A homestyle Chicken Curry to me is one of those no-fail comfort foods that never cease to please. They can be made in a million ways, each tasting dramatically different from the other, yet instill that familiar warmth and coziness that only comes with eating food that’s been cooked with love. It doesn’t matter how many times I cook my chicken in the curry form – it rarely ever tastes the same. This itself, to me, adds that extra oomph.


  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole black cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 10-12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt beaten till smooth
  • water as needed
  • a handful fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish


  • Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and add in whole spices and cumin seeds. As soon as they begin to sizzle, add in chopped onions, and fry for 3-5 minutes on medium heat till onions turn pink and tender. Add in ginger and garlic pastes and sauté for another minute or two till fragrant.
  • Add in spices and tomato paste, and fry for a couple of minutes to blend well. If it starts to dry out and stick to the bottom of the pan, add in a splash of water.
  • Mix in chopped tomatoes and salt, and cook for a few minutes till the tomatoes pulp and starts to release oil around the sides of the pan. Add in the chicken, mix well and cook covered on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the chicken starts to give out its own moisture, slowly stir in beaten yogurt forming a smooth gravy base. Feel free to add in more water depending on the consistency you prefer. Cook covered for 10-12 minutes on medium-low heat till chicken is completely cooked through. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves and serve piping hot with a side of rotis or rice, and a salad.
Homestyle Chicken Curry