South Indian chicken curry

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 4


From The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best


For the masala paste

  • 2.5cm/1in piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tbsp white poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coconut flesh

For the curry

  • 2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh coriander leaves, to garnish


  1. First make the masala paste. Grind all the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar, or pulse in a small food processor, until you have a fine paste.

  2. For the curry, make a paste by pounding the ginger and garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar or by blending them in a small food processor.

  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a lidded pan and fry the onion and chilli until softened. Add the masala paste and the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2–3 minutes.

  4. Add the chicken pieces, chilli powder, turmeric and salt, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Then add about 125ml/4fl oz of water and cook gently until the chicken is tender.

  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.