I absolutely love this authentic cumin chicken curry recipe! We might be being told to stay home at the moment but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some amazing Indian food!
This easy cumin chicken curry can be made with ingredients you probably have on hand in your freezer and/or larder.
In this recipe I used chicken breast because that was what I had on hand but bone in thighs will get you an even better flavour.
As for the spices, feel free to use up that curry powder you have in the cupboard if you don’t have the other spices on hand.
After all… curry powder is essentially just a garam masala with chilli, dried ingredients like garlic and onion, turmeric and fenugreek added. It will work really well in this chicken cumin curry!
If you do want to use curry powder instead of adding the individual spices, just add roughly the same amount or to taste.
Taste as you go and have fun with it! That’s what cooking delicious curries like this famous chicken cumin curry is all about. Use this recipe as a guide but be sure to try it as it cooks and add whatever you have that sounds good.
Tinned chickpeas, tomatoes, leftover lentils… Adding these will make a different but equally as delicious curry.
If you don’t have any yoghurt, you could just add water or chicken stock.
Again, this will give you a different end result but I have tried it and it works. Water is perfect if you are cooking your cumin chicken curry with meat on the bone.
Let the cumin chicken curry cook for longer and you have a delicious stock to serve over rice.
Tip: Spices are better when roasted and ground. It is a lot cheaper to purchase your spices whole too!
When making a recipe like this, I usually roast and grind more than I need for the recipe.
The ground spices will be much better than you can purchase ready-ground at the shop.
Store the freshly roasted and ground spices in an air-tight container in a cool, dark location like your kitchen larder cupboard.
I have used brown onions for this recipe but you could also use red onions or shallots. Just use what you have in and I’m sure it will be delicious.
By the way, if you are into authentic Indian cooking, you should also try my Punjabi chicken curry!
If you don’t have or if you don’t eat chicken, why not try something else as a main ingredient? Cumin is a strong spice so other meats can stand up to it. This recipe would also be delicious with potatoes or a variety of different vegetables.
I have personally tried making this with tinned (canned) jackfruit and it was amazing!
- 700g (approx. 1 1/2 lbs.) Chicken cut into bit sized pieces
- 70ml (1/4 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 onion - thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 generous tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 2 green bird's eye chillies - finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water
- 2 - 3 generous tbsp natural plain yoghurt
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander - finely chopped (optional)
- Roast and grind 2 tbsp of cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and warm to the touch. Be careful not to burn the cumin or it will become bitter. Grind the cumin in a mortar or spice grinder and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the sliced onions and fry for about 10 min until golden brown in colour but not burnt.
- Transfer the fried onions with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to soak up excess oil. You only need 2 tbsp of oil for the curry. Transfer the rest to a jar to use as seasoned oil in other recipes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of cumin seeds to the oil and fry for about 20 seconds to infuse their flavour into the oil.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for about 30 seconds, just to cook off the rawness. Add the chopped chillies and the turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and ground cumin and stir well to combine.
- Now add the chicken and fry for about five minutes to brown in the oil and spice mixture. Add the water and cover the pan to continue simmering for another five minutes.
- Return the fried onions to the pan and stir well.
- Cover the pan again and simmer for another five minutes.
- Add the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time and continue cooking until you are happy with the sauce consistency. You can always add more yoghurt or water/stock if you prefer more sauce.
- Season with salt to taste and garnish with fresh coriander to serve.