Chicken curry in ground spices with curry leaves

ground spices

It sure is a challenge to find different ways of turning an ordinary chicken curry into a Sunday special curry. Besides, I look forward to Sunday curries – chicken or mutton. Having said that, I did make this Sunday’s chicken curry a tad special with freshly ground spices and curry leaves. I pictured in my mind a curry that’s dark in colour and deep in flavour. The colour I thought would come from whole pepper and curry leaves to give it a fragrant kick. And of course, I deseeded the Kashmiri chillies I used. It’s always better that way for me – all the colour and flavour, not too much of the heat. With some piping hot rice, my husband lapped it all up!





4 portions/servings

Prep time:

15 mins

Cooking time:

25-30 mins


Chicken – 700-800 gm (I usually get 4 whole legs and each leg cut into 3 pieces)

Onion – 1 large chopped

Garlic – 5 cloves finely chopped

Ginger – 1 inch piece finely chopped

Cinnamon – 1 inch stick

Masala/spice mix:

Kashmiri chillies – 3 deseeded

Gundu chillies (small round ones) – 3

Whole black pepper – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds/jeera – 1 tsp

Coriander seeds/dhaniya – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 cup


In a hot nonstick pan, dry roast the red chillies and keep aside.

Now dry roast the other ingredients, including curry leaves, till all the mustard seeds have popped.

Blitz in your blender till you have a coarse mixture.

Heat ghee/oil in a pan and saute the cinnamon till fragrant.

Tip the onions in and cook till translucent. Add a couple of pinches of salt so the onions lose the water and cook faster.

Add the ginger and garlic. Saute for another two minutes.

Mix the ground spices into the onions and cook it out for 10 mins on low heat. Add a splash of water when it dries out. Water helps it come together and also stops the masala from burning.

You can now tip the chicken pieces in and stir it all well enough for the chicken to get coated with the masala.

Add half a cup of water and let it come to a bubble.

Check for salt and add some more.

Cover and cook on a low flame for 25-30 mins depending on how big the pieces are.

Once cooked, take it off the heat.

Serve with rice or roti.


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