Easy Chicken Curry Recipe with just 5 ingredients

Want to make chicken curry without tomatoes, without making a curry paste, or spend too much time in the kitchen? This homestyle Simple Chicken curry recipe is for you. Making delicious chicken curry has never been simpler.

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can rival the rich and aromatic flavors of chicken curry. However, traditional South Indian chicken curry recipes often call for the use of coconut (fresh, dry, or coconut milk). While coconut adds a unique creaminess to the dish, not everyone is a fan of its taste or texture.

That’s why today I bring you a homestyle chicken curry recipe without coconut and tomato that still delivers a delicious and satisfying meal. In this article, learn how to make a flavorful chicken curry without the use of coconut, providing you with a step-by-step guide and expert tips along the way.

What is Chicken curry?

Curry is not a dish by itself, it means a “dish with a thick/thin consistency gravy”. The key ingredient name is added before the word curry and you have the name of the dish. For example; Chicken curry, Mixed Vegetable curry, Paneer curry, Mutton curry, Fish curry, and so on.

Indian chicken curry is a classic dish enjoyed in many cultures around the world. It consists of chicken cooked in a curry – made with onion-tomato masala and flavored with a mix and blend of basic spices and herbs to make it taste unique.

The taste and color of curry completely depend on the spices used to make the dish. While there is no particular formula to make a curry, it’s always suggested to use fewer spices.

During childhood, the Chicken curry was a Sunday special. Spicy chicken curry with aromatic basmati rice, and onion raita, Sunday lunch was always a blissful experience.

I think Indian chicken curry, basmati rice, and Sunday afternoon are meant for each other.

I have grown up eating varieties of Indian chicken sabji (curries). South Indian style was a regular dish at home. During our stay in Maharashtra, mom learned the local version from neighbors. Both of them are my favorites.

About Chicken Curry recipe

Indian Chicken gravy recipes can be daunting when you look at a long list of ingredients for richly spiced and flavorful curry. But, in this recipe, you do not need many spices which makes it the Ultimate Chicken curry.

I had the same experience in my college and bachelor days. So, a chicken curry would come from a local takeaway/curry point. The gravy consistency is thinner compared to made at home, for obvious reasons.

Like most of the dishes, Indian chicken curry has different recipes and each region adds local ingredients to make a unique chicken curry recipe. So does mine.

But the chicken curry recipe I will share today is a very simple, easy to make, and comforting dish. What I mean by that is marinated chicken is added to a spice-infused onion masala and then slow-cooked together till the house is filled with the aroma of the curry.

You can make the curry in a pressure cooker and the dish will be ready in less than 30 minutes. This simple and easy-to-make chicken curry recipe is ideal for bachelors or those who are new to cooking.

You need only 5 main ingredients to make the best chicken curry. Other ingredients are oil, salt, few spice powders that are common in Indian kitchens. The best part, no blending or grinding work is involved.

With this chicken curry recipe, the chicken curry dish is of thicker consistency gravy, hot, spicy, moist, and greasy (a lot of oil floating on top) which is bursting with flavors. It is certain to please the masses who love spicy food.

But, if your palate is not accustomed to eating spicy food, you can reduce the quantity of spices to suit your tastebuds.

The key or secret to a tasty chicken curry is marination. It not only helps chicken pieces absorb the spices but also tenderizes the meat. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Usually, I marinate the chicken a day before and refrigerate it. This is my go-to chicken curry recipe for a simple weekday meal, or when there are guests or a special party.

Reasons to make

Easy and quick to make.

Minimal ingredients.

No need for any curry paste.

No grinding or blending.

Beginner and bachelor-friendly recipe.

Fragrant and flavorful.

Can be made in less than 30 minutes.

chicken curry recipe

Pro Tips

1. Chicken: For the best taste, use bone-in chicken pieces or chicken thighs. The meat around the bone tastes soft and juices from the bones flavor the curry too. Also, try to use equal sizes of pieces.

If you use boneless pieces, adjust the cooking time. It will cook faster in less than 30 minutes. Do not overcook, otherwise, the pieces will be dry.

2. Marination: In the recipe, I mentioned marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes. If time permits, I would suggest marinating for longer. The chicken can be marinated for 8-24 hours, covered in an air-tight container, and refrigerated.

3. Sautee onions: Finely chop the onions and saute till light brown color. If the onion is not sauteed well, pieces of onion will be seen in the gravy.

4. Sauteeing the marinated chicken: Saute the marinated chicken on medium flame with the onion masala for some time. Saute the chicken well before adding water and pressure cooking. Else the chicken pieces will taste as if boiled in gravy.

5. Slow-cook/simmer: For the best taste and soft chicken, simmer the chicken in the gravy so that it absorbs all the flavors.

