Red Chicken Curry

Curry was a dish I ate practically every day while growing up. My mother would make curry with whatever vegetables, meat, or fish she had on hand. While every household made curry, it tasted different by household and even from day to day since a lot of variation is possible. My mom never made curry the same way every time. One of my absolute favorites was red chicken curry, but we only ate this when it was tomato season.

Like most curries the one I present below uses a complex combination of spices and herbs including turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and chilies. The red color comes from red chili, tomato, and tomato paste. My mom wouldn’t put tomato paste in the curry as processed foods like this were not available. I find that adding a limited amount of canned tomato paste adds some depth and texture.

If you think that curries are too complex and time consuming to make, you might be pleasantly surprised by this one! This is pretty mild and really wonderful to eat with rice or roti (flatbread). If you like SPICE then you can easily add cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeno peppers as you are frying the spices.

I hope you give this one a try and let me know your thoughts!



  • 2.5 lbs. chicken thighs or leg pieces (skin removed, cut into two pieces)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion finely minced (do this in a food processor)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, paste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh garlic, paste
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, pureed (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (Kashmiri)
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cayenne peppers or chopped jalapenos (optional)


Chicken thigh cut into two pieces

Mix the pureed tomatoes, ginger, garlic, tomato paste, and cumin seeds in a bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until lightly brown and soft. Add chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and salt.


If you want to make the curry more spicy, you can additionally add cayenne or jalapenos.

Cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato puree mixture. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.


Add chicken pieces. Stir well to incorporate the chicken with spices. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring so the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add 2 cups of water. Stir well and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Turn up the heat to medium for the last 10 minutes of cooking time if you want your sauce to be a bit thick. Stir in the vinegar and taste for seasoning.

Transfer the curry to a nice serving bowl. Serve with rice or roti.


Serves 4-6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.

2 thoughts on “Red Chicken Curry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s