Easy Weeknight Chicken Curry – A simple chicken curry recipe that you can make using fresh, leftover, or rotisserie chicken. Also a great make-ahead curry recipe.
If I am in a pub or anywhere that has a chicken curry on the menu, that is what I order. I love Indian food and there is something so comforting about a big bowl of chicken curry that just makes me so happy. A side of naan and mango chutney and I am swooning.
Like many things, there is no one way to make a curry or can even decide on what a traditional curry recipe is. Everyone has their own favorite spice blend or way to make it. It varies from family to family, person to person.
I got into a lively debate with a commenter on my glogg recipe about this very notion. What is traditional to me might not be traditional to you, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t traditional, eh?
My mom makes a mean curry and I’ve never had another quite like it. Hers is more broth-y and she can make it the same each time, and has for years and years, but can’t write the recipe down. She makes it by taste.
She’s kept a basket of spices in the cabinet just for her curry with a cut out from a magazine that is the framework for as long as I can remember.
She also has a really cool platter with little bowls for all of the condiments that she serves with it. Chutneys, pickles, chopped nuts, coconut, egg, raisin. The part that I loved the most was topping my bowl of curry.
Hers takes a really long time to make, often days. Even if I could figure out how to make it, I don’t have the kind of time unless it is for a special occasion. This simple chicken curry recipe is designed for a weeknight. And for kids. It isn’t too spicy and you can add more spice if you like it hot.
I am very lucky to live in an area with a large Indian community. We have a lot of Indian stores nearby and I have started buying all of my spices (and some of my produce) there. The spices are far less expensive than the grocery store and they are far superior. I now have my own spice basket in my cabinet.
I buy most spices whole, I bought a cheap coffee grinder that I only use for spices. For instance, in this recipe, I ground my own coriander. It makes such a difference after I grind my spices, I run some salt through the grinder and wipe it out. The flavor difference is night and day.
I serve my weeknight chicken curry with basmati rice, naan, lime wedges, toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, mango chutney, and chopped cilantro.
Pro tip – The best bite ever, a piece of chicken, a little mango chutney, a cilantro leaf, in a piece of naan. Think mini taco Indian-style.
Ready to make some curry?
Add cumin and mustard seeds to a large saute pan over medium heat. I use the same pan to make the whole thing. #lazy
You will know that the spices are done when they start to pop and you can smell them. Don’t walk away though, they burn quickly.
Transfer your spices to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind.
Chop one onion, ginger, and two cloves of garlic. I use a microplane for garlic and ginger. It’s the best tool for the job.
Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the dry spices, curry paste, and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, making a thick paste.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, making a thick paste.
Add water, chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes. If using fresh chicken, make sure your chicken is cooked through.
Add the red peppers, lime and cook for another 5 minutes. Check for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve over rice.
Tips for Making Chicken Curry //
- This chicken curry recipe uses a red curry paste. I bought mine at the grocery store in the international aisle, if you don’t have curry paste, you can use curry powder or garam masala.
- You can use fresh chicken, leftover chicken (any kind will work – grilled, baked), or a shredded rotisserie chicken.
- This can easily be made on a weeknight, but I also make it on a weekend while I am making something else and save it for another night. It just gets better and better as it sits in the fridge. Just gently reheat and dinner is served.
- If you like things spicier, feel free to add more heat.
- You can also add any toppings you like. Peanuts, coconut, cilantro, lime, and chutney happen to be my favorite, but add anything you like.
Other Weeknight Recipes You Might Like //
Oven-Baked Fajitas – I still make these a few times a month
Buffalo Chicken Tacos – The buffalo sauce for these tacos is just about perfect.
Sour Cream Chicken – When I have chicken and have no idea what to make for dinner, I make this.
Honey Garlic Balsamic Chicken – This is so good and I don’t make it enough.
Kelly’s Overnight Chicken – So easy and everyone loves this.
There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase using this link, I make a small percentage at no cost to you.