Make chicken chilli garlic from scratch! No base sauce required.
Many people want to make British Indian restaurant (BIR) style curries but can’t be bothered with preparing the ‘essential’ base sauce. That smooth onion based sauce or gravy is used at curry houses around the UK to prepare everything from the mildest korma to the spiciest phaal.
Here I would like to show you how you can make top quality, curry house style chicken chilli garlic from scratch without the need to make a base sauce first.
What do you serve chicken chilli garlic curry with?
If you’d like to make naans, why not try one of these? Instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans.
Want to start your chicken chilli garlic meal off with a bang? How about fried shop bought poppadoms or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own poppadoms from scratch and serve them with coriander chutney, red onion chutney, and/or tamarind chutney.
Which cut of meat?
You could use chicken breast or thigh for this recipe. I prefer thigh as it has more flavour. Breast meat is more popular at restaurants because it’s white meat.
It is usually more expensive though with less flavour.
Do I have to use chicken?
Nope! You can use the protein of your choice.
I used pre-cooked tandoori chicken tikka for this chicken chilli garlic from scratch.
You could add raw chicken for example and add a little more water or stock and simmer it until it cooks through. I do like using tandoori chicken tikka though as the marinated and grilled chicken adds another layer of delicious flavour.
You could also try lamb or beef. In my recipe rogan josh from scratch, I show how to cook the meat first until tender and then use the cooking stock in your curry. Want to go veggie? Try paneer as an alternative.
Want to try this chicken chilli garlic curry exactly as it’s made at curry houses?
No problem. Here’s a good and authentic British Indian restaurant (BIR) recipe for you.
A version of the above linked recipe for chicken chilli garlic with base sauce and many other popular curry house recipes are in my cookbook “The Curry Guy Bible’.
Step by step photographs…
If you like this chicken chilli garlic curry recipe, try some of these no base BIR curries…
- 4 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 15 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
- 3 medium onions, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
- ½ tsp each of ground coriander, cumin and picante paprika
- 2 tbsp tandoori masala
- 3 - 6 green bird's eye chillies, thinly sliced
- 200g Tinned (canned) chopped tomatoes
- 800g pre-cooked tandoori chicken tikka (see page 00) or raw chicken breast or thigh cut into bite sized pieces
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- Dried garlic flakes, to garnish (optional)
- More thinly sliced green chillies, to garnish (optional)
- Pour the oil into a large frying pan or karahi over medium high heat and stir in the garlic slivers. Fry, being very careful not to burn the garlic, until it is a light golden brown.
- Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Now pour the finely chopped onions into the pan and add the salt to help release moisture. Fry for about 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden brown.
- Transfer approximately one of the chopped onions to the plate with the fried garlic.
- Returning to the pan, stir in the garlic and ginger paste and chillies and fry for about 30 seconds and then add the ground spices and chopped tomato.
- Stir in about 125ml (1/2 cup) water or unsalted chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Then turn off the heat and allow to cool some.
- Blend the cooled sauce until smooth. Pour this thick sauce into the pan over medium high heat. It will be too thick so add about 250ml (1 cup) water or unsalted chicken stock and bring to a simmer. If the sauce is still looking too thick, add a little more stock or water. If it is too runny, just cook it down.
- Add the cooked garlic slivers and onion to the sauce and stir them in.
- Now add either cooked chicken tikka or raw chicken. If using raw chicken, you may need to add a drop more water or stock and simmer until it cooks through.
- To finish taste it and add salt to taste. Sprinkle in the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) by rubbing them between you fingers. Serve topped with dried garlic flakes (optional), some fresh chopped green chillies and/or chopped coriander (cilantro).