Garam Masala Curry Chicken

Over the past couple months, David (my roommate) and I have worked on perfecting our curry making skills. While we often use a pre-made curry mix recommended to David by his Indian lab mates this past summer, for this recipe we used a homemade garam masala mix I’ve been working with for the past 8 months.

While in English, curry is a generic term in meaning “south or southeast Asian dishes” and many different curry powders share common ingredients, the word kari (origin of curry) simply means sauce. Different regions of India have distinctly different curries, and garam masala originates from Northern India and is also used often in Burmese food.

Buying a good garam masala spice mix can be pricey, but making your own will be cheaper and much fresher if you can get your hands on the whole raw spices. I made much more spice mix than I needed, so I don’t have to make it every time I crave a curry flavor.

If you already have your own garam masala mix, ignore these next instructions and skip to the curried chicken recipe lower on the page. This is the Garam Masala mix I used, although I did not use their recipe for making curried chicken

3 tablespoons coriander seeds*
2 tablespoons cumin seeds*
4 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 star anise, whole*
2 teaspoons cloves, whole
2 cinnamon sticks
1 small nutmeg, whole*
1 puya chile, whole, dried*
2 tablespoons whole green pods


To prepare the garam masala, you’ll want to heat a pan skillet to medium-high heat, add all the spices and toast until you can smell the fragrance of the spices. Be careful not to burn them!


After you have toasted the spices and removed them from the skillet, you can either grind them in a clean spice/coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle to grind them by hand. Store the spice mix in a airtight container to maintain freshness,


Finally, what you’re really here for, the curry chicken recipe!


Curry Chicken

2 tbsp Sunflower oil (or canola, safflower, grapeseed, etc.)

1.5 Medium onion (minced)

2 tbsp Fresh ginger (peeled and finely grated)

4 Garlic cloves (finely grated)

2 Serrano Peppers (minced)

2 tbsp Ground Garam Masala (see above recipe)

24 oz. Diced or Crushed Canned Tomatoes (If it was summer, I would use fresh tomatoes, but canned are the best option in the winter)

2 Diced chicken breasts (or Chicken Thighs or whatever meat you wanna use)

Fresh bunch of chopped cilantro (for garnish)



I prefer brown basmati rice, but whatever you prefer will work. Just cook the rice according to the water-rice ratio on your instructions.


1. Put oil in your skillet on low-medium heat and add your minced onions. Cook until translucent (about 10 minutes).

2. Once your onions are translucent, add your grated garlic, ginger, and minced serranos. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add your tomatoes, cooking for 10 minutes until the onions and tomatoes have mixed thoroughly.

3. At the point add your diced chicken and spice mix and place the cover on your skillet, cooking the chicken for  5-10 minutes. Then remove the cover and allow for the excess liquid to evaporate.

4. Serve over hot rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.


Well it looks like you’ve made a tasty homemade Garam Masala Chicken, while this time you may have followed my recipe, next time feel free to add any other vegetables you would like to include. I’ve used swiss chard, baked squash, potatoes, cooked lentils and broccoli, among others. You can also adjust the level of spiciness by adding or removing serranos, or including crushed cayenne pepper.
Garama Masala Chicken


And some here is some nice “spicy” music to go with this fantastic recipe:
and “Sabali” by Rokia Traore

Tomorrow I’m gonna try my hand at making some mulligatawny soup, so I’m sure that will be on here in the next week or so.


2 thoughts on “Garam Masala Curry Chicken

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