Jul 6, 2009

Chicken Curry Masala


Judging by the amount of hits, comments and links on/to my Roti Chicken posting, I’d say you guys are up for more of these recipes! Here’s another winner. Simple, fragrant and highly addictive.  And not even too time consuming.

Masala means spice blend. That’s all. There are a thousand kinds of masala out there, but a few are more commonly used: Garam Masala (Garam means hot) and Curry Masala are two of them you’re probably familiar with. I’ve always felt Curry Masala was God’s gift to cooks. The scent and flavor are absolutely mind-blowing.

Combine it with onion and garlic and you have a wonderful dish going on by the name of Chicken Curry Masala. Easy as can be.



2 pounds chicken (with bones)
1 large onion
1 red chili pepper
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp curry powder
5 tbsp sunflower oil
8 medium potatoes
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 1/2 cup water
2 to 3 bay leaves



We’ll have to give this onion a really good chop. If you have a food processor, now would be a good time to remove the dust and reinstate it. If you don’t have one, mince the onion as fine as you possibly can.


This dish does have a bit of a kick to it. You can tone it down by using as much, or as little, chili pepper as you like. I’ve deseeded one red chili and I’m using it all. Cut it in coarse pieces and add it to the onion.


Pulse until you end up with a really fine orange mixture. Almost a rub.


Grate 2 pretty large, or 4 smaller garlic cloves and add them to the onion mix.


Add 1/2 a tsp salt.


And 4 tbsp curry masala. I’m using a more authentic Suriname masala (spelled with a double S here), but regular curry powder will do just fine.


Add 1 tbsp sunflower oil, or any other kind of high heat cooking oil. No olive oil, though! I’d already poured in the oil and simply forgot to take a shot. Mea Maxima Culpa!


Stir to combine and revel in the scent. Just go ahead, take it all in! Gah, that sounds so wrong.


2 pounds chicken. I don’t care what you buy; chicken legs, thighs or even a whole chicken that you yank in about 8 pieces. Just as long as it has some bones in it. Score the chicken a few times.


Apply the onion & masala mix to the chicken. Rub it in with your hands. Yes, I know it contains chili pepper—you’ll just have to thoroughly wash your hands afterwards—it really works best when you rub it in. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and let it marinade for about 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes, you heat some oil (about 3 to 4 tbsp) in a pan with a thick bottom. A Dutch oven works great for this. I always use sunflower oil for dishes like these, it adds a very characteristic flavor.


Cook the chicken and add the onion mix that falls off as well, until nice and brown on all sides. This will take you about 15 minutes.


In the mean time, back at the mansion… I’ve peeled and coarsely cut up 6 decent sized potatoes. Use potatoes that hold their shape.


Remove the chicken from the pan, pour in 1 1/2 cup of water and stir to get the brown bits and onions off of the bottom. Crumble in 1 chicken bouillon cube and add 2 to 3 small bay leaves. Place the potatoes in the ‘gravy‘ (for lack of a better word).


Place the chicken right on top of the potatoes. Crack the lid and simmer, over low heat, for 30 minutes. Prepare for amazing scents to fill your house.


Shuffle the pan a little every now and then to make sure the potatoes don’t get stuck to the bottom.


Place the chicken and potatoes on a large plate. Drizzle the gravy all over. Garnish with thinly sliced red chili pepper and parsley.


This is really good when you serve it with green beans (kouseband) and Roti, or just flat bread. I’m pretty sure you’re gonna like it.



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    1. 1

      an indian recipe!! :) thi sounds so much like last nights dinner, only, i didn’t use potatoes and ate the curry with dosas (flat rice pancakes) mmm…
      anyway, did you know that in india curry powder isn’t useD? garam masala is used, but curry masala is something you won’t find here (unless you go to a gourmet store or something). instead we just use different mixtures of spices depending on the dish made…

      raj@the hungry cook on Jul 6, 2009 @ 8:53 am Reply
    2. 2

      Looks great! Have you ever tried paratha/parantha? I tried them once because I couldn’t find “roti plaat”. I found them in the freezer section at Wah Nam Hong R’dam. Sometimes have them just on their own.

      And yay for no (fresh)coriander \o/.

      Peejeej on Jul 6, 2009 @ 8:54 am Reply
    3. 3

      @raj@the hungry cook:

      Suriname cooking is derived from Indian cooking, I think. But they use a lot of curry masala. And potatoes. I’m addicted to the stuff.

      Kay on Jul 6, 2009 @ 8:56 am Reply
    4. 4


      No, you’re not gonna find coriander in my dishes anytime soon, no :)

      Kay on Jul 6, 2009 @ 8:57 am Reply
    5. 5

      This looks stunning. You even make the bottle of sunflower look gorgeous. I’m amazed!

