Punjabi chicken curry

Punjabi chicken curry

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

I grew up eating this. It has a thin liquor rather than a thick sauce but is full of flavour. This recipe appears in Anjum’s New Indian but I wanted to give it here too, as this is the curry I am most asked about and my book on curries wouldn’t be complete without it. Please do use chicken on the bone as it really makes a difference, giving that lovely rounded flavour. If you have a friendly butcher, ask him to joint and skin the chicken for you. I use small chickens as I find them more succulent. Eat with Chapati, or a pilaf.


Quantity Ingredient
15g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, cut into large pieces
10 fat garlic cloves
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
5cm cinnamon stick
3 large black cardamom pods
4 green cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
2-4 green chillies, whole but pierced
3 tomatoes (not too ripe), cut into thin wedges
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
750g skinless chicken joints
large handful chopped fresh coriander


  1. Using a little water, make a fine paste of the ginger and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the whole spices and bay leaves and, once they have sizzled for 10 seconds, add the onion and cook until golden brown. Add the chillies and the ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the moisture has evaporated and the garlic has had a chance to cook. Add the tomatoes, salt and powdered spices and sauté for six or seven minutes more.
  3. Add the chicken and stir it in the masala (spice paste) for four to five minutes. Pour in enough water to come halfway up the chicken, bring to a boil, then cover and cook over a low heat for 20–30 minutes, or until the chicken is nearly cooked through.
  4. Uncover the pan, increase the flame to high and reduce the liquid in the pan until thick and creamy, stirring often. This will help the sauce become homogenous and deepen its flavours.
  5. Add enough hot water to give a sauce with the consistency of light cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning, stir in the chopped coriander and serve.
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