have more luck finding them all in one store in one of the bigger cities).

1. Add oil, sliced onions, elachi (cardamon), soomph (fennel), cinnamon sticks and cloves to the pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Pot is not covered.

2. Keep an eye on the onions. When they are a lovely golden-brown colour (the ends might look quite a bit darker), add ginger and garlic mix.

3. Follow that with the masala, chilli powder and hurdee (tumeric).


4. Immediately throw in the chicken and mix to coat all the pieces with the spices. If you wait before doing this, the masala will burn. Sprinkle salt and cover.


5. Wait 15 minutes.

6. Add tomatoes and mix everything together. Cover.

If you leave out the potatoes: 

7. If you have decided to omit the potatoes, then YAY! You are basically done! Wait another 20-25 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down.

8. Uncover, and cook off excess liquid until your desired gravy-thickness is reached.

If you want potatoes in the curry:

9. If you have decided to include the potatoes  (I usually do this: it makes the dish last a lot longer because of the added bulk), please ignore steps 7 and 8.

10. Once you add the tomatoes, wait about 10 minutes. Then, drop the potatoes in and sprinkle the garam masala on top. Mix and cover.


11. You may need to add a bit of water (maybe 0,25 cup) to help the potatoes cook a bit faster.

12. After about 20 minutes, poke a potato with a sharp knife. If it glides in smoothly, they are soft and amazing and done!  All potatoes obviously do not cook at the same speed. I have had some that are good to go in 15 minutes, and some that were still hard after 45. It just depends on the batch you’ve bought. As long as you keep an eye on them, and don’t let them turn into absolute mush, you’re golden!

13. Uncover, and cook off excess liquid until your desired gravy-thickness is reached.



14. Sprinkle some coriander on top and mix (optional). Serve over rice with a simple side salad.






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