Typical south Indian curry - Madras Chicken, full of flavour and rather fiery due to the amount of chilli used. But I created a family-friendly recipe that is rather mild. Tender chicken, rich coconut milk sauce, and weeknight dinner is sorted. Uncomplicated yet full of flavour this easy recipe is a keeper.
Is Madras Curry Healthy?
As you might have noticed I am always very conscious of what I cook for my family. It has been cold in Melbourne this winter and I am paying extra attention to what goes into our meals. That's why I cooked this typical Indian curry with tons of onions, garlic, ginger, and spices. Did you know that all of these ingredients are very well known for their immune-boosting properties?
Health Benefits Of Onions
The health benefits related to onions are quite impressive. This nutrient-packed vegetable contains powerful compounds that may decrease your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. What is even more important today, onions have antibacterial properties and promote digestive health, which is shown to improve our immune function.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic contains allicin, a very strong antibiotic that is used as an antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal agent. It boosts the immune system and helps the body resist or destroy viruses and other microorganisms. Bye-bye cold!
Health Benefits of Ginger
People have consumed ginger all around the world since ancient times. The unique flavour of ginger comes from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is a bioactive compound that is known for its great medical properties. Gingerol enhances immune response and has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties (source).
For me, meals like this delicious Madras chicken curry are a perfect example of what good food is supposed to be, nourishing for our bodies and our souls. Enjoy your dinner and boost your immunity while eating it.
Now we have spoken about how good this curry is for us, let's see what we will need to make this easy chicken madras recipe. All simple ingredients, everything easily found in the supermarket or your local Indian grocery store.
- Chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in, organic or free-range if possible. Feel free to use the whole chicken.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh curry leaves are probably the most important part of this dish, so try to find them.
- Large onion, finely chopped. Any onion is fine, white onion, brown onion...
- Garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped. Fresh is the best.
- Fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Diced tomatoes, always use tomatoes in a BPA-FREE tin. You also can use tomato puree.
- Coconut milk
- Fresh coriander to serve
- Madras curry powder or you can use my spice blend below.
Mild Madras Spice blend
- Ground turmeric
- Ground coriander
- Ground cumin
- Chilli powder, skip it if cooking for kids!!
How to make it
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and gently fry for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Stir frequently. Low the heat if vegetables are starting to burn.
- Now add the spices such as chilli (if using), turmeric, coriander and cumin, and fry for 2 minutes, the spices should release the aroma.
- Add diced tomatoes and salt, stir and cover with the lid. Lower the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Time to add the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces around until they are fully coated in the spice mix. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes on very low heat.
- Now add coconut milk, stir and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Serve with fresh coriander, gluten-free naan bread, and basmati rice. Enjoy!
Make it Mild Madras.
As I mentioned above madras is a spicy curry. You can omit the chilli powder or add just a little if cooking for the family and little ones. The curry is very flavoursome and well-liked by kids, so don't be afraid to make it very mild, it won't lack in flavour.
Make it Lamb or Beef Madras.
You can easily swap chicken meat for red meat. Both lamb and beef will work in this recipe.
Make it Vegan Madras.
Madras curry can be easily cooked as a vegetarian or a vegan dish. Cauliflower will be the best vegetable to use instead of chicken. Just reduce cooking time in step five to 10 minutes.
Is Madras Chicken gluten-free?
Madras curry sauce is naturally gluten-free, as are most of Indian food. The staples of Indian cuisine are meat, vegetables and spices. And if you skip the naan bread, you can enjoy most of the meals in your favourite Indian restaurant.
Remember though, if you are eating out, always check before ordering, some sauces might contain gluten.
This easy chicken madras curry recipe is absolutely gluten-free! As are all recipes on this site. Enjoy!
Is This Madras Curry Sacuse spicy?
The Madras is typically one of THE spiciest within the Indian curries. It contains kashmiri chili powder which makes this a very spicy dish.
However, you are in total control of the spice level:
- You can use madras powder to cook this dish and make it hot.
- Alternatively, you can use my spice mixture in the recipe card below and make it completely mild. The choice is yours!
More Delicious Indian Recipes (Gluten-Free)
How to store
Have some leftovers? Refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
How to freeze
You can also freeze it in a Ziploc bag or a freezer-safe container. Defrost it naturally overnight and reheat. If the sauce became too thick, simply add a splash of water or coconut milk.
Watch how to make itPrint
Easy chicken madras curry recipe
This simple chicken madras recipe is absolutely delicious. Tender chicken cooked in coconut milk with lots of spices such as coriander, turmeric, and cumin. It is packed with immune-boosting compounds that will help you and your family to fight off viruses and infections and stay healthy. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 4 serves 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Gluten Free
1 kg of chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in (you can also use Marylands)
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
4-5 fresh curry leaves
1 large onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
3 cm fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 tsp chilli powder, skip it if cooking for kids
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp ground cummin
1 tsp salt
½ tin organic diced tomatoes, always use tomatoes in a BPA-FREE tin
1 cup good quality coconut milk
Fresh coriander to serve
Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Gently fry the onions, garlic, coriander, and curry leaves for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Stir frequently.
Add spices such as chilli (if using), turmeric, coriander and cumin, fry for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and salt, stir and cover with the lid. Let the mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Add chicken turning them around until they are fully coated in the spice mix. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on very low heat.
Now add coconut milk, stir and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Serve with fresh coriander and basmati rice. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from The Hot and Spicy Book by Charmaine Solomon.
Keywords: madras, chicken curry, Indian curry