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Spicy Chicken – Fiery Hot Naga Chicken Curry

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This spicy chicken curry is a spice fans dream!

Naga chicken curry

If you like spicy chicken in a fiery hot sauce, this is the recipe you need.

I love the flavour of naga chilies. They are very hot though, so be careful if you’ve never cooked with them.

I’m assuming you know and love naga curries which is why you’re reading this spicy chicken recipe in the first place. I sure do.

All you need to remember if you are a naga novice is that you are in control of how spicy your curry is. 

Fresh naga chillies vs. Mr Naga Pickle.

Usually at curry houses, Mr Naga pickle is the one they use. Not only is it really good but chefs know what they’re getting when they use it. The spiciness and flavour are always the same. 

That can’t be said about fresh naga chillies as their heat and flavour vary depending on the season. Mr Naga pickle (I am not affiliated with the company in any way but do receive a few pennies if you click the link) has a fantastic flavour and heat. 

There are many other excellent naga pickles out there. A quick search online will find you what you’re looking for. In areas where naga pickle isn’t available, you could also use spicy scotch bonnet or Carolina reaper pickles in this spicy chicken recipe.

Fresh naga chillies and/or scotch bonnet chillies could be finely chopped and used instead. Just don’t touch you sensitive regions. You wish you hadn’t. 

How do I adjust this recipe to taste.

It is always a good idea to start with a little chilli and then spice it up more if needed. Once your spicy chicken curry is too hot, it is difficult to cool down. 

Get to know the other ingredients too. Knowing their flavour will help you decide if you want to omit, add more or less of them for your own personal preferences. 

frying onions.

Infuse the cumin seeds in the oil. Add the chopped onions and fry until soft and translucent.

Adding garlic and ginger paste to sauce.

Add the garlic and ginger paste.

adding spices and naga pickle to curry sauce.

Add the naga pickle, curry powder and garam masala.

Adding chicken to naga curry sauce.

Add the chicken. Stir well to combine and brown for a couple of minutes.

adding tomatoes and water to sauce

Add the tomatoes and just enough water to cover and simmer. Tasted it and add some chilli powder.

adding dried fenugreek leaves to curry

Sprinkle in the dried fenugreek leaves by rubbing the leaves between your fingers.

Chicken curry with naga pickle plated.

Dig in!

Any chicken curry can be made into a spicy chicken curry. Add some naga pickle to these…

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Yield: 4 - 6

Spicy Naga Chicken Curry

Naga chicken curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 700g (1 1/2 lbs.) skinless chicken thighs - cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 400g (about 3 large tomatoes) diced
  • 1 tbsp Mr Naga or similar pickle (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
  • Juice of one lime


  1. Heat three tablespoons of oil in a large pan or wok.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and let them infuse into the oil for about 30 seconds.
  3. Throw in the chopped onions and fry for about 5 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
  4. Add the the garlic, ginger and fry for another 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the naga pickle, garam masala and curry powder and stir well to combine.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and brown them in the onion mixture for a couple of minutes and then top with the chopped tomatoes and just enough water to cover.
  7. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and continue cooking until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce. I cook mine for about 15 minutes. You can always add more water if it is looking too dry.
  8. Test for seasoning. I added a little Kashmiri chilli powder which gave the curry a nice red glow and turned the zing to a zap.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the kasoori methi over the top.
  10. Garnish with the coriander and squeeze the lime juice over the top to serve.
  11. This recipe is great served with simple white Basmati rice.

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 I hope you enjoy this spicy chicken curry recipe. If you do try it, please don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. 
Naga curry

You can easily make this spicy curry in less than 30 minutes.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Just finished it spot on. Mr Nagga has been a favourite of mine for years. Next time around, after reading Nicks comment ....AND being lucky enough to have a charcoal tandoor......need I say more? I halved the recipe as it was only for myself. All washed down with a chilled glass of salt lasse.


Dan Toombs

Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Sounds perfect! Thanks for letting me know. Dan


Saturday 14th of August 2021

Hi Dan. Have 3 of your books, red, blue and curry bible. Just wondering on this naga recipe, I'd rather a more smoother sauce so could I use passata instead of the chopped tomatoes? Or a tin of cherry tomatoes as i find they have a more richer taste? Or even puree them! Or would it become too tomatoey! If that's a word! Thanks Laurence

Dan Toombs

Sunday 15th of August 2021

Thanks for buying my books. Yes, you could definitely use passata or a tine of cherry tomatoes if that is what you have on hand. Dan


Sunday 25th of July 2021

This was amazing. I used twice the amount of Mr Naga and it really hit the spot, some smoked paprika for smokiness and a deeper red colour. Recommending you to all my friends.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Great to hear. I love Mr Naga. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Hi Dan. Firstly thanks for the recipe - this is my favourite curry and I've just had some Mr Naga delivered! Just wondered if you would puree the tomatoes after chopping? The one in the photo looks quite smooth at that point. Thanks!

Dan Toombs

Thursday 11th of February 2021

Hi Ryan Yes you could definitely puree the tomatoes after chopping if you like. Thanks Dan


Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Hello:), thanks for great recipe with pics and precise instructions. I have tried it as i do miss british naga curry since i left UK and any curry in Germany just does not taste the same. Result? Taste is good, but it is not red as in the pics (which i am sad about) and also fruity taste of naga is not so strong as i would expect..cumin taste is too strong, though. Maybe i use wrong type of cumin...hmmm. Any ideas? :) And how to make it more red? Tomatoe paste or more chilli powder? Thanks for answer...and have a good day:)

Dan Toombs

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Hi Martina Thanks for your message. I have to admit that I tend to use quite a lot of chilli powder, making my curries more red. If you can stomach more chilli powder then use more to make it more red. Use less cumin I would say next time as it is not a taste that everyone likes a lot of. Dan

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