Chicken Curry with Cardamom

By Madhur Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey From the book Curry Easy
Chicken Curry with Cardamom

A gentle, family-style curry. If you leave out the cayenne pepper, this may even be served to small children. Serve with rice.

For how many? Serves 4


  • 5 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 2 x 5cm/2inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 x 1.6kg chicken, cut into 10–12 serving pieces
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • Salt


Put the oil in a large, wide saute pan over a high heat. When hot, put in the cinnamon and cardamom. Ten seconds later, put in as many chicken pieces as will fit easily and brown them until golden on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, leaving the whole spices in the pan. Brown the remaining chicken in the same way and add to the bowl.

Add the onions to the pan, reducing the heat to medium and saute until they start to brown lightly at the edges. Add the garlic and stir a few times. Now add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Stir once or twice. Put in the tomatoes, stirring until they begin to soften.

Return the browned chicken and all its accumulated juices to the pan, along with the chicken stock, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt if the stock is salted, 1 teaspoon if not, and bring to the boil. Cover and cook somewhat rapidly over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring now and then until the sauce has thickened.

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