Punjabi chicken curry

    1 hour 15 min

    A traditional Punjabi curry that we grew up eating weekly and was passed down to my mum by my nan. It's saucy and contains lots of tomato, garlic and ginger and tastes fantastic whether mild or very hot. It's usually eaten with rice or hot chapatis and a veg dish like saag (spinach) or a potato curry.


    Greater London, England, UK
    196 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • butter, ghee or oil for frying
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 3.5cm (1 1/2 in) fresh root ginger, crushed or pureed
    • 8 garlic cloves, minced or pureed
    • 3 to 4 green chillies, minced or pureed
    • 1 heaped teaspoon salt
    • 1 heaped garam masala
    • 1 level teaspoon ground turmeric powder
    • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 (400g) tin plum tomatoes
    • 4 chicken breasts, cut into 4cm cubes
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
    • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Heat the butter in a pan. Add the onion and fry till soft but not brown. Add root ginger, garlic and chillies and continue to fry, stirring. Allow the flavours to infuse for a few minutes before adding the salt, garam masala, turmeric and cumin seeds. Reduce the heat so the spices don’t burn and give the ‘tarka’ as it’s called, a good stir.
    2. Add tomatoes, turn up the heat and stir, squashing down the tomatoes to make a smooth paste. This will take 5 or 6 minutes and you should keep stirring the mixture until the liquid has reduced down to a paste.
    3. Once it has thickened, add the chicken and stir on a high heat until again, the liquid has reduced completely.
    4. Add 600ml (1 pt) water and once this has started to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting on a small hob.
    5. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add fenugreek leaves and leave to simmer with the lid on for 20 to 30 minutes.
    6. Add the chopped coriander leaves, turn the heat up and reduce down to the consistency you like for about 5 to 10 minutes.


    If you prefer chicken with bone, you can make this dish with thighs or drumsticks.
    Serve with yogurt/raita and a chapati and some pickle. Also great with rice.

    See it on my blog

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    Reviews in English (3)


    Easy to follow instructions leading to a great tasting curry. It's easy to adjust the "heat" by varying the amount of chilli you add so it's suitable for everyone. We cook this on a regular basis both for ourselves and for friends. It always goes down well and somehow gets better every time we cook it. I would not hesitate to recommend this recipe.  -  06 Jan 2017


    So easy to make and amazing taste! I've made it when I received a couple of friends who are massive indian foodies, and they loved it too! I'll recommend it to everyone!  -  26 Jan 2017


    This is the best curry recipe I've found for the homemade chicken curry I grew up on! Will be making this again! Thank you!  -  24 Jan 2017