Ingredients to make Chicken curry

Chicken: I love to use chicken cut with bone. But it’s not compulsory, you can use whatever chicken meat you have on hand. If opting for boneless, I recommend chicken thighs, as they taste better compared to the breast part.

Onion: Chicken curry cannot be made without onions.

Ginger-Garlic paste: A key ingredient in chicken curry. Always use fresh ginger-garlic paste or readymade.

Yogurt: Use plain full-fat yogurt, not any flavored one. You can use greek yogurt or homemade curd too. The yogurt should not be sour.

Spice powders: Turmeric powder, Chicken masala, Red chili powder, Garam masala, and Coriander powder.

Other ingredients: Oil, jeera, salt, lemon juice.

How to make Chicken Curry

1. Mix all the ingredients listed in the marination section to prepare the marinade. Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the marinade. Set it aside for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat water in a pan.

3. Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle.

4. Add finely chopped onions and cook on medium flame till it turns light brown color.

5. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away.

6 & 7. Add turmeric powder and saute for a few seconds.

8. Next, add the marinated chicken.

9. On medium flame, saute for about 5-7 mins.

10. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for about 10 mins. Open the lid, there will be water released from the meat.

11. Now, add hot water to the level of the chicken.

12. Let the water come to a boil. Check the taste and add salt if needed.

13. Cover again and cook on low flame till the chicken pieces are completely cooked.

14 & 15. Open the lid, turn the flame to high, and add Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. Give a good mix and cook on low flame for 5-10 mins.

16. Lastly, add coriander leaves.

Indian Chicken curry is ready. Serve hot with your choice of rice or flatbread variety.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions for a simple chicken curry:

1. Rice: Serve the chicken curry with steamed rice, fragrant long-grain basmati rice, jeera rice, or bagara rice with raita and lemon wedges on the side.

2. Indian flatbread: serve the curry with roti, plain paratha, phulka, chapati, naan, or rumali roti.

Don’t forget to provide some cooling accompaniments such as cucumber raita or a side salad to balance the flavors.

Storage Suggestions

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for 3-4 days. Allow the chicken curry to cool completely before transferring it to a clean and dry airtight container.

Before serving, reheat in a pan over the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.

spicy chicken curry


Creamy texture: you can add coconut milk, unsweetened yogurt, or heavy cream toward the end.

Vegetables: you can include vegetables like potatoes and drumsticks.

To increase the quantity of the gravy, you can add tomatoes after sauteeing the chicken well.

More Chicken recipes

Chicken fry masala

Chicken Roast

Dum Ka Chicken

Thick Gravy Chicken Curry

Chicken curry with coconut milk

Chicken Kurma

Chicken Masala recipe

If you’ve tried this Easiest Chicken Curry Recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.

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Recipe card

easy chicken curry without tomatoes

Easy Chicken curry recipe with just 5 ingredients

Author: Santosh Allada
Learn how to make spicy chicken curry with just 5 main ingredients. This easy and simple chicken curry recipe with tips can be easily made by novice or beginner too.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marination 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Curry, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 people


  • 1/2 kg Chicken (500 gms with bone)


  • 1/4 cup Curd
  • 1/2 tbspn Ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Chicken masala

For the curry

  • 3 tbspn Oil
  • 2-3 medium Onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder (for color)
  • 1 tsp Garam masala powder
  • Hot water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves


Marinating the chicken

  • Mix all the ingredients listed in marination section to prepare the marinade.
  • Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the marinade. Set it aside for at least 30 minutes.

Making the curry

  • Heat water in a pan.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
  • Add finely chopped onions and cook on medium flame till it turns light brown color.
  • Add marinated chicken and saute for some time, about 5-7 minutes.
  • If the masala is sticking to the bottom, add little water and deglaze (use a spatula to dislodge any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot).
  • Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for about 10 mins.
  • Open the lid, there will be water. Now, add hot water to the level of chicken. Let the water come to a boil.
  • Cover again and cook on low flame till the chicken pieces are completely cooked.
  • Check the taste and add salt if needed.
  • Open the lid, turn the flame to high, and add kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. Give a good mix and cook on low flame for 5-10 mins.
  • Lastly , add coriander leaves.
  • Chicken curry is ready.


Do not skip marination process, it makes chicken moist and flavorful. At least marinate for 30 mins. If time permits marinate for 1-2 hours.
You can fresh mint leaves too.
Potato/Aloo too tastes good in the chicken curry.
Use water, adding cold water will bring down the tempertaure of the pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as boneless chicken tends to cook faster.

How long does it take to cook the chicken curry?

The cooking time may vary depending on the size and type of chicken pieces. It usually takes around 30-40 minutes for the chicken to cook through.

Is this recipe suitable for a spicy curry?

The spice level can be adjusted according to your preference. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of chili powder or add extra spices for a spicier curry.

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