Chicken With Curry Powder Recipe


This recipe for chicken with curry powder will teach you how to make a delicious, flavorful meal. It’s easy, looks great, and tastes even better! That’s why today I’m going to share with you one of my favourite chicken recipes. It’s quick and easy to make, it’s healthy and definitely inexpensive. But the best part about this recipe is that it tastes heavenly!

Easy Chicken Curry

Easy Chicken Curry in a black skillet |

Super easy chicken curry packed with flavor and cooked in no time from scratch!

What’s for dinner? Chicken Curry! Forget jarred sauces….this recipe has a 5 star homemade sauce! A creamy, aromatic, coconut curry sauce made with minimal ingredients simmers around tender chicken pieces. You’ll be surprised at how GOOD this curry is!

Turn it into a spectacular dinner and serve it with our super soft naan bread to mop up that sauce!


A good chicken curry recipe usually involves either: making a curry paste from scratch, OR a long ingredients list like this amazing Tikka Masala. So, we came up with a recipe/solution to give you that Curry hit you’ve been craving for in an easier way.

This may NOT be an authentic Indian curry, BUT it does give you a satisfying hit of flavor and spices, AND it may just tick all of your curry craving boxes:

  • No need to marinate chicken ✔️
  • Shorter ingredients list without impacting flavors ✔️
  • The option of using curry powder instead of SOME of the spices if that’s all you have on hand ✔️
  • Fragrant coconut milk adds even MORE flavor ✔️
  • Ready in less than 30 minutes. YES! It CAN be done! ✔️✔️✔️
Easy Chicken Curry |


All you need is love and the following ingredients:

  • CHICKEN thighs OR breast pieces. I suggest using thighs as dark meat works better in this sauce and provides a richer flavor. If using breast, simply simmer for a shorter amount of time.
  • FRESH AROMATICS: Garlic, ginger and onion start it off in the right direction.
  • SPICES make a curry a curry, yes? For this reason, we do still recommend the main spices that give curry the best delicious taste, which are garam masala and ground cumin. Tumeric and others CAN be replaced with mild curry powder that may be hiding out at the back of your kitchen pantry.
  • COCONUT MILK OR CREAM gives you the best cream sauce. You an substitute with heavy or thickened cream if that’s what you have!
  • FRESH HERB like chopped cilantro to garnish at the end. Substitute with fresh parsley if you prefer.


FIRST, you’re going to toss the chicken pieces in a couple of spices. We may be making life easier, but you STILL WANT a great curry and it all starts here!

Once the chicken is fried, add in the spices and/or curry powder to release epic flavors before adding anything else. This step is essential for a great curry sauce. Plus, you get the bonus of browned bits frying onto the bottom of your pan. Browned bits = flavor!

LASTLY, add in your tomato puree (I always use Passata) and coconut milk or cream. Taste test and adjust seasonings to suit your palate if you need too! THAT’S IT!

Serve over plain rice OR garlic butter rice!

Easy Chicken Curry served in a black bowl over garlic butter rice |


Heaven! With all of the fresh aromatics, spices and optional brown sugar, curry has a unique rich and earthy flavor. Adjust the level of heat by adding more or less chili or curry powder.


You may find that you don’t need to thicken the curry sauce in this recipe as the combination of coconut milk/cream with tomato puree thickens it for you. For a thicker curry, however, you can either add in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, OR a cornstarch slurry. Dissolve two teaspoons of cornstarch into one tablespoon of cold water. Stir the slurry into the sauce and let it simmer until the sauce thickens. It won’t take very long at all.


Super easy chicken curry packed with flavor and cooked in no time from scratch! Forget jarred sauces….this recipe is 5 stars! A creamy, aromatic, coconut curry sauce made with minimal ingredients, simmers around tender chicken pieces makes for an incredible dinner. You’ll be surprised at home GOOD this curry is!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time35 mins

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: chicken curry

Servings: 4 serves

Calories: 393kcal



  • 21 oz. chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, (or curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, or curry powder
  • 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, adjust to your taste preference
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 13.5 fl oz can coconut milk, or coconut cream
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, to garnish


  • In a bowl, toss chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil and spices to evenly coat.
  • Heat remaining oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken in batches until browned, about 3-4 minutes each side. Set aside and keep warm. (The chicken will finish cooking in the sauce.)
  • Melt the butter in the same pan. Fry onion until soft (about 3 minutes), scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add garlic and ginger; sauté until fragrant, about for 1 minute. Add in garam masala, cumin, ground coriander and turmeric (or curry powder). Cook stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, chili powder, salt and sugar. Let simmer until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in coconut milk/cream. Add chicken and juices back into the pan. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh garlic butter rice and homemade naan bread.


