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Chicken Curry, Easier with Homemade Curry Paste

Hello, January! Now that our December heatwave has broken – it’s time for curry. And this is a super fun recipe, both for the curry and for the homemade curry paste.

The lovely thing about Indian food is that it comes in a range of spice levels. It can have heat, but it doesn’t need to leave your taste buds squealing in pain. And this curry dish is mild but incredibly delicious. It’s flavorful, beautiful, light and elegant.

This is going to warm you up on those evenings when the “high” is “zero.”

Chicken Curry

Serves 2-4.


2 chicken breasts

2 chicken legs

3 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil

2 medium onions, diced

1 clove of garlic, diced

1 can of coconut milk

1 scallion, diced

Homemade Curry Paste

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons of cayenne

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of water

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

In a small frying pan over low heat, lightly toast the coriander seeds until they “bloom” and you can smell their fragrance. This will take about 30 seconds.




Let them cool slightly, and put them into a coffee grinder (dedicated to grinding spices) with the cumin, cayenne and turmeric. Grind the spices together and make sure to inhale when you open the grinder. The smell is intoxicating.



Pour the spices into a medium bowl and add the water and lemon juice. Poke the chicken pieces all over with a fork, and add it to the bowl with the paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate for an hour in the refrigerator.

Pour the oil into a large frying pan and heat on medium, until the oil is hot but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 10 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes until done or until the chicken reads at least 165 degrees with a meat thermometer. (Make sure the thermometer isn’t touching the bone of the leg, that will give it an inaccurate reading.) Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add the onions and garlic and cook over low heat until softened. Add the coconut milk and the chicken back to the pan.



Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice or naan and garnish with scallions.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

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