Dad’s Special Chicken Curry (Preparation Time:45-50 minutes, Serves: 4-6)

I am very fortunate to be born to parents who are passionate about food! Both are experimental – always open to tasting new food and trying different recipes. My childhood is filled with fond memories of delicious food. Back then eating out was a rare event. We mostly cooked at home, even on the weekends. 

One ritual that I cherish the most is the special Sunday lunch. Sunday was the only weekday when both parents were off work. Breakfast almost always comprised Indian style omelette. Later in the morning dad would fetch freshly dressed chicken or mutton while mom would chop the ingredients and ready the kitchen. Meanwhile I watched cartoons or read some books.  I used to fall asleep by the time dad returned and finished cooking. I had to be woken up from my afternoon nap to have lunch. 

Though served late in the afternoon, dad’s delicious chicken was TOTALLY worth the wait. I can still close my eyes and recall the taste of that outstanding chicken preparation. I can still smell the aroma…oh my god!  And we alternated chicken with mutton that was mom’s specialty. I already posted the recipe here.

I have tasted several variations of chicken curry but this one is truly special. My friends and family members who have tasted it vouch for it. Finely balanced, rich, aromatic and very delicious. Here is the precious recipe:


  • 12 chicken legs (3.7 lbs)
  • 3 medium sized onions
  • 1 pod garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 6 tsp dhania powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 tbsp oil


  • Heat two tbsp oil in a wok, saute chopped 2.5 chopped onions and 1/2 a pod of garlic until golden brown, keep aside
  • Again, heat 4 tbsp oil in the wok, add the whole spices (cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick), remaining chopped onion, garlic and grated ginger, saute for about 7-8 minutes, add chicken legs, cook about 10 minutes, now remove only the chicken legs and keep them aside
  • In the same wok add pureed chopped tomatoes and other spices (dhania powder, chilli powder, turmeric and salt), cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat and add the chicken legs back
  • Cover and cook on medium-low heat, until the chicken legs are tender-almost 80% cooked (keep stirring in between)

  • Grind the sauteed onion and garlic into a paste and add it to the chicken, cook (bhuno), while stirring until the oil starts separating from the masala (onion-tomato mix)
  • You could enjoy the chicken at this stage, we keep a few chicken legs aside, they taste absolutely delicious 
  • For the remaining add a cup of water, let it come to a boil and cover and cook for additional 10 minutes, turn off the heat
  • Sprinkle garam masala and garnish with finely chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • I love the chicken curry with rice, it tastes equally good with rotis…an afternoon nap is almost inevitable after this delicious lunch 
Note: use a wide pan for even cooking

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