Serve with super soft Naan bread to mop up the curry sauce!


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

The Best Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

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If you’re looking for the BEST chicken curry recipe, then this authentic Sri Lankan Chicken Curry recipe will tick all the boxes! I’ve also provided some tips on how to cook this incredibly flavorful chicken curry and how to adapt it to your taste!

The BEST Chicken Curry recipe you’ll ever need!

Learn how to make Authentic Sri Lankan Chicken Curry with these tips and variations for the best ever chicken curry with or without coconut milk! Spicy, flavorful and fragrant!

If there’s one dish that I could quite literally make with my eyes closed, this is it. This Sri Lankan Chicken Curry is one that I make and have made AT LEAST once a week for many years now. It’s quintessential comfort food for K and myself, and we are instantly reminded of Sri Lanka, of our childhood, of home, of full and comforting meals, every time we eat this Sri Lankan chicken curry.

We do like any kind of curry, but this chicken curry really is our go-to. Besides, chicken curry is probably the most common type of curry eaten in Sri Lanka and any other part of the world for that matter.

If you’re new to the world of curries, or even if you are a seasoned pro, this curry is  must try!


  • This is an easy recipe that is also truly authentic!
  • Many recipes use store bought curry powders, that change the flavor of the curry depending on the brand. This is CONSISTENTLY delicious, because YOU MAKE the curry powder.
  • While it is authentic, it is also so adaptable! Don’t have coconut milk – no problem! Don’t like chili? No problem! Don’t have tomatoes? Just don’t add it!
  • This is a step by step recipe, so it’s easy to follow even for novice cooks.
Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder - This roasted curry powder is deeply aromatic and has very robust and complex flavors. The ingredient ratios are easy to remember (4:3:2:1 and 3:2:1), so go ahead and make a big batch and use it any way you like to make flavorful curry dishes!
Sri Lankan roasted curry powder

A great Sri Lankan chicken curry is a very versatile and easy to make dish. Sure, there are plenty of slow cooker versions and quick versions of this chicken curry that you could find online with a google search. These recipes mostly employ the “dump and cook” method of adding all the ingredients into one pot at the same time and then cooking all the way through. That’s how you get the difference between a mediocre chicken curry and a truly mind-blowingly flavorful curry! HOW you cook the curry determines the flavors just as much as the ingredients.

So here I’ll share the inside scoop, some of the well-known “secrets” to cooking a fantastic chicken curry. Plus, I’ll also share some variations to standard Sri Lankan chicken curry as well.


  • “කිරට” (kirata = milky). A chicken curry made with coconut milk, and can be less spicy, richer in taste because of the creamy coconut milk component. OR
  • “මිරිසට” (mirisata = chili/spicy). A chicken curry made without coconut milk, so can be spicier, and lighter.

You can easily adapt this same chicken curry recipe to make either of these versions of chicken curry. We prefer the “kirata” style with the coconut milk that is a richer tasting curry because of the coconut milk. However, we make the “mirisata” style more often so that I don’t use too much coconut milk in everyday cooking.


You can make this chicken curry with bone-in pieces from a whole chicken, or just bone-in pieces of just chicken legs or chicken thighs. Or for convenience, you can just use boneless pieces of chicken. Obviously, boneless chicken will cook faster, and is my choice when I want to cook a quick curry that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. BUT, a GOOD chicken curry uses bone-in chicken pieces because the bones flavor the curry sauce (or as we call it – curry gravy).

If you’re using boneless chicken, I recommend using the red meat over white meat of chicken. Chicken thighs (red meat) has more flavor and won’t overcook easily and can withstand the cooking time.

