Easy Chicken Curry

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on March 22, 2013

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The familiar warm tones of ginger, garlic and cumin filled every nook and cranny of our home this week.

I made batches of the stuff. Eggplant curry and lentil curry, sweet potato curry and this easy chicken curry.

We had a healthy Indian food feast.

And it was good.

The star of the feast was this chicken curry recipe. Kevin couldn’t get enough of it, and I was right behind him every bite of the way. It’s bold, not too spicy, was easy to make, and; dare I say, better than any butter chicken I’ve ever had?

Yes, this is BETTER than butter chicken.

After making oodles and oodles of curry in my lifetime, I can say that the secret to a good curry is in toasting the spices before hand. In this dish, I toasted the mustard seed and cumin for some outrageously delicious spice action.

Why all the curry, you ask? Because it’s inexpensive to make, easy to put together and the recipes are very, very forgiving. Don’t have an eggplant? Use zucchini. Don’t have a tomato? Just leave it out! It’ll still taste wonderful and cost you pennies a bowl if you do it right.

And now we have oodles of leftovers for days to come. No one’s complaining here!

Red Chicken Curry (47)

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4.0 from 2 reviews

Easy Chicken Curry
Author: 
Allergens: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
An easy chicken curry made with healthy ingredients and minimal oil with bold flavors that will make you fall in love with first taste. You’ll want to double up on the batch, guaranteed!
Ingredients
Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or Braggs aminos or gluten-free tamari
  • 4 teaspoons red curry paste, divided
  • 3 teaspoon grape seed oil, divided
  • 550 grams boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 3 half breasts), cubed
Curry:
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups gluten-free chicken stock
  • 2 small red bell peppers
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 teaspoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
Instructions
  1. Add aminos, 3 teaspoons of curry paste and 1 teaspoon of grape seed oil to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Place in a resealable plastic bag and add chicken. Seal and swish the chicken around until it’s coated. Set in the fridge and allow to marinade for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil in a medium saucepan with cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Heat on medium-high heat for 1 minute, or until seeds begin to pop. Be sure to stir constantly to avoid burning. Add onions, ginger and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
  3. Add marinaded chicken (and all sauce that you can possibly get out of the bag), stock, bell peppers, tomato and ground pepper. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Add water and arrowroot to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add to the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Continue stirring until cooked, so that the bottom doesn’t burn, for 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through. You’ll think that there is not enough starch, but just keep stirring.
  5. minutes before completion, stir in remaining 1 teaspoon of red chili sauce and curry powder for an extra kick of bold flavor!
  6. Serve over top rice, quinoa or with a side of papadums.
Notes
Any type of oil can be used. If you’d like to make vegan, I’m sure cooked chickpeas could be used. Perhaps 3 cups? If you’re allergic to tomatoes, omit. I haven’t tried to replace the arrowroot starch with anything. You could try tapioca or corn starch instead but I haven’t tested this.

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curry

This marinade is at the heart of this delicious dish. The chicken doesn’t need to sit in it long, 30 minutes will do the trick.

Get it marinading, then move on to preparing the rest of the meal. You’ll find that the timing will be just perfect!

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The longer you saute the spices with garlic, ginger and onion, the more fragrant and deep the curry will be.

… and those small chunks of ginger… oh boy, they’re amazing.

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Now I’d love to hear from you! Do share…

What food, dish, or meal do you enjoy preparing the most?

How do you save money when you’re preparing your meals? Is it something you worry about?

Leave a comment below and tell me about it!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

I whole heartedly agree with you on the spice toasting! It just makes the flavour that much more amazing. I think the dish I enjoy preparing the most is Thai fresh spring rolls. They take time to make but they look so cute when they’re done and taste delicious too! Happy Friday lady! :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Okay, we need to make these together when you come over. I keep meaning to make rolls and just never get around to it. Show me how!

