Red Chicken Curry

Chicken curry is chicken cooked in a gravy. The gravy which is called the curry is cooked in different ways to give each curry a unique and distinct taste. There are many types of chicken curries cooked in my house. One where I use fresh cilantro, green chillies, tomatoes and coconut milk which is green chicken curry. “Seyal curry” is made with lots of caramelized onions and tomatoes.

Today’s curry is made with roasting spices like  poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and caraway seeds. The spices are roasted on a dry pan to release it’s essential and aromatic oils and are then crushed to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. This is what we call “Dry masala”. Red Kashmiri chillies are added by removing the seeds and then boiling them and making a fine paste in another grinder along with fresh ginger, garlic and onion. After the dry and wet”masala” are ground they are then mixed together and cooked with the chicken to make a flavorful dish. I serve this along with plain white basmati rice, papad and raita.


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken – I used boneless chicken thighs
  • 5-6 red kashmiri chillies
  • 1 onion – 1/2 to be chopped fine and the other 1/2  for grinding
  • 2 teaspoon khus khus
  • 1 inch dalchini
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic paste (5 to 6 cloves)
  • 4 – 5 cashews – optional
  • 8- 10 curry leaves
  • 3- 4 ounces of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste or for taste
  • salt to taste



Heat some oil in a vessel. Add 1/2 finely chopped onion and brown this. While browning the onions add a dash of salt to it as this will help them to brown faster. This should take 10 minutes.

Wet Masala: Remove the seeds from the chillies and boil it properly. After it’s boiled, throw away the water. Grind the boiled kashmiri chillies with 1/2 onion, garlic and ginger and keep aside.  You will need water to grind this mixture to a fine paste.

Dry Masala: On a dry, non-stick pan, roast poppy seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, cumin and cinnamon stick for about 5 -7 minutes on medium high heat till it gives off a wonderful aroma. Keep a careful watch, you don’t want to burn this. Cool and then grind in a coffee grinder.

Mix the Wet masala and dry masala together. Add it to the browned onions and saute. The masala might splatter a bit depending on the amount of water used while grinding it. Keep sauting till the oil separates, about 7- 10 minutes.

Add curry leaves and chicken to it. Continue frying for another 5-10 minutes till the chicken is coated well. Add salt and season well.

Add 1 cup boiling water to this and let it cook on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Once chicken is cooked, add coconut milk and stir constantly.

Taste for salt and add tamarind paste and mix.

Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!



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