Skip to Content

Chicken Madras curry – How to make it at home

Chicken Madras is an Indian curry that left you full but still wanting more.

A rich, creamy, and spicy curry bursting with flavor, chicken Madras is a favorite curry worldwide. It may not be the most authentic Indian curry, but its popularity has attracted many non-Indian cravings for Indian food, including me.

This curry is one of the less spicy ones that I have made so far. So if you can’t take fiercely hot food, chicken Madras curry is likely to be your choice.

The flavor comes from the unique Madras curry powder, prepared with many spices that tickle your tastebuds and makes you yearn for more.

Let’s get into the details right in.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my privacy policy for more info. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

A rich, creamy, and spicy curry bursting with flavor, chicken Madras is a gastronomical experience that left you full but still wanting more.
Chicken Madras is a favorite curry famous in different parts of the world. It may not be the most authentic Indian curry, but its popularity has attracted many non-Indian cravings for Indian food, including me.

What is chicken Madras curry?

The preparation For chicken Madras can be divided into three parts. They are pretty independent so that you can prepare them separately at different times. 

  1. The curry gravy has a thick and creamy texture, which forms the body of the curry. Some restaurants make a large batch and use it as the base for different curries. You can keep it for a few days in the refrigerator and a few months if frozen. 
  2. The Madras curry powder is the indispensable ingredient for chicken Madras. The curry powder is prepared with a specific blend of spices that sets it apart from the other curry powder. The taste is different if you substitute it with another blend of curry powder. There is ready-made Madras curry powder available, so you can grab it from the Indian grocery store to save time. I have the recipe for you (in the note section below the main recipe) if you prefer to make it at home. 
  3. The third part is the chicken itself. It is cooked with curry gravy, the Madras curry powder, and more herbs and spices. You can dish out the chicken Madras once you have the curry sauce and curry powder ready in less than twenty minutes. 

1. The Madras curry gravy

There are three groups of ingredients for the gravy: aromatics (onion, ginger, garlic), the vegetables (carrots, bell pepper, tomato, and cabbage), and the spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek). 

My curry is relatively mild, as I substitute part of the chilies with bell pepper (can’t take fiercely hot food). Still, it has the full-blown flavor attacking my senses, thanks to the freshly blend curry powder I used. (The curry powder recipe is in the note section below the recipe.)

  • Heat some ghee and sauté the aromatics until fragrant
  • Add the vegetables and cook until soft, which takes about fifteen minutes. 
  • Season with the essential Indian spices: turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek.
  • Also include some salt to taste. 
  • Let the vegetables cool to room temperature, then use a food processor to blend them into a smooth paste. You can add some water to facilitate blending. 

That’s it. I hope the preparation is as simple as you think! 

Note: There is no Madras curry powder in the curry gravy. Therefore it can be used as the base gravy for any curries. 

A rich, creamy, and spicy curry bursting with flavor, chicken Madras is a gastronomical experience that left you full but still wanting more.
Chicken Madras is a favorite curry famous in different parts of the world. It may not be the most authentic Indian curry, but its popularity has attracted many non-Indian cravings for Indian food, including me.

2. The Madras curry powder 

Not all curry powders are the same. Madras curry powder is prepared with a unique mix of spices.

It is pretty easy to make the Madras curry powder once you gather all the herbs and spices. These spices are available in most of the kitchens of an Indian family. 

I have added the recipe in the ‘Note’ section after the main recipe. Those ingredients marked with an asterisk are optional but try to include all if possible. 

You can keep this spice mix in an airtight container for a few months without losing its flavor, and up to six months in the freezer.

If you think there is too much work, there is ready-made Madras curry powder available online or in any Indian grocery store. The store-bought curry powder is suitable for you, especially if you do not cook Indian food regularly. 

spices for Madras curry powder
spices for Madras curry powder

3. How to cook the chicken Madras 

Most restaurants prepare the chicken Madras with cooked chicken. I guess that is because the waiting time is too long to prepare with raw chicken upon receiving the order. However, the flavor is way better to start with raw chicken meat when preparing it at home. 

