Chicken Curry with Cardamom

September 28, 2017
Family Verdict:


1 x 1.6kg chicken, cut into 10–12 serving pieces (or packet of chicken thigh fillets. You can use less meat but keep the sauce ingredients the same if you are feeding fewer)

2 tbsp ground Coriander

8 Cardamom pods

1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp groundTurmeric

1 tbsp ground Cumin, 

2 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 medium Onions peeled and chopped

2 medium Tomatoes, chopped (I substituted half can of chopped tomatoes cos i had no fresh)

1 Litre chicken stock


5 tbsp Olive or rapeseed oil

Put the oil in a large, wide saute pan over a high heat. When hot, put in the cinnamon and cardamom. Ten seconds later, put in as many chicken pieces as will fit easily and brown them until golden on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, leaving the whole spices in the pan. Brown the remaining chicken in the same way and add to the bowl.

Add the onions to the pan, reducing the heat to medium and saute until they start to brown lightly at the edges. Add the garlic and stir a few times. Now add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Stir once or twice. Put in the tomatoes, stirring until they begin to soften.

Return the browned chicken and all its accumulated juices to the pan, along with the chicken stock, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt if the stock is salted, 1 teaspoon if not, and bring to the boil. Cover and cook somewhat rapidly over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring now and then until the sauce has thickened.


Well that title seems a bit bland and all encompassing. What kind of curry, from where, its roots, origins, ingredients? Don't you know there is no such thing as a curry....

Yes well, all that being said and accepted this recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Easy. I have used this book for a couple of other recipes on this site and it does deliver on flvour generally, so I thought I would give this one a try. She describes it as "a gentle family style curry" which is what i needed given the Youngest can be picky (at home anyway, she regularly eats spicy squid elsewhere...)

As is in keeping with the ethos of this book, this is a stripped back recipe which uses minimum ingredients but still delivers layers of flavour. As an old school Madur Jaffrey fan I cant but feel sorry for the loss of the huge ingredients with tons of mis-en-place which was her earlier style. But I have to confess these recipes are far more likely to get cooked (1) because you are more likely to have the ingredients; and (2) because they actually are reasonably quick and simple to make.

On the subject of ingredients, I have doubtless blathered on elsewhere about keeping whole spices in the store cupboard. They store well for ages and if they are ground at the point of use, still have most of their original flavour. The same is not true if you but ground spices and are only an occasional user - they will lose their strength, you will be disappointed in the flavour, so be less likely to make a curry, so that when you do they are even older - and so on until you stop, or change your buying habits!

Ms Jaffrey makes this using a whole chicken - I used a packet of chicken thigh fillets I had, which also has the benefit of making it really cheap. Plus thighs dont dry out in the way chicken breast does. I served this with plain rice and chapatti, which I also made (cos I was in the mood, if you want to know). It was delicious

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