Curry Chicken from Scratch

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We never ate Indian food when I was a kid, except for this recipe. I am pretty sure my mother got it out of The Joy of Cooking. I’ve altered it a tiny bit (for instance, the book calls for raisins or currants and I don’t really care for that.) And of course I made it all organic, with brown basmati rice (which was definitely not found in my house growing up!). But it is a yummy, warm dinner for a cold winter night. I made it not spicy so my kids would eat it, but if I was making it for myself I would definitely spice it up. I have often thought that making Indian food is really hard, but this recipe makes me think it might be easier than I thought. More Indian food to come! (I really want to figure out mulligatawny soup and daal—yum!)

And my kids loved it, too!

Curry Chicken from Scratch


  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 4-6 pieces chicken, with or without skin and bones
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • slivered almonds


Serve with organic brown basmati rice—which takes about an hour to cook, so put the rice on first, then follow the rest of this recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and start with a pan that can go from stove top to oven.

2. Put the flour in a bowl and coat the chicken pieces in the flour (with a little salt and pepper added). I used chicken pieces with skin, but I think from here on out I will use boneless breasts.

3. Melt the butter in the pan on top of the stove, and put the chicken in to brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.

4. In the same pan with all the butter/chicken drippings, add the olive oil and curry powder, and let the curry powder start to foam (somehow that brings out the best flavor). Then add the garlic, green pepper, and onion to sauté. When it’s all browned a bit, add the tomatoes and stir it up.

5. Put the chicken back in with the sauce, and pop it in the oven for about 40 minutes, until it’s all bubbly and cooked.

6. While the chicken is in the oven, toast some slivered almonds (as many or as few as you like) on the stove or in the oven to sprinkle on top at the end.



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7 Responses to Curry Chicken from Scratch

  1. Donna in Delaware February 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    When I lived in Canada, we had neighbors of whom we became very friendly, that were Ugandan Indians. One day I had tried Indian ice cream called (do forgive me if I spell this wrong) Kulfi, that my friend had made. Needless to say that it took some getting used to, but I could eat it if I tweaked it. So, one day I decided to make some and take it to their house. To my surprise, her husband and sons loved it! They raved about it and said that it was better than what their mother made which, I might add, she took in stride. She also loved it because I put nuts in it, pistachios, to be exact. So try making that Maria!! It takes some work, but it’s worth it. No ice cream making machines involved, only by hand.

    By the way, I love indian food, especially the vegetarian type. Try making Naan. The Indian flat bread which is quite easy and also delicious. I usually buy it frozen from Trader Joe’s when I am in a hurry and make personal pizzas with them. They really turn out well.
    Try it sometimes!! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Jill February 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I usually add the most basic raita — plain yogurt with chopped cucumbers and a tiny bit of paprika on top. Real raita is a lot more interesting, but this cools down any perceived spiciness for my kids, plus gets them a dose of calcium and sneaks in a veg as well. Now I consider it, it sneaks a veg into the husband too. I wonder if this curry would work without the flour? We’re gluten free now.

  3. Lisa S February 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Okay Maria, I’m going to try this one but no matter how good it comes out, it won’t taste nearly as good as anything Baba’s mom makes. The bar has been set too high. I think this would be good with some fresh cilantro…

  4. maria (farm country kitchen) February 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    No flour necessary! But I do love Naan. And fresh cilantro would be good too. Was that even invented when the Joy of Cooking was first published? (That’s the only version I trust).

  5. Chiot's Run February 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I bet this would be fab with a can of coconut milk added – may give it a go when I finish eating up the batch of turkey veggie soup we’re currently working on.

  6. Emeline June 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I suppose that suodns and smells just about right.

  7. Edinburgh Indian Restaurants November 4, 2011 at 11:14 am #

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