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How To Make Chicken Chilli Garlic Curry

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Chicken chilli garlic curry is a curry house favourite!

Now you can make chicken chilli garlic curry that is just as good as, if not better than what you find at the best curry houses. This recipe is straight forward, authentic and easy.

If you like garlic and a spicy kick to your curries, this chicken chilli garlic curry is one you need to try. Make your curry into a feast with a side of rice, naans or chapatis, a selection of chutneys and dal. Of course, don’t forget the samosas!

chicken chilli garlic curry

Quick and easy to make and tastes just like those you get at the best Indian restaurants.

Who should make chicken chilli garlic curry?

Garlicky and spicy, chicken chilli garlic curry has to be one of my all time favourites.

I have experimented with this recipe many times and talked my way into a few restaurant kitchens for tips. This is a winner!

Anyone who loves garlic and spicy chillies needs to give this chicken chilli garlic curry a try.

This recipe is quite spicy but not numbingly so. You can always add a few more chillies at the end if you want to turn the zing into a zap. 

If spicy curries aren’t your thing, just reduce the amount of chillies and/or chilli powder. 

Getting curry house style curries right…

At curry houses, the chefs make their curries using a base sauce. This is an essential ingredient for achieving that famous flavour and sauce texture.

This means that there is some prep work you need to do before starting a curry house style curry.

I usually make my tandoori meats and base curry sauce in large batches so I always have some on hand for that last minute curry craving.

Once the preparation is done, both the sauce and tandoori meat can be frozen with excellent results.

If you want to take you Indian restaurant style curries to a whole new and delicious level, try my spice blend recipes too.


Getting your ingredients together

It is always a good idea to get your ingredients together before starting cooking. This saves time and also ensures you don’t have to go looking for ingredients once you start.

Ingredients for garlic chilli chicken

Curry Sauce
I have written a large and small version of my curry sauce recipe which will need to me made before cooking this recipe.

The large version is made just like they do in the best curry houses. Make a large batch for best results.

It keeps in the fridge for three days and freezes well. The small batch version works well too though it’s not as authentic.

Pre-Cooked Chicken
I pre-cook chicken in two ways. Most restaurant use this method to prepare their chicken for this curry. You could also add tandoori style chicken tikka to this recipe if you’d like to create tandoori Chicken Chilli Garlic.

Mixed Powder

One of the ingredients added to curry house style curries like this chicken chilli garlic curry is mixed powder. 

This is an Indian restaurant curry powder. I have a link to my recipe for it in the recipe below but you could use a good quality curry powder if you must. 

Alternative Ingredients…

So this might be a chicken chilli garlic curry but the recipe is really all about the sauce.

You don’t have to use chicken! Just like when you go out for a curry and see chilli garlic curry on the menu, you can decide what goes into it.

Try this with tandoori lamb tikka, paneer, keema or vegetable kofta for example.

If it sounds good, it will be. 

Following are step by step photos of the cooking process.

frying garlic slivers and onion

Heat the oil over medium heat and fry the garlic slivers until soft but not burnt. Stir in the onion and fry for a further 3 – 5 minutes.

Adding chillies and garlic/ginger paste to the pan

Stir in the chopped chillies and garlic and ginger paste. Fry for about 30 seconds.

How does this chicken chilli garlic curry recipe differ to the one in my books?

Not a lot really.

In my cookbooks ‘The Curry Guy’ and the new ‘The Curry Guy Bible’, the recipes are made to serve 4 or more as part of a multi course meal.

In this recipe I make it to serve 1 – 2 people. It is a curry house portion.

In my books I also explain how to get some more amazing flavours into the sauce but you will get excellent results with this recipe.

Adding chilli powder and mixed powder to the pan

Stir in the mixed powder and chilli powder.

Stirring tomato puree into the pan

Stir the tomato puree into the pan and bring to a simmer.

Adding base sauce to pan

Add a ladle or two of the base sauce.

Simmering chicken chilli garlic sauce

Bring to a simmer.

