Chicken Curry with Spices

One of the meals that I ate at Lisa’s that has now made it into our regular rotation has been this chicken with spices recipe.  I love finding new ways to eat chicken and this curried version with spices and coconut milk really hits the spot for when you’re in the mood for a comforting dish with a flavor kick.


While the original recipe calls for fresh spices, I must confess that I have yet to find fresh coriander at my local grocery store, so I’ve instead just stocked up on a bunch of spices (dried). (Update: Lisa tells me that fresh coriander is just cilantro.  Never too late to learn!) It’s funny because when I first started cooking, I’d look at recipes and think, 1 tsp of turmeric, that’s it? Or 1/4 tsp of all spice? When will I ever use it again?


But in the course of cooking meals from a similar genre, I’ve ended up using all those spices up in due time and feeling quite satisfied with my bursting spice cabinet (by which I mean my shelf in my cabinet that can barely hold all my spices!)


In any event, this recipe is quite straightforward and delicious, and pairs nicely over some Chana Dal Kichadi with some dry Rosé, or surprisingly, a Pinot Noir.


2 tablespoons corn oil
3 medium onions, sliced thinly (1 ½ cups)
3 garlic cloves, put through a press
1 inch of fresh gingerroot (or I use pre-chopped ginger that you can get in a jar in the store)
3-4 fresh hot red chilies to taste, seeded but whole
2 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
2 peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin or an equal amount canned (1 cup)
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 chicken, 3 lbs cut into 8 serving pieces
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (or 2 tbsp ground coriander)
14 oz. can coconut milk
Juice of 1 lemon, 2-3 tablespoons

1. Heat the oil in a pan add the onions and sitr-fry over moderate heat until they are golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and salt. Continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and turmeric and mix well for 2 minutes.

2. Add the chicken and fresh coriander and stir for 3 minutes until the chicken changes color. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice.

This curry does have ample sauce.

Serve hot with rice, salad and cooked vegetables. Serves 6 (or 4 very hungry people).

Adapted from Lisa!

6 thoughts on “Chicken Curry with Spices

  1. This recipe is a traditional Sabbath dinner of the Bene Israel – Indian Jews. I don’t recall where I found the recipe and I almost certainly made changes, but that is the origin of the dish. In order to bserve the laws of Kashruth, the Bene Israel cooked with coconut milk in place of the more traditional yogurt. Lisa

  2. I love so much chicken curry with spices recipe. it’s so delicious and chicken taste magically transforms into something heavenly. thanks for sharing.

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