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Jennifer | Sterling Sweets

I have been craving Indian food ALL week! Made your lentil curry on Monday. Super excited to try this!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Story of my life. Not a day goes by where I don’t have Indian! I’m happy you gave my lentil curry a shot. This one is even better. No lie! Have a great weekend, Jennifer!

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Lisa

I missed your webinar due to a minor family “emergency” and I was SO bummed! It got me to thinking about my diet and “limitations” and, really, how silly I am to think in terms of limits! There are SO many foods and ingredients in this great big world to explore and taste and combine. Cooking and experimenting with flavor is something I enjoy (surpassed only by the thrill of growing fresh herbs/veggies in my own organic garden. A big $$ saver for our family of 6!) As of now I am embracing seeking out new-to-me foods/ingredients and new ways to combine them, new cuisines and new things to grow at home. Hey, there’s a whole lot more in this world I CAN eat and enjoy and thrive on than not…I’m starting with this tonight, a vegan version, (along with G/F naan!) Thanks for all you do to make my journey fun and easy and healthy!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Oh no, I hope everything is okay! Wow, your comment is so empowering and uplifting. I’m so happy I can play a small role in your journey, Lisa!

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Ally @ Om Nom Ally

This take on butter chicken sounds divine! The combo of spices sounds delish and I suddenly find myself craving a good curry :)
In answer to your questions, I think I love making pumpkin soup more than any other dish. I do a million variations and never get sick of it. I don’t so much worry about saving money on the food bill, but I am naturally a bit frugal. I try to grow a lot in raised garden beds and besides that aim to fill 90% of my shopping trolley with fresh foods and staple purchasers. Eating seasonally works wonders too in keeping the food bills down.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I’ve only made pumpkin soup once. I loved it, but never made it again. Cool to know there are a bunch of ways to switch it up, too! Great tips on saving money at the store. You’re right, seasonal eating is KEY!

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Izabela (yoginiselfportrayal.wordpress.com)

Looks so delicious, maybe i will try it on the weekend. Do you know if this red curry paste is gluten free?

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

It’s not certified but it is free from gluten. Enjoy!

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Izabela (yoginiselfportrayal.wordpress.com)

Thanks!!! I have hard time finding a gluten free curry paste.So it’s great to know.

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Dana

I could make steamed veg over a grain EVERY MEAL of EVERY DAY for the rest of my life! (And I sort of do that already.) I usually have a grain of some sort cooked and ready to go in the fridge– brown rice, quinoa, millet, or buckwheat– and then I wash, chop, and lightly steam whatever veg I feel like, throw some spices on top, add some homemade kraut and voila! There’s my meal. It works again and again and again….

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Homemade kraut… oh gosh, I need to get in on that action! Is it hard to do?

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Dana

OMG, Leanne– no it’s not! I am totally obsessed with making kraut (and converting everyone else to the homemade kraut scene, too.) You can see how to do it here: http://zonapellucida.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/crazy-sauerkraut-lady/ (The recipe is at the bottom of the post, way past the parts where I go on and on about not being able to take my precious kraut with me across the US border.) All you really need is cabbage, high quality salt, a bit of filtered water, and a mason jar, but you can get creative with extra ingredients if you like (shredded beets or carrots, ginger, curry, caraway seeds, dill, etc.) SO GOOD, and so good for you! (Plus it’s amazingly inexpensive. Buying raw kraut in a store ranges from $6-$10 per jar, and you can make a whole bunch of it at home for around $3 a jar, using organic ingredients and all. Try it!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow. You know a lot about this! I’m totally blown away. In one of our last emails, you’d said the phrase, ‘power pose’… that got me thinking… ‘wouldn’t it be cool to invite readers of healthful pursuit to share their genius on the blog’. There are so many amazing women out there (like you :D) who know SO much about health! I would love to feature you on the blog, if you’re down with that? If you are, send me an email and we’ll figure out the details.

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Suzanne @RollWithIt

Ooooooo, this looks so good and now I am craving curry! There is an amazing restaurant here in Vancouver where the curry it OUT OF THIS WORLD! If you ever come here we should go together. You can actually buy their curry mixes and I have been dying to get my hands on them. This recipe would be perfect for it!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Deal. I have no doubt that I’ll be making my way to Vancouver again. And when I do, you’ll be the first I message. It sounds divine!