For a healthier option you can use sliced boneless chicken breasts too. But make sure to cook them for a shorter amount of time OR braise them for a longer time to make it tender. Otherwise the pieces will be too dry.

To cook with sliced chicken breasts for a quick curry, make sure to make the curry sauce FIRST and then add the chicken at the end and only cook it until the chicken is cooked through.

Some choose to remove the chicken skin to lessen the fat in the chicken curry as well. I have always loved eating the skin, so I compromise and add half with the skin, and half without. So that’s totally up to you!

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder - This roasted curry powder is deeply aromatic and has very robust and complex flavors. The ingredient ratios are easy to remember (4:3:2:1 and 3:2:1), so go ahead and make a big batch and use it any way you like to make flavorful curry dishes!


Arguably, curry powder is the most important ingredient for this chicken curry. So, I use my own homemade ROASTED Sri Lankan curry powder to make this delicious chicken curry. It’s made with,

  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Black peppercorns
  • Cardamom seeds from cardamom pods
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cloves
  • Fennel seeds

It’s got a robust flavor and is the perfect combination of spices for any curry, especially for classic Sri Lankan curries. And since it’s not a very spicy curry powder, you can control how much chili powder you add as well. The first four ingredients mentioned above, are crucial for a curry powder. I sometimes leave out the mustard and fennel seeds out from this curry powder and still get fantastic results.

I would highly recommend making this curry powder for this curry. You can use store bought curry powders too, but remember that you may need to adjust the amount you add depending on how strong/weak the curry powder is. Some supermarket curry powders are really quite weak, and makes your curries taste extremely bland. So taste and adjust if that’s the case.


Yes, we usually add 2 tsp of cayenne pepper (yup! that’s TWO teaspoons, we really do like it spicy), and 1 tbsp of regular (not sweet or smoked) paprika. In Sri Lanka, you’d only use chili powder that is pretty strong, and very vibrant in color, so it flavors the curry while making it beautifully red colored as well.

The additional cinnamon stick adds a nice sweet spiciness that also helps balance the heat.

BUT, you can adjust the spice level in this curry. 

If you’re not a fan of spicy, you can adjust this level to suit your preferences.

You can add less black pepper to the curry powder. Don’t eliminate it completely because black pepper is an important part of this Sri Lankan chicken curry.

If you want that characteristic red color of the curry, but not the heat, then increase the paprika and reduce the cayenne pepper. But if you can handle spicy curries, or prefer them that way, then go ahead and add 2 tsp of cayenne pepper as I do.

And if you choose not to add chili powder/cayenne pepper OR the paprika, that will be fine too. The result will be a very mild Sri Lankan chicken curry, that’ll be mostly brown in color (and not a red curry), with a slight red tinge (from the tomatoes), but it will still be just as delicious without the heat.

Learn how to make Authentic Sri Lankan Chicken Curry with these tips and variations for the best ever chicken curry with or without coconut milk! Spicy, flavorful and fragrant!


To me and my family, a basic, authentic Sri Lankan chicken curry,

  • is spicy (and therefore more red in color than brown),
  • there’ll be some oil floating on top (especially, if the curry is made with coconut milk. The coconut milk is cooked with the chicken to the point where the coconut milk splits and the oil separates from the milk).
  • The gravy is just so damn flavorful, you can drink it on its own!

This Sri Lankan chicken curry ticks all the boxes! It’s a versatile recipe that you can adapt to your taste and still be absolutely delicious.


