A simple and delicious garlic chilli chicken recipe packed with flavour. Made with tender chicken thighs, onions, tomatoes, and aromatic garlicky curry sauce. A perfect quick weeknight meal the whole family can enjoy and ready in 30 minutes!
We love curries and we've shared both homestyle and restaurants style curries on our website. Naga Chicken Curry, Lamb Tikka Masala, Chicken Handi, and Ceylon Chicken are popular recipes that you don't want to miss!
This dish is not a traditional Indian curry recipe. It's one of the most popular curry dishes in UK Indian takeaways and restaurants. Takeaways and restaurants use pre-cooked chicken and pre-cooked curry base but in this recipe, we are cooking from scratch.
If you love chilli and garlic flavour, this is the right recipe for you! It contains loads of garlic, 3 types of chillies, and a few classic Indian spices and aromatics. It's an absolute favourite in our family and we love to serve it with fluffy basmati rice.
Why you would love this recipe
It's freezer and fridge-friendly, so you can prepare a big batch for later use.
A super quick and easy curry that you can whip up everything from scratch in 30 minutes. No pre-cooked, or readymade curry pastes and curry sauces are needed for this recipe.
It's a versatile curry, even though this dish is medium hot chicken curry, you can customize it by reducing the spices or adding additional spices to your taste. Plus, you can also add your choice of meat or vegetables and make it your own-style chicken chilli garlic curry.
What do we need
- Chicken - I used boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. You can also use chicken breast, bone-in chicken pieces, or even add pre-cooked boiled chicken, or chicken tikka.
- Ground spices - turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, curry powder, and garam masala are basic spices you will need.
- Whole spices & aromatics - highly recommend adding green cardamom pods and Kasuri methi ( dried fenugreek leaves ).
- 3 types of chillies - dry crushed chillies, fresh green chillies, and Kashmiri chilli powder are ideal for this hot curry recipe.
- Garlic & ginger- you will need both chopped garlic, freshly grated garlic paste, and ginger paste.
- Shallots & tomatoes - I love to use shallot onions and ripened vine tomatoes. Add additional tomato puree ( concentrate ) to bring more colour and flavour.
- Ginger and coriander - freshly chopped coriander and thinly sliced ginger strips for garnish.
- Can I add vegetables? Yes, you can simply add extra veggies like potatoes, carrots, courgettes, butternut squash, etc.
How to cook it
Following is a quick guide. Detailed measurements and a full written recipe are available on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Heat the oil to medium heat, add cardamom and follow with the chopped garlic.
- Once the garlic is fragrant add onions and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Then add garlic and ginger paste and continue saute until the onions are light brown.
- Next, add chopped tomatoes and cook until the oil starts to separate.
- Then add the tomato puree and follow with the ground spices and dry crushed chillies.
- Add the chicken pieces, stir it well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Then add the water and season with salt to taste. Continue cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
- Stir in chopped green chillies and dried fenugreek leaves.
- Turn off the heat and finish with coriander.
Commonly asked questions
Serve with plain basmati rice, turmeric rice, plain naan, garlic naan, chapati, or choice of flatbread. You can also pair this dish with King Prawn Butterfly, Crispy Fish Pakora, Brinjal Bhaji ( Aubergine Bhaji ) or Easy Vegetable Bhuna and make it a complete curry dinner.
Yes, once the curry is completely cool down, add in the airtight freezer-safe bag or container and freeze it for later use. Simply defrost it in the fridge overnight and reheat in over the stovetop or in the microwave until piping hot. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if the gravy is very thick before heating up.
This dish is great for meal-prep and reheating. Cook the curry one day ahead, store it in the fridge with an air-tight container. Then reheat it just right before serving. It lasts in the fridge for a couple of days.
- This dish is medium spicy and it contains chilli powder, crushed chilli flakes, and fresh green chillies. If you prefer mild curry, adjust the chilli heat by reducing the amount of chilli or omit crushed chillies or green chillies to your taste.
- Protein - instead of chicken you can also try this dish with lamb, beef, paneer, etc. Red meat and bone-in meat can take longer to be cooked through. You might want to increase the cooking time.
- For a vegetarian and vegan option, use Quorn meat, tofu, potato, cauliflower, courgette, etc.
- Kashmiri chilli powder - it has a vibrant red colour and is rich in flavour. If you cannot get Kashmiri chilli powder, use regular hot or mild chilli powder.
- To increase the serving size, you can simply double this recipe and use a large heavy bottom pot.
- Garlic pickle - You can also add a tablespoon of Indian garlic pickle to the curry sauce just right before serving. It brings tangy, spicy, garlicky flavour to the curry.
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Garlic Chilli Chicken Curry
- Large pan or pot
- 450 gram Chicken thigh Boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast
- 2-3 Shallot onion Finely chopped
- 2 Tomatoes Finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves Garlic Roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste Or finely grated garlic
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 2 tsp Tomato puree Tomato concentrate
- 4-5 Green chilli Cut thin slices
- 3-4 tbsp Cooking oil Sunflower, vegetable, canola, etc
- 1½ tsp Salt
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- 5-6 pods Cardamom
- 1 tsp Crushed chillies
- 1 tbsp Kasuri methi Dried fenugreek leaves
- Ginger strips
- Heat the pan to medium heat, drizzle 3-4 tbsp of oil and add the green cardamom and follow with the chopped garlic. Stir it for a few seconds, add the chopped onions and cook until soft and translucent.
- Next, add the garlic paste and ginger paste and cook until the onions are light brown. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and oil separate.
- Then add tomato puree and ground spices, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, and crushed chillies.
- Place the chicken pieces and combine well with spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add warm water and add salt to taste.
- Bring the heat to low-medium and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is tender.
- Add green chillies, and dried Kasuri methi and stir it well. Make a taste test and adjust salt and water to taste. Finish with coriander.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with thinly sliced ginger strips and serve with plain rice or a choice of flatbread.
- Kasuri methi is also known as Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves. It has a unique earthy, aroma which is ideal for Indian curry recipes. Rub and crush the methi leaves in both hands before adding to the curry.
- Kashmiri chilli powder - Kashmiri chilli has a vibrant red colour, bringing more colour to the dish. You can use regular hot or mild chilli powder as a substitute.
- Adjust the garlic & chilli - I love to add plenty of garlic and hot chillies to this recipe. You can reduce the number of garlic cloves and use mild chillies if you prefer the mild curry flavour.
- What type of oil to use? We usually use sunflower, canola, vegetable oil, etc. You can also use ghee or unsalted butter instead of cooking oil.
- What to serve with this dish? Serve with plain rice, naan, chapati, or a choice of flatbread.