Easy Chicken Madras Recipe - with tender chicken pieces in homemade flavourful Madras curry sauce. Serve with your favourite naan, flatbread, or basmati rice, and make it a perfect curry night!
What's your favourite curry? Chicken Madras is our favourite easy go-to curry! It's one of the popular curry dishes across the UK, you can find it in most Indian restaurants and takeaways.
Story behind this dish ?
Chicken Madras is basically a spicy red chicken curry. The main difference with regular chicken curry is the spice mixture and flavour in the Madras curry sauce are hotter than regular curry.
Is it an authentic Indian curry? I would say no. This is a British-Indian style curry recipe and the taste and flavour are more likely to British taste. Most British-Indian style curries are mild, rich, and creamy.
Indian Curry Sauce Base
Restaurant Indian curries add their pre-cooked sauce base in their curries. Curry sauce base usually consists of onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, masala, chilli powder, turmeric, oil, and ghee. Vegetables and spices used may vary according to the restaurants or family recipes.
All the onions, vegetables, and spices are cooked until soft, tender, and reduced to half. Then blend it into a smooth paste, and later add in the curry for creamy smooth curry texture.
But can you make restaurant-style chicken curry without pre-cooked base sauce? Yes, definitely you can, with our simple recipe tips. This curry sauce is not completely smooth, but it's so rich, tasty, and flavourful. You can cook everything in one pan and no need to use a food processor. Less clean up and less time-consuming. Perfect curry to cook for busy days. I can guarantee that's worth your time and effort!
Here is how to make it with Simple Steps:
You need only 3 simple steps to make this dish.
- Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric, paprika, hot curry powder, salt, and a splash of oil.
- Saute' the shallots, garlic, ginger, spices, and tomato puree. Then cook the chicken with low heat until soft and tender.
- Make a taste test and add salt and chopped coriander. Ready to serve!
Chicken: I usually use boneless chicken thigh or breast for this recipe. If you wish you make with bone-on chicken pieces, lamb, or beef, cook few more minutes until the meat is tender.
Madras Powder: What is Madras Curry Powder? It's a powder mixture of turmeric, chilli, coriander, mustard, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, and black pepper. Spices are roasted with low heat until fragrant then grind it into powder when it's cool.
You can buy hot or mild Madras curry powder in most supermarkets and Indian/Pakistani grocery stores.
Madras powder substitutes: Use regular curry powder and add extra cayenne pepper powder or hot chilli powder according to your preference.
Tips to make Madras Curry Sauce without blending:
1. Use shallot onions as they are less in moisture and melt in the curry easily. It's important to stir well with medium heat until they are caramelized and slightly brown before you add the chicken.
2. I love to add tomato puree instead of chopped tomato or tomato passata for quick dinner recipes. It brings vibrant red colour to the dish and also saves time from blending it in the food processor to achieve a smooth paste.
3. Use warm water while you are cooking, as cold water can stop the cooking process and take more time to tender chicken and sauce ingredients.
What to serve with Madras Chicken?
Simply serve up with cooked basmati rice, plain naan, garlic naan, chapati, roti, or flatbread. Garnish with chopped coriander and you can add lime wedges, onion, and cucumber slices on the side.
Cooking for a crowd? You can simply double or triple the amount of this recipe. Perfectly fine to make one day ahead and serve the next day. Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge and reheat until piping hot just before serving.
Here is more of our restaurant-style curry recipes that you might like:
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Easy Butter Chicken Recipe
- Chicken Hyderabadi
- Lamb korma
- Chicken Jalfrezi
- Chicken and Chickpea Curry
- Chana Bhaji
- Lamb Tikka Masala
- 3 cloves Garlic ( finely grated or chopped )
- 1 tbsp Ginger ( finely grated or ginger paste )
- 3 Shallot ( or onions, finely chopped )
- 2-3 tbsp Tomato puree ( or tomato concentrate )
- 2 tbsp Oil ( vegetable oil or neutral flavour oil )
- 2 tbsp Ghee ( ghee or unsalted butter )
- 1 tsp Salt ( or add salt according to taste )
- 1 tsp Dried fenugreek leaves ( Kasuri methi )
- Coriander ( to serve and garnish )
- 1½ cup Water ( suggest to add warm water, add more water if needed )
Chicken & Marinade
- 1 lb Chicken breast ( 450 g, boneless chicken thigh or breast )
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Curry powder ( Madras curry powder or garam masala )
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cooking oil
- 1 tsp Madras curry powder ( or hot curry powder )
- 1 tsp Paprika powder ( or Kashmiri chilli powder )
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds ( jeera seeds )
- 1 Cinnamon stick ( optional )
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- Cut the chicken breast into medium bite size pieces. Mix the chicken pieces well with turmeric, paprika, curry powder, salt and oil. Let it sit aside and marinade for 10-15 minutes.
- Gather all the spices, finely chop and grate the shallots, garlic, ginger and coriander.
- In a large pan, heat the oil and ghee over medium-high heat. Saute' the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick for few seconds.
- Add the chopped shallots and stir until translucent then follow with the garlic and ginger paste.
- Stir continuously, until shallots are light brown. Then place the chicken pieces, turmeric, paprika and curry powder, and stir for 1 minute.
- Follow with the tomato puree and pour the warm water in. Stir well until all the ingredients are combine evenly.
- Crush the dried fenugreek in hand and sprinkle over the chicken. Close the lid and cook with low heat for 8-10 minutes until the meat is tender.
- Add salt to taste. ( Make a taste test and adjust salt according to your taste. If the gravy is too thick, add a bit more water to your preference consistency. ) Turn off the heat and transfer to serving plate.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with basmati rice or naan.
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Terry Ashdown says
Fry some mustard seeds, chopped dried red chillies and dried curry leaves with the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks to flavour the oil and fat.