Ultimate [Restaurant-Style] Chicken Madras Curry Recipe!

chicken madras curry recipe

Ultimate [Restaurant-Style] Chicken Madras Curry Recipe!

Are you a chicken madras curry lover and you are looking for a healthy chicken madras recipe? Try this best chicken madras recipe and ditch the restaurant-bought food.

This healthy chicken madras recipe is supremely mouth-watering. The easy chicken madras is loaded with aromatic spices and small pieces of chicken.

Best Chicken Madras Recipe In A Hurry!

After a long day, there’s nothing more comforting than the intense aromatics of a homemade madras curry, a dish that brings warmth and satisfaction to both the home and the belly.

This deep, flavorful curry is a favorite for many, combining zesty and creamy flavors that melt away the stresses of the outside world.

As you dig into a delicious bowl of rice covered in this bright and hot curry, it feels like a celebration of flavors, making it one of the most satisfying and enjoyable meals to cook in your kitchen.

What Is Madras Masala Curry?

Growing up, I spent many summers in India, living and working in both the villages and cities of this vibrant region. These trips were an opportunity to learn about Indian dinner recipes and cooking methods first-hand.

Among the various curries that are commonly served as both main and side dishes, healthy chicken madras holds a special place in my heart.

Madras chicken curry recipe, with its backstory rooted in the traditional yellow curries that originated in southern India, became popular with British colonizers and merchants in the 1600s.

The name was introduced in restaurants in the 1970s, and over the years, it has been developed and reimagined in various ways. The resulting dish is a deep, red-colored curry with a rich and spicy sauce.

It’s a reflection of how cultures and tastes evolve, a dish that’s both a nod to the past and a celebration of the present.

best chicken madras recipe

Chicken Madras Curry Recipe


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Thumb-size wedge of ginger
  • ½ red chili
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 teaspoon hot chili powder (or according to taste)
  • Small pack chopped coriander
  • Naan, rice or mango chutney for serving


  1. Blend onion, garlic, ginger and ½ red chili in a food processor till it becomes a coarse paste.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil and add the paste, cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add a splash of water if the paste starts to stick to the pan.
  3. Pour in turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, and hot chili powder and mix well, cook for a few minutes to toast them a bit, then add chicken breasts and stir well to make sure that everything is covered with spice paste.
  4. Cook the madras chicken curry recipe thoroughly until it turns pale; add a splash of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt, cover it with lid and cook for 30 minutes on low heat until the chicken is soft.
  6. Stir in a small pack of coriander and serve hot chicken madras curry recipe with naan, pulao, or mango chutney.

Madras Chicken Curry Vs. Regular Curry

Madras chicken curry and regular curry differ in more ways than just their beautiful red color and heat level.

While regular curries often use a blend of toasted and vibrant spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and cardamom, resulting in a yellow hue with a hint of spice and savoriness, chicken madras curry takes it a step further.

The specific blend used in Madras curry, known as Madras masala powder, punches above your typical curry powder, including a combination of chili and paprika. This mix not only adds to the resulting flavor but also gives it that signature deep red color.

Another distinct feature of healthy chicken curry recipe is its creamy coconut milk base, enriched with various herbs.

Unlike the traditional garam masala mixture, which includes roasted green and black cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, fennel, mace, and dried chilies, Madras curry incorporates fresh curry leaves for a unique twist.

This difference in ingredients gives chicken madras curry recipe a more robust and complex flavor profile. And, surprisingly, it’s easy to make at home, allowing you to bring a taste of India right into your kitchen.

Tips And Variations For Chicken Madras Curry

  • For the chicken, you can choose between breast and thighs. Thighs tend to remain juicier and are harder to overcook, preventing drying out in the healthy curry recipe.
  • If you like your curry recipe spicy, consider using Kashmiri chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper. For those sensitive to spice, start with just a dash and add more as needed.

Can I Make This A Vegetarian Or Vegan Curry?

Absolutely! Transform this curry into a vegetarian or vegan delight by swapping chicken with chickpeas or potatoes. To keep it vegan, use vegetable oil instead of ghee. This dish will still be rich in flavor and satisfyingly hearty.

Is This A Good Make-Ahead Recipe?

Chicken curry madras is a fantastic make-ahead recipe. The flavors only deepen over time. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.

When ready to serve, reheat and pair with freshly boiled rice or coconut milk. It’s great for freezing, too, making it a convenient option.

healthy chicken madras recipe

How To Make Chicken Tikka Madras?

To create chicken tikka madras, begin by marinating chicken breasts in a paste of yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, ground coriander, paprika, turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.

Mix well and let it marinate for hours. Place the marinated chicken on skewers, lay them on a baking sheet, and grill or broil. Finish by cooking the chicken in the Madras sauce while simmering.

Can I Use Beef Or Lamb Instead? 

Yes, beef or lamb can be a great substitute in this chicken madras restaurant recipe. Choose strips of lean beef like steak, rump, flat iron, or lamb cuts like shoulder or leg.

Fry these in oil in a pan until tender, then incorporate them into the curry sauce. For a richer flavor, consider slow-cooked diced beef or braising lamb in passata, stock, and coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, then transfer to an oven for a few hours or cook in a slow cooker on high or low.

Is Madras Curry Powder Spicy