A chicken curry with homemade garam masala

It’s hard to beat a good chicken curry. With just the perfect spiciness, the inescapable citrus and coriander aromas, a good sprinkling of toasted almonds and a pile of warm naan bread ready to tear and share, this recipe ticks all the boxes for a sensory adventure.



Serves: 6 | Prep: 25 min |  Cooking time: 1.5 hours

3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch stick of ginger, peeled and grated
3-4 cardamom pods, seeds removed
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp garam masala (here’s a do-it-yourself recipe for making your own garam masala mix)
1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small tin tomato paste (70g)
1kg of chicken pieces
450ml chicken stock
150ml cream
2 Tbsp honey (use the best quality you can afford, poor quality honey really affects the taste)
100g flaked almonds, toasted
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped, to serve

Naan bread, basmati rice and sambals, to serve


1. Cook the chopped onion in coconut oil for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
2. In another pan, dry-fry the cardamom seeds, cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes until toasted. Remove and crush in a pestle and mortar.
3. Next add in the garam masala (either homemade or store bought), chilli, bay leaves and crushed spices to the onion mixture and fry for a few minutes to cook through – at least 3–4 minutes.
4. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, paste and stock. Stir in the chicken pieces well to coat with the spice mix.
5. Bring the pan to a simmer, cover and cook on a gentle heat for 50 minutes (or in the oven at 160°C).

Stir in the cream and honey, cook for another 30 minutes, leaving the lid off if the liquid needs to thicken.


Chicken curry is best served with some warm naan bread, a big spoonful of steaming rice and generous garnishing of toasted almonds and fresh coriander.