  • For best results, use a whole chicken cut into pieces, OR bone-in chicken (like legs or thighs).
  • Use Sri Lankan curry powder. If you can’t find it, you can easily make your own following this recipe. Lots of recipes will say that you can use madras curry powder, but that tastes different from Sri Lankan curry powder, and will not give you authentic results. Sri Lankan curry powder has a lot of coriander seeds, and doesn’t have turmeric. You can substitute Sri Lankan curry powder with madras curry powder if you really must, but just remember that the taste will be different. I recommend making your own Sri Lankan curry powder, which genuinely tastes better and is quite versatile too.
  • Since there is pepper in the curry powder, you do not need to season with salt and pepper at the end too. Just season with salt to your taste.
  • Use coconut oil and good quality coconut milk whenever possible.
  • After you cook the chicken curry, let the chicken curry sit for a while. This allows the chicken to absorb the flavors of the curry gravy. This is why this chicken curry tastes even better the next day.
  • Curry leaves are preferred for curries, but if you can’t find them you can use bay leaves or pandan leaves.
  • Layer the flavors for best results – don’t dump in all the ingredients at once. Soften the onions and garlic and ginger first before adding the spices. This lets different flavors grow and strengthen. Using roasted spices adds an extra layer of flavors.
  • For an added twist (which is not traditional) – roast the chicken curry in the oven towards the end. It caramelizes the chicken (which you cannot do on the stove-top), giving it an extra layer of texture that enhances the flavor.
  • This is more of a caution than a tip. Be mindful of your preferred spice levels. Adjust the cayenne pepper to your taste.


We serve it with rice and some vegetable side dishes. My favorite is beetroot curry! I always loved chicken curry and beetroot curry together. I highly recommend that combination of sweet beetroot curry with the spicy chicken curry.

Another option is to serve it with roti. Sri Lankans love and prefer to eat Pol roti, which is a flat bread made with coconut and wheat flour. But we also love godhambara roti (or roti canai / roti paratha), and maybe even some naan bread if we have some at home.

The best Sri Lankan Chicken Curry - delicious chicken curry served with a coconut spoon, with flavorful gravy.

If you have chicken curry leftover, here is my absolute favorite way to re-purpose them! Turn it into Sri Lankan Chicken Kottu Roti – a very popular Sri Lankan street food!

You can also make a really easy chicken curry fried rice or a curried chicken salad sandwich too!

Filipino Style Chicken Curry

I always enjoy eating Filipino Style Chicken Curry. It is delicious and flavorful. I like to pour the rich and creamy curry sauce over warm white rice before eating. This is one of the dishes that I prepare for my family during special occasions, especially Christmas.

Filipino Chicken Curry

Consider cooking this dish for Noche Buena. Your family will surely love it too.

Difference of Filipino Style Chicken Curry with Traditional Chicken Curry

This version differs from the traditional Indian recipe in many ways. The obvious disparity is in the ingredients used. I used store-bought curry powder to make it simpler. Traditional versions make the curry from scratch using garam masala, cumin, paprika, and coriander.

I like coconut milk in my chicken curry. This is what the Pinoy version uses. Traditional recipes make use of yogurt instead.

Tomatoes play a huge part in traditional chicken curry recipes. It can be either freshly sliced, or in liquid from like tomato juice. This version that we have here do not use this ingredient. It still tastes good without it.

Both versions taste delicious. It is a matter of preference. I will feature the traditional version in the near future so that you can try it and compare.

How to Cook Filipino Style Chicken Curry

How to Cook Filipino Style Chicken Curry

This Filipino Chicken Curry is easy to cook. Start by pan-frying the chicken. Do this by heating oil in a pan. Put the chicken pieces on the pan and fry each side for 2 minutes. It will be great you can pat each piece dry using a paper towel. This will prevent the oil from splattering. Remove the chicken from the pan after frying.

Prepare the coconut milk mixture by combining water and Knorr Ginataang Gulay Recipe Mix. I use this ingredient because it is convenient. Simply combine with water and you will have your coconut milk in no time. I recommend this product especially to beginners who are not well versed yet in cooking with coconut milk. It already includes seasonings and spices that makes your dish flavorful.

It is time to cook everything in one pot. Saute onion, garlic, and celery. Continue to cook until onion softens. This ensures that flavors are extracted from the aromatics, which are the three ingredients that I mentioned. It is also important to always use high heat when sauteeing.

Pour the coconut milk mixture into the pan. Add curry powder and stir until the powder dilutes completely in liquid. We now have our rich and creamy curry sauce at this point. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 35 minutes or until tender. You can always add more water if needed. Pay close attention to the amount of liquid and the time. If the coconut milk starts to dry out quickly, pour enough water into the pan.

Filipino Style Chicken Curry Panlasang Pinoy

Add the remaining ingredients. This includes bell peppers, potato, and long green chili. This needs to cook for 8 minutes or until the potato softens. You can season your dish with patis and ground black pepper, if preferred.

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