Authentic Chicken Curry Recipe

  • 2 teaspoons corainder seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped, or grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise*
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk^
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted cashews, roughly chopped, for topping the dish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, for topping the dish
  • Prepared Basmati rice, for serving (see recipe below)
  • *Available at many supermarkets, or specialty gourmet markets, or at Asian markets

Authentic Chicken Curry Recipe


  1. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until they start to crackle, about 3 minutes.
  2. Use a spice grinder, or a coffee bean grinder, and grind the toasted seeds.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the ground seeds, turmeric, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper (each), cayenne pepper, and oil and mix well to form a paste.
  4. Add the chicken to the bowl and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  6. In a saute pan, over high heat, melt the butter.
  7. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper, bay leaves and star anise and continue to saute until the onion is lightly golden, about 5 - 7 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes
  10. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in the coconut milk and 12 teaspoon salt and bring to a gentle boil.
  12. Reduce the heat to low, simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  13. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  14. Remove the star anise and bay leaves, and discard.
  15. Transfer to serving bowl, and top with cashews and cilantro.
  16. Serve with basmati rice (recipe below)
  1. Place 1 cup of basmati rice in a large bowl and fill with room temp water. Swirl your hand through the water and the rice for about 1 minute, the rice water will get cloudy. Then carefully pour off the water, taking care not to lose any rice. Repeat this washing process until the water runs clear, usually about 3 or 4 times. (this step is very important!)
  2. Fill up the bowl 1 more time and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice.
  4. Fill a medium saucepan with 1¾ cups water, a pinch of slat, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the rice, stir, and wait until the water comes back to a full boil. When it does, turn the heat down as low as it can go,and then cover.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Fluff with fork.
  8. Enjoy!
  9. *Technique and recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira.

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