Chicken Curry

In celebration of National Chicken Curry Day, on Januray 12, we want to share a recipe and post from guest blogger Meena.  Meena blogs over at

Cooking Curry

When it comes to simple everyday meals, I find it hard to succumb myself to the traditional Indian daily routine of ‘Dal-Sabzi’, translated, simply meaning a lentil and vegetable preparation. A simple Indian lunch would mainly consist of a lentil and a side of some vegetable, cooked in different variations everyday.

These are then relished with warm rotis, rice, a dollop of pickle, and some fresh yoghurt. For me, a meal like this often finds it’s way to my dinner table once every 10 days. The rest of the week however, I prefer finding ways of simplifying indulgent favourites to treat my ever-so-demanding palate.

What is a Curry?

Often, when I talk to people on the topic of curries, the most common concern I get confronted with is the amount of time, and not to mention effort that comes with it. I for one, beg to differ.

For me, a curry is nothing but a smooth blend of flavours brought together to highlight a star ingredient. True, you can spend hours toasting, pounding, and grinding spices to form the smoothest of pastes; you can spend days marinating and chopping to achieve the most delicate blend possible; and you can also lose yourself in a cloud of spices and herbs that would fill your kitchen and your home with an aroma almost so ambrosial, you would think you woke up in a foreign land.

But then again, you could do what I do on days when all I have at my disposal are a few measly minutes at the brink of lunch-time with a rumbling tummy to cater to.

As I see it, curries are not something one should be afraid of. Neither are they something to look at with such cynicism or vengeance. A curry is a curry, and like any other can be easily tamed to suit ones tastes and preferences. I like mine to be quick and robust with flavour, and I don’t stop till I find my way with it.

Meena Agarwal | www.canolaeatwell.comEat Well…Meena

Meena is a freelance food writer, recipe developer and cooking instructor based in Mississauga, Ontario. Her food blog,, is a collection of recipes for the modern cook with an added Indian flair.

She is the cookbook author of Knack Indian Cooking and 500 Indian Dishes.


Home-style Chicken Curry

Homestyle Chicken Curry |

Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 30 min | Serves: 2 as a main, 4 as a side


2 Tbsp canola oil 30 mL
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
2 dried bay leaves
5 whole cloves
3 green cardamom, lightly bruised
5 black pepper corns
1 tsp cumin seeds 5 mL
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp  minced garlic 15 mL
1 Tbsp minced ginger 15 mL
¼ tsp turmeric powder 1 mL
½ tsp red chilli powder 2 mL
1 tsp cumin powder 5 mL
1 tsp coriander powder 5 mL
½ tsp garam masala 2 mL
2 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup plain yogurt, beaten till smooth 125 mL
2 large chicken breasts, cubed
water, as needed
finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, for garnish


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and sauté cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns, till they begin to sizzle. Add cumin seeds and onions, and fry for 3-5 minutes till onions turn pink and tender. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute or two till fragrant.

Add in turmeric, red chili powder, cumin and corrainder powder, and garam masala.  Fry for a minute. Mix in chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes till tomatoes pulp and releases oil around the sides of the pan. Slowly stir in beaten yogurt forming a smooth gravy base.

Add in chicken pieces, water if necessary and allow to cook covered for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat till chicken is cooked. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves and serve piping hot.

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