      Gail on Jul 6, 2009 @ 9:26 am Reply
    6. 6

      well, i think thats bcs a lot of indian people moved tp surinam at some point! yknow the sad part? im in india, i SO want to know what curry masala/powder tastes like and i can’t! sigh…the irony of it all.

      raj @ the hungry cook on Jul 6, 2009 @ 11:30 am Reply
    7. 7

      Wow Kay, this looks YUM-MY!!!!! NOM NOM NOM!! I think I might have to “dust off” ye old food processor (or at least unearth it from where it sits in a cupboard) and find somewhere in my tiny kitchen to plug it in and give this a whirl! I love curry sooooo much :)

      LizzieBee on Jul 6, 2009 @ 12:59 pm Reply
    8. 8

      So you mean “score” rather than “scorch”? Scorch means to burn, like when you lay your iron on your shirt too long and you get a “scorch” mark. (Do any of us really iron anymore?) I hated to make this comment, it seems so petty. Love your site and your recipes are always great.

      Susan on Jul 6, 2009 @ 1:41 pm Reply
    9. 9


      Thanks for pointing it out! That’s what I get for writing so fast! Good thing there are photos attached, so people won’t go set their chickens on fire *grin*

      Hmmm. I still iron :)

      Kay on Jul 6, 2009 @ 1:44 pm Reply
    10. 10

      I love it when there is a curry recipe. Not enough folk blogging about curry’s deliciousness! Thank you!

      Jillian on Jul 6, 2009 @ 3:07 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I think curry is fabulous – and love the fact that there are so many varieties of it out there. On a trip to Singapore I toured the spice markets and was AMAZED at their options – where do you buy the one you featured?

      Michele Morris on Jul 6, 2009 @ 5:11 pm Reply
    12. 12

      @Michele Morris:

      I buy these bags at the Chinese store in Rotterdam. The guy carries a lot of items that are hard to come by.

      Kay on Jul 6, 2009 @ 6:21 pm Reply
    13. 13

      I looked all over the web last night for a great curry recipe and ended up making butter chicken curry. Love your site…and if you have it, would you maybe post a recipe for butter chicken curry? I kinda made mine up as I went and it was delicious, but the curry..broth/sauce stuff was extremely thin. Any helpful hints??

      Molly on Jul 6, 2009 @ 7:36 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Oh.. wow! I have chicken thighs begging to be soaked in curry masala!

      Question: I have curry powder, and I have garam masala. What would be the portions to mix these two together? Would that make a curry masala spice? Thanks for your help!

      Trish in MO on Jul 8, 2009 @ 3:13 pm Reply
    15. 15

      @Trish in MO:

      Curry masala is usually a slightly stronger flavor than regular curry powder. But curry and garam are two different masalas. So there’s no need to mix them, unless you like a hint of garam masala in there as well which is really tasty). You can go with regular curry powder or add a tsp or two garam masala.

      Kay on Jul 8, 2009 @ 3:17 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Just had to report that I made this a couple of evenings ago (did add 1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala) and it was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!
      Thanks for the recipe.

      Karen in OK on Jul 10, 2009 @ 5:50 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Hi Kay! I made this curry tonight. Oh. My. It was so delicious! I only had Madras curry in the can but it worked just fine. Thank you!

      Kate/Massachusetts on Jul 11, 2009 @ 2:48 am Reply
    18. 18

      Hi Rotterdamse Stolwijker! sweet Kay!
      Ik ontvang je recepten niet meer op mijn mail of heb je mij eruit gekicked?
      Boohoo, please send your recipes again, ik mis je lekkere hapjes en je prachtige foto’s de laatste tijd.
      Vast bedankt,
      Ernst Rotterdam

      Ernst van der Bilt on Jul 11, 2009 @ 7:31 pm Reply
    19. 19

      @Ernst van der Bilt:

      Wat raar, je bedoelt via RSS? Dat zou allemaal gewoon moeten werken!

      Kay on Jul 11, 2009 @ 7:34 pm Reply
    20. 20

      This looks delicious and I love the receipe card, too!


      justine on Jul 16, 2009 @ 9:28 pm Reply
    21. 21

      I made this last night….it was so good. Had leftovers for lunch.

      I just used plain curry powder. I also used chicken breast cut up (no skin..no bones)…I ran some zucchini and red peppers thru the food processor and threw it in the mix along with a few tomatoes from my garden…the colors were

      I will be eating this for years to come. Next time I will throw some Garam Masala..

      chipmunkgal on Jul 22, 2009 @ 11:28 pm Reply
    22. 22

      I got this halfway made and realized I was low on curry powder.  Bought it today but no time to make it tonight – other obligations.  Will definitely make it Fri-sat of thsi week – can’t wait; smells heavenly already.
      I noticed the post said 8 potatoes; recipe card says 6.
      Also post says chop potatoes in chunks and card doesn’t say what to do with the potatoes.  Obviously I figured it out, just thought you might want to know!
      I make a similar dish called “Pakistani Kima” – do you know what makes something a “kima”?   It has tomatoes, potatoes and meat (I love ground turkey in it) and peas or beans – cinnamon, curry, etc.

      LoriM on Oct 6, 2011 @ 11:58 pm Reply

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