You can use either boneless meat or chicken chunks on the bone. The bone adds more flavor to the curry, but you have to trade off the convenience while eating. I use boneless chicken thigh meat as it has more flavor than breast meat. The recipe is flexible. The choice is yours.

Here is how to make it :

  • Saute the minced ginger and garlic with some ghee. You can use ginger garlic paste if you wish.
  • When it becomes aromatic, add the tomato puree, followed by turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Keep stirring, and the spices will bine with the ghee and tomato puree to form a thick paste.
  • If you like green chili, add two green chilies to the pan at this moment. 
  • Put the chicken into the pan, and coat it with the spice paste. 
  • Now return the curry gravy to the pan.  Add some water and wait until it boils.
  • Now add the essential ingredient, the Madras curry powder. 
  • Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer for fifteen minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Cook low and slow is the key to ensure the chicken is tender.  You need to cook it longer if using chicken on the bone. 
  • Lastly, sprinkle some dry kasuri methi and coriander leaves and cook for a minute. 
  • Dish out and garnish with more fresh coriander leaves, and serve.

Other recipes related to chicken Madras

Chapati is the flatbread perfect for serving with chicken Madras. You may also want to eat it with the pillowy soft naan. The bread is ideal for mopping up the curry gravy,

Lamb Vindaloo is another favorite Indian food, which is slightly hotter than chicken Madras. Try this if you want to explore more of the curry flavor.

If you want a vegetarian dish, dal tadka is my choice. It may not be the easiest recipe, but the taste and aroma are worth the time and effort spent.  Please check this easy dhal recipe if you want to take a shorter route. 

Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Madras

chicken Madras thumbnail

A rich, creamy, and spicy curry bursting with flavor, chicken Madras is a gastronomical experience that left you full but still wanting more.

Chicken Madras is a favorite curry famous in different parts of the world. It may not be the most authentic Indian curry, but its popularity has attracted many non-Indian cravings for Indian food, including me.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Ingredients A (make curry gravy)

Ingredients B (cook the chicken)

Instructions

The curry gravy

  1. Heat some ghee and sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger until fragrant
  2. Add all the vegetables in A and cook until soft, which will take about fifteen minutes. 
  3. While simmering, season with all the species in A.
  4. Also include some salt to taste. 
  5. Let the vegetables cool to room temperature, then use a food processor to puree it to become a smooth paste. You can add some water to facilitate blending. 

The chicken

  1. Saute the minced ginger and garlic with some ghee.
  2. When it becomes aromatic, add the tomato puree, followed by turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and salt. 
  3. Add two green chilies to the pan at this moment. 
  4. Put the chicken into the pan, and coat it with the spice paste. 
  5. Now return the curry gravy to the pan.  Add some water and wait until it boils.
  6. Add the Madras curry powder. 
  7. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer for fifteen minutes or until the chicken is cooked. 
  8. Lastly, sprinkle some dry kasuri methi and coriander leaves and cook for a minute. 
  9. Dish out and garnish with more fresh coriander leaves, and serve.

Notes

Recipe for Madras curry powder

Ingredients A
6 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 tsp fenugreek seeds
Ingredients B
1 piece cinnamon bark
2 bay leaves*
1 star anise*
8 curry leaves*
5 cardamom pods
2 dried chilies
Ingredients C
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chili powder*
Method:
- Toast ingredients A in a small pan over low heat until they turn aromatic. High heat can burn the spices quickly.
- Similarly, toast Ingredients B until aromatic, remove. I use fresh curry leaves and therefore toast them dry before adding the remaining ingredients in B.
- Let the toasted spices cool to room temperature.
- After the spices are no longer hot, put all the ingredients into a spice grinder to grind until they become powder.
- Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 455Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 245mgSodium: 1542mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 49g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 6/2/2021

KP Kwan

Friday 4th of June 2021

Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

Skip to Recipe