Adding pre-cooked chicken to the pan

Add the pre-cooked chicken and stir to coat with the sauce.

Stirring in dried garlic and coriander (cilantro)

Add a little dried garlic and some coriander. (optional) and stir it into the sauce.

Adding dried fenugreek

Add the dried fenugreek (methi) and stir it in.

finished chicken chilli garlic curry

Top with some more coriander and dried garlic flakes if you like. A twist of lime juice is also nice. Season with salt to taste.


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Here are some more curry house favourites you might like to try!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Korma
Chicken Madras
Chicken Dhansak
Lamb Rogan Josh
Lamb Vindaloo
Chicken Patia
Lamb Bhuna

Chicken chilli garlic curry

Ready to serve! You are going to love this!

Yield: 2

How To Make Chicken Chilli Garlic

Chicken Chilli garlic curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 (or more) fresh green chillies, sliced into thin rings, plus
  • extra to serve (optional)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp mixed powder or curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato purée
  • 300ml (1 1/4 cups) base curry sauce, heated
  • 300g (11 oz) tandoori chicken tikka
  • 1 handful of dried garlic flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek (methi)
  • leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • Juice of one lime (optional)
  • Salt


  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the garlic. It is very important not to burn the garlic, so watch the pan and move the slivers around in the pan until they become soft and are just beginning to brown.
  2. Now add the onion and fry for about 3 minutes until soft and translucent, sprinkling a little salt over the onions to help release moisture.
  3. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and chillies, and fry for about 20 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the ground spices and tomato purée and sizzle for a further 30 seconds, stirring continuously.
  4. Add about a ladle or two of the base curry sauce and bring to a rolling simmer. (You don’t need to stir the sauce unless it is obviously catching on the pan.)
  5. Be sure to scrape any sauce that caramelises to the sides of the pan back into the sauce. Add more base as required. If the curry is looking too dry, add more base. If too saucy, just cook it down.
  6. Add the pre cooked chicken and coat with the sauce
  7. Continue simmering until fenugreek leaves and check for seasoning, adding salt to taste.
  8. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander (cilantro) and a few more chillies if you like. A twist of lime juice is a nice addition.

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I hope you like this chicken chilli garlic curry recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

4th time I’ve made this, just love it, next pay day I’m buying your books, thankyou

Dan Toombs

Saturday 18th of February 2023

Thanks so much. Dan


Saturday 22nd of October 2022

Best curry I've ever made. Now my go to.

Dan Toombs

Sunday 30th of October 2022

Great to hear Steven. Thank you!



Thursday 30th of June 2022

Hi, I have just marinated my chicken ready to make this tomorrow, I’m just wondering what “tandoori masala” is please? Is it a spice or a paste? Thank you

Caroline Toombs

Monday 4th of July 2022

This is a spice, readily available in all Asian stores. You can also make your own, my recipe is here: Thanks Dan


Monday 7th of February 2022

Loving this recipe from a self-confessed garlic & chilli addict!

Your base-sauce recipes are awesome. Reliving the BIR experience in Western Australia.

Thanks Dan!

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Thanks very much, great to hear. Dan


Saturday 11th of December 2021

Hi Dan and other fellow curry guy lovers. Me and my husband found you over the lock down period, just over 1yr ago now. We have been addicted to curry now and eat them at least 4 times a week. Everyone one of them is great, we hold curry nights with freinds and they love it as we do different recipes each time, we are known as the curry makers, but we don't tell them our secrets lol. I've noticed on a Saturday night the site crashes I always wonder if it's because so many ppl cook your curry guys curries and we get thrown out the site untill later on 🤷‍♀️ now I screen shot the instructions so I don't miss out.... Would love a TV show

Dan Toombs

Monday 13th of December 2021

Thanks for your kind message and I am really glad you are enjoying my recipes. I was aware there was a problem with the site crashing on busy Saturdays. I have just changed server and the problem is fixed so hopefully you will be able to log on to my site every day with no problems. Thanks again Dan

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