Traditional Homemade Chicken Curry

With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are starting to plan our family gatherings. Sure, our gatherings may be smaller than what we are used to but that doesn't mean they can't be as special.

If you're looking for a recipe that is a little non-traditional but will bring everyone around the table, look no further. 

For me, a family gathering instantly makes me think about homemade chicken curry. Please, do not use chicken breast for this recipe. You need the fattier, dark meat on the bone to get the full flavour. 

I know there's a long list of ingredients here but I promise you, this recipe is worth it! You can serve it with naan, but it's extremely comforting over basmati rice.

I hope you love this dish as much as I do!


 Homemade Chicken Curry
Serves 4 
  • 4 skinless, bone-in chicken legs cut into thigh and drumstick
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 green cardamom pods 
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 black cloves
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  •  2 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala, divided into 2
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt, adjust to taste
  • 3 cup water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped



  1. On med/high heat, heat oil to a deep skillet
  2. Add whole spices - cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Fry the spices in the oil until you start to smell them, about 1 minute. 
  3. Lower heat to medium and add onions and ½ tablespoon of salt. Cook the onions for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown in color. 
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  5. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and cook for another minute. If you find the mixture too dry and the spices are burning, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the pan. 
  6. Add tomato paste and remaining salt. Mix everything together and this should start to have a paste-like consistency. Cook this mixture for about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add ½ cup water and mix well. At this point, taste your mixture for spice and salt. It should be a bit spicier and saltier than you would like as we still need to add other ingredients. Cook this for about 3-4 minutes. 
  8. Add chicken and mix well so chicken is coated with spice mixture.
  9. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes mixing often so chicken does not burn.
  10. Increase heat to high and add remaining 2.5 cups water. 
  11. When you get a strong boil, reduce heat to med/low and cover. Allow chicken to cook on a steady simmer for about 1 hour. 
  12. Add remaining garam masala and, if using, the fenugreek leaves. To add the fenugreek, place the leaves in the palm of one hand and rub your palms together to break the leaves into a powder.  Taste for salt again and add if needed. 
  13. Add fresh coriander to the top and serve with rice and/or Indian flat bread.