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Green Chilli Chicken Curry

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If you like your curries spicy, this green chilli chicken is for you.

This green chilli chicken curry is a recipe I brought back with me from Bangalore. It is often served rather dry with just little sauce as a starter but it is also a hugely popular curry. A little stock and coconut milk are added to the other ingredients to make a thick gravy. This has to be one of my favourite south Indian style curries.

green chilli chicken

About this recipe

When you look at the ingredients, you might think this green chilli chicken recipe could be a bit spicy. That’s correct but it’s really not blow your head of spicy. Together with the fresh coriander (cilantro) and mint leaves, green chilli chicken is exactly what spice fans love and the heat doesn’t linger.

The deep green sauce is not only delicious but nice to look at. If you like a good curry house style Madras curry, you will be very happy with the heat you get in this green chilli chicken.

How do you cook green chilli chicken?

This is a one pan curry that you can literally cook in about 30 minutes. The preparation is easy too. All you need to do is blend the spice paste ingredients with a little water to make a smooth paste.

Then your infuse the whole spices in your pan in a little oil. Add the chopped onion and chillies before stirring in the garlic and ginger paste, ground spices and chopped tomatoes. Next you add the chicken and a little stock and simmer until cooked through.

To finish, pour in your prepared paste and stir to combine. Cook covered for a couple of minutes and then stir in the coconut milk. See… It could not be easier. This is one pot cooking at its very best.

Can you work ahead?

Yes! The green chilli, coriander (cilantro) and mint spice paste can be prepared a couple of days ahead of cooking. You can also slice your chicken and prepare all the other ingredients.

Once the preparation work is complete, you can make this green chilli chicken in about 25 minutes.

Is green chilli chicken really spicy?

Some people think it is. The thing is, if you are making this green chilli chicken for yourself, you are in charge of the heat. If you think it will be too spicy for your liking, add fewer chillies and less chilli powder.

These ingredients can always be added later in cooking if your curry turns out to be too mild.

Remember, it is easy to spicy up a curry but once it’s too spicy, it is difficult to cool it down.

What if you do make the curry too spicy?

There are a couple of things you can do. You might like to make it again as it double the recipe but leave the spicy ingredients out. Then you can stir both batches together and you have a milder curry.

If you don’t want to make a second batch, you could add more coconut milk. This will cool it down some.

What do you serve with green chilli chicken?

I served mine simply with jeera rice but you might like to go with plain Basmati rice or Mushroom fried rice. All work well. 

Of course, naans or chapatis would also be good.

How long can you keep this curry in the fridge?

You can keep your leftovers in the fridge for at least three days. For that matter, go ahead and make it a few days before serving if more convenient. As the green chilli chicken curry rests in the fridge, the flavours will develop and it will be even better!

To heat it up, you could pour it all into a saucepan and heat it over a medium heat. If you only have a little leftover, you could also heat it in your microwave for a few minutes.

Can you freeze this curry?

You can but it is best frozen before adding the coconut milk. So if you are making this curry to freeze and eat later, then just leave out the coconut milk and add it when you reheat the curry.

If you do have some leftover you would like to freeze, go for it. Coconut milk does not freeze well but your green chilli chicken curry should still taste great.

Step by Step Photos

Ingredients for green chilli chicken.

Get you ingredients together before starting. There are a lot of them!

The blended spice paste.

Blend the spice paste ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.

Frying onions and chillies.

Heat the ghee and infuse the whole spices in it. Stir in the chopped onions and chillies. Fry until the onions are turning brown. About 7 minutes.

Adding the garlic and ginger paste.

When the onions have turned a light brown, stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for about 30 seconds.

Frying tomatoes and ground spices.

Stir in the tomatoes and ground spices to finish off your base masala.

Simmering chicken in the spices and stock

Stir in the chicken and brown it for a couple of minutes. Then add the chicken stock or water.

Adding the spice paste to the curry

Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through and then pour in your prepared spice paste.

Simmering the green chilli chicken

Stir it in and then cook for a further 10 minutes.

Green chilli chicken

Stir in the coconut milk and garam masala. Simmer for a further 5 minutes to thicken some. Season with salt to taste.

green chilli chicken

Serve! You are going to love this one!

If you like this green chilli chicken recipe, you might like t0 try some of these too.

Beef Biryani
Chicken Biryani
Chickpea Biryani
Chicken Karahi
Lamb Korma
Shami Kebab
Aloo Gobi
Lamb Nihari
Chapli Kebabs
Lamb Seekh Kebabs
Staff Chicken Curry
Butter Chicken
Chicken Haleem
Tarka Dal
Pilau Rice
Chicken Tikka Masala
Grilled Lamb Chops
Lamb Tikka
Spicy Kashmiri Lamb Chops


Have you tried this green chilli chicken curry recipe?

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Yield: 4 - 6

Coriander and Coconut Chicken Curry

Green chilli chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 12 green bird’s eye chillies, whole
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
  • 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 70ml ¼ cup (approx.) water or enough to assist blending
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 medium red onions, very finely chopped
  • 10 green finger chillies, finely chopped (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water or chicken stock
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thick coconut milk
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place all of the paste ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste. You can add a little water to assist blending. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan or wok over a medium-high heat and then add the whole spices. Fry to infuse these flavours into the oil for about a minute and then pour in the finely chopped onion and chopped chillies. Stir well to coat with the oil and fry for about 7 minutes or until the onion is soft, translucent and just beginning to brown.
  3. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds. Then stir in the ground turmeric, ground coriander and cumin.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir them in so that everything is well combined.
  5. Now add the chicken and stir it into the sauce for a few minutes, until it is beginning to turn white on the exterior. Add 125ml (1/2 cup) water or chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, lifting the lid a couple of times to stir.
  6. Add the prepared spice past and stir it right into the chicken. Cover the pan and continue simmering for about 5 minutes. Then lift the lid and add the coconut milk.
  7. Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in the garam masala and stir that into the sauce too. Serve hot over rice or with naans.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 16g

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Adam Sawyer

Thursday 30th of July 2020

Hi Dan, Is it possible to do this recipe in a slow cooker?

Dan Toombs

Monday 10th of August 2020

Hi Yes, that will work Thanks Dan

Dan Toombs

Friday 31st of July 2020

Yes, I think that would work. Thanks Dan

Leslie Pinto

Thursday 13th of February 2020

Super taste and consistency. I used fresh coconut and ground it along with the coriander and a half cup of water. Perfect...

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Great to hear Leslie

Thank you. Dan


Wednesday 9th of November 2016

Hi, at what stage should I take out the cloves and cinnamon, very excited to try these in a curry but scared of it tasting like mulled wine!

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 9th of November 2016

Hi Emily

The spices can stay in the curry the whole time it cooks. They can easily get lost in the sauce so I usually take them out as it cooks when they come to the surface. Hope this helps.

Thanks, Dan


Sunday 2nd of October 2016

Amazing curry Dan! The flavours are so fresh and authentic! It's even better when it's been good the night before and reheated the next day!

Dan Toombs

Monday 3rd of October 2016

Thanks Charlie - Really glad you liked the recipe and thanks for stopping by.

Cheers, Dan


Monday 1st of August 2016

Perfect!! :) I replaced fresh coriander with coriander paste and garlic and ginger paste with ginger and garlic powder. Also left for a while at the slow cooker. Thank you :)

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 9th of August 2016

Hi Gabi

Thanks for stopping by and glad you were able to adjust the recipe to ingredients you had on hand.

Cheers, Dan

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