Indian in 7 family-style chicken curry

I’ve used boneless chicken here as it cooks quite quickly. You can use legs or thighs on the bone if you prefer, but ensure you increase the cooking time at the end to 30 minutes or until the chicken, when cut open, is white and hot all the way through. 

family style chicken curry
Gareth Morgans


1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
600g boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs, cubed
2 onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato purée
a few sprigs of fresh coriander


1 tsp plus 3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see below, or good quality variety from a jar)

1. Combine the spices and some salt with the chicken in a bowl, mix well then stir in a teaspoon of sunflower oil to seal the spices to the chicken. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onions, then cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until they begin to change colour. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes until they are very soft. Add the ginger-garlic paste, fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomato purée and fry for a minute.

3. Add a small handful of the chopped coriander, reserving some for the garnish. Remove from the heat, carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, add enough cold water to just cover the mixture, then purée and set aside.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in the same pan over a high heat, then add the marinated chicken pieces and fry lightly for about 4 minutes to seal in the juices. Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and cook the chicken for a further minute.

5. Add the sauce from the blender to the chicken. Rinse the blender with a couple of tablespoons of cold water and add that to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

6. Sprinkle over the reserved coriander, then serve with boiled rice or rotis and some salad.

TIP When cooking chicken, ensure you put it into a hot pan and leave it to shrink a bit before flipping the pieces. If it is moved too soon, the flesh may shred and stick to the pan. 

Combine 1 part peeled and chopped fresh ginger (scrape the thin skin off with a teaspoon) and 2 parts (by volume) peeled and chopped garlic. If making a small amount, you can grate both or crush them using a mortar and pestle. For larger amounts, blitz the peeled and chopped ginger and garlic in a blender, along with a little cold water to turn the blades and make a smooth paste. You can store the paste in the fridge. Put it into a clean jam jar and cover the surface with oil (any cooking oil); it will keep for up to 3 weeks (top up the oil as necessary).

indian in 7 recipes

Indian in 7: Delicious Indian Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer by Monisha Bharadwaj is published by Kyle Books, price £17.99. To order a copy for £14.40 with free p&p until 3 November visit, or call 01603 648155.