Try out David's slightly spicy, authentic chicken curry with cool cucumber-mint raita

David’s South Indian Chicken Curry Recipe

This chicken curry recipe is a flavorful, well-spiced dish made by our good south Indian friend, David. While it does require a few spices, the other ingredients are simple and one simple trick makes it much faster.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 670 kcal
Author David Moses


  • 2 kg chicken legs and thighs (or other bone-in chicken)
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 5 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 3 tbsp sour milk

For the spice mixture

  • 15 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 dried chili
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp chicken masala
  • 2 tbsp garam masala


  1. Preheat the oven to 430 F (220 C).

    Wash the chicken. Mix 1 tbsp salt, 1.5 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp turmeric and pour it over the chicken.

  2. Place the chicken in a baking dish and put it in the oven when ready.

  3. In the meantime, add the oil to a large pot over medium high heat. Add in the whole spices first (whole chili, allspice, peppercorns, cloves, cardamon and bay leaves). Do not add the ground spices yet.  

    Add in the ginger and garlic with the spices and deep fry in the oil until they begin to pop.

  4. Add in the chopped onions and tomato, and cook until the onions are soft and the tomatoes have lost their pulp. 

  5. Add in the remaining ground spices (turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and the masalas) and blend the curry until fine. Remove from heat until the chicken is done cooking.

  6. When you see the chicken is beginning to pull away from the bones, remove it from the oven.

    Add the pan juices (as much as you can bear) to the curry, and then drop in the chicken.

  7. Bring the pot to a boil over medium flame and let it cook for 15 minutes. 

    Add in the sour milk and whisk until well blended. Cook further until the oil has come out of the chicken and risen to the top, about 20 minutes.

  8. Optional 1 (basmati rice): in this time you can make basmati rice by mixing 2 cups of dry rice with 4 cups of water in a pot over medium flame. When the rice begins to boil, cover the pot and turn down the heat immediately to a low simmer. Leave it alone for 15-20 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the rice sit in its steam for 5-10 minutes, open, fluff with a fork, then close again for another 5-10 minutes.

  9. Optional 2 (raita): you can also quickly chop up 2 medium English cucumbers, 1/2 onion, 1 cup of plain yogurt and a handful of mint leaves. Add some salt and coriander powder.

  10. When the chicken is ready, serve it over a bed of basmati rice with an optional naan and raita.

    Bon appetit!