How to Make North Indian Chicken Curry

by Neha Agarwal ; Updated March 11, 2016

Chicken curry is one of the most popular Indian exports with a variety of versions. Every region in India has their own interpretation for the curry — and what differentiates them is the tempering spices and cooking liquids. Like the name suggests, this is a popular no-fuss everyday dish cooked in Northern households. The ingredients used here are simple, yet they cook together to create a wonderful, warming concoction.

For the Marinade

For the Curry


  • Clarified butter, or "ghee," and ginger garlic paste are readily available in Indian grocery stores. Alternatively, use the same amount of finely minced ginger and garlic as required by the recipe.

Wash and dry the chicken. Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch cubes and set aside in either a bowl or large zip top plastic bag.

Put together all the ingredients for the marinade and toss the chicken cubes with the paste. Let the chicken marinate for at least half an hour. (The most I leave it is for 6 to 7 hours.)


  • I prefer using a zip top plastic bag when marinating the chicken. Just put everything in the bag, seal and rub well. It makes cleanup so easy.

Once you're ready to cook, heat the oil in a deep pan or wok with a lid. Add the cumin seeds and let them heat up (they should start to "sputter").

Add the sliced onions and serrano peppers if using. Saute on medium high heat until the onion softens, around 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the ginger garlic paste and stir for another 30 seconds. Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Let the mixture cook until the tomatoes cook down a bit and oil appears on the edges, around 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the remaining spices and continue to stir for another 30 to 40 seconds.

Toss in the marinated chicken pieces and continue stirring till the edges of the chicken turn white. At this point, add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil.

Turn down the flame to medium low, cover and let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes. (Check to make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.)

Toss in the cilantro leaves and serve hot. It's delicious served with Basmati rice or naan.

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About the Author

Neha Agarwal is a food & cooking enthusiast. She likes developing recipes which are easy, flavorful & inspired from her Indian background. She holds a master's degree in Human Resources & has passion for travel, entertaining and fitness.