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North Indian Chicken Curry

Servings: five to six.

This is a moderately spicy curry. If you’re sensitive to heat, cut back on the chiles and cayenne.


  • 2 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions (from 2 medium onions)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 to 2 hot fresh green chiles (preferably serranos), minced
  • 4 lb. bone-in chicken thighs (10 to 12), skin and excess fat removed
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, with their juices
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves; more for garnish
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garam masala (homemade or store-bought)

Nutritional Information

      Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
      Calories (kcal) : 280
      Fat Calories (kcal): 100
      Fat (g): 11
      Saturated Fat (g): 2
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
      Cholesterol (mg): 115
      Sodium (mg): 990
      Carbohydrates (g): 15
      Fiber (g): 3
      Protein (g): 32


  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a deep, wide saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat them with the oil. Spread them in an even layer and cook for 2 min. Stir well, rearrange in an even layer again, and cook for 2 min.; the onions should have begun to brown at the edges. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a rich brown, another 10 to 12 min. Lower the heat if necessary so the onions caramelize but don’t burn.
  • Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a small bowl, stirring until it’s creamy. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and chiles to the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring  frequently, for 2 min. so they meld with the onions. Add all the chicken thighs and cook, stirring occasionally, until they lose their raw color and begin to brown, 5 to 6 min. Lower the heat to medium low and add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook for 2 min., stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juices, the yogurt mixture, the chopped cilantro, and the salt. Stir well, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 min. Remove from the heat and taste for salt.
  • To serve, sprinkle on the garam masala, transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with more chopped cilantro.

Make Ahead Tips

You can freeze this curry, in which case you shouldn’t add the garam masala and cilantro garnish until you’re ready to serve. Thaw the curry in the fridge and reheat over low heat. Then sprinkle with the garam masala and a little ground cumin, cover, and let sit for a few minutes to let the aroma infuse the curry. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.


Rate or Review


  • basiaboo | 02/09/2017

    This was terrific, like the heat, no too hot but a nice heat, a keeper.

  • Buttercup98 | 06/19/2016

    Made this for a Father's Day dinner and It was as good as these reviews made it out to be! I followed the recipe fairly closely with these changes: used full fat plain yogurt, used boneless chicken thighs, and cooked it in the oven for an hour at 300 (as another reviewer suggested), reduced cayenne to 1/2 tsp, but used two serranos. It was PLENTY spicy, but not so hot that the flavors were lost. I will definitely, 100% make this again. Made with naan and jasmine rice. Delicious! And easy!

  • TheCurryGirl | 01/20/2016

    This curry was a hit when I made it for a pot luck. I left the garma masala off at the end.

  • Jen_Wade | 08/23/2015

    Fantastic flavour and low in fat! It's a winner ????

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