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janet @ the taste space

I agree, Indian has wooed me because it is healthy, cheap and easy to make. Toasting the spices helps (grinding your own after toasting is good, too) but the best is the tarka at the end: the flavoured oil gets my curry singing.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Mmmm tarka… yes…. Indian food really does have it all.

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

Yummy! I love adding coconut milk in my curries. So tasty!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I haven’t added coconut milk to a curry in a long, long time. I’ll have to do that next time!

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Meghanne

Making this tonight with pasture raised chicken thighs instead of breasts for more YUMM factor :) Thanks Leanne!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

More like double yum factor! Hope you enjoyed it :)

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Dina

I am torn!!! Do I make the chicken, the eggplant or the lentil curry?!?!?! LOL Together?! haha Because if I had them all made separately, they”d all be on my plate at the same time!
I love Indian food so much, that it is my comfort food. I am far from being Indian! Thank you!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I would make them all, then serve yourself 1/2 cup of each and freeze the rest in little 1/2 cup portions. I love eating multiple different curries at the time time. But if I HAD to choose… I guess… maybe… umm…. chicken. Yes. Chicken. Final answer.

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Rachel Hockey

Hi Leanne – we are in the midst of making this (smells amazing!!) but 2 things – it doesn’t say what to do to the bell peppers, we assumed chop as that would make sense; you also don’t mention when to add the chicken stock. We added it with the chicken as it says to “bring to a boil” but there isn’t any liquid. Hope this was all right, can’t wait to eat it! (*a note that we did substitute corn starch for the arrowroot, but it doesn’t look to be thick enough. maybe needed extra corn starch?)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Rachel – sorry about that. I mentioned peppers and liquids but didn’t explain it very well. You add the bell peppers and stock in with the tomatoes, you’re right. Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. You just keep stirring and stirring. The curry will reduce MASSIVELY. No extra starch is needed.

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Bobbie

I just made this,and it IS yummy,but I found there was too much liquid,even though I simmered it for much longer than 30 mins(uncovered) so next time I’ll add less stock.I used the soy,and cornstarch and it still tasted good.Plus,I added some coconut milk at the end,and Garam Masala,and used chicken thighs so the meat wouldn’t dry out.

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Kim

Lord have mercy, I made this for the first time tonight and I’m licking my bowl. Amazing! This is one of my favorite recipes of yours that I’ve made. Hubby wanted it hotter – maybe more curry paste in his bowl next time? Even my picky son liked it, though I dipped his out before adding the last bit of curry paste and powder. Served over quinoa. Like Bobbie, I had a bit too much liquid, I’ll cut back on the broth next time.

Divine – thank you so much!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

SO happy that you liked it, Kim!

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Marla

Thank you for sharing your recipe. I did not grow up eating foods with these spice combinations but have learned that I really enjoy them! My curry has been bubbling for quite some time and now I am waiting for it to cool to divide…eat some now, freeze some for later. I will have it with quinoa tomorrow.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I hope you enjoyed it, Marla!

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Doug

Hello,

Great work on this site, I have pulled some tasty items off it over the last couple weeks. The eggplant curry was excellent and has moved its way into the starting rotation. I tried the easy chicken curry tonight and while it tasted like it had potential, it was just not the right consistency and the chicken got a little tough. You have two cups of stock on the ingredient list but you don’t have it listed when to add to recipe. I would love if you could take a minute and look over the recipe because it definitely has potential but something is a wacky with the timing, 30 plus minutes at what temp, and the stock is missing. Thanks!

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Lizz Daley

My husband and I don’t do well with spice. Any suggestions to make this dish not spicy?

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Stormi

Hi, I just found your website to day through someone who knows you. Her name is Shirley Plant and she is in my 10 day detox group on facebook. :) This was really good and I am not much of a cook. :)

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