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5 from 3 votes

Indian Chicken Curry Recipe

This is a delicious, spicy, one-pot Indian chicken curry. It is a family favorite Sunday afternoon lunch with steamed basmati rice. Learn how to make murgh curry in a few simple steps.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 737kcal
Author: Hina Gujral


  • Heavy Bottom Kadhai


  • 1 kilogram bone-in chicken pieces

Ingredients For Tomato Paste:

  • 1 Cup chopped tomato
  • 2 dry red chili
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger

Ingredients For Onion Paste:

  • 2 Cup sliced onion
  • 1 Cup mustard oil

Other Ingredients For Curry:

  • 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (dal chini)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala ( see recipe )
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Cup water
  • 2 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1 - 2 sliced green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander


  • Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Pat them dry and set aside.
  • Make tomato paste of chopped tomato, red chilli, garlic, and ginger using 1 - 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
    tomato paste
  • Heat mustard oil in the Kadhai. Once it’s smoking hot, add sliced onion and fry till they are golden brown in colorTransfer the fried onion to a plate. Allow becoming lukewarm. Grind them to a smooth paste without using water. Keep them aside.
    onion paste
  • In the same kadhai, add the bay leaf and cinnamon in the leftover oil. Fry for 10 – 20 seconds to release their aroma.
    making murgh curry
  • Add the tomato paste, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, and fry over low-medium heat till oil starts separating from the masala.
    making murgh curry
  • Add the chicken pieces, season with salt, and fry till they become pale white. This usually takes 8 – 10 minutes. Do not rush this process.
    making murgh curry
  • Next, add the onion paste. Mix nicely. Cover and cook the chicken till its juices are released. Keep the flame at the lowest setting. Do not add any water. A good quality tender chicken does not take more than 10 minutes to get cooked. Open the lid, check the chicken for doneness.
    making murgh curry
  • If cooked, add 1 Cup of water to make gravy (add coconut milk if you prefer) along with garam masala, dry fenugreek leaves, fresh coriander, and sliced green chili (optional).
    making murgh curry
  • Simmer the curry for 5 – 10 minutes for the gravy to thicken a bit. Taste the curry and add more seasoning if required.
  • Serve Indian chicken curry with rice or chapati.


  • To make an Indian chicken curry, the best choice would be bone-in meat pieces.
  • This curry can be made with boneless, skinless chicken pieces as well. Try to use boneless chicken thighs as they are much juicier. 
  • If you are using boneless chicken breast pieces then try not to use the frozen ones, and avoid over-cooking them.
  • Do not add any water in the curry till chicken releases its juices else you will end up with dry meat pieces. 
  • Mustard oil gives an authentic taste to the curry. You can use coconut oil or ghee instead of mustard oil. 
  • Adjust the quantity of water or coconut milk according to how much gravy you need. If the curry is way too thin, let it simmer without any lid/cover for 5 - 10 minutes or till it thickens a bit. 
  • Follow my tips shared above to make the chicken curry less spicy. 


Calories: 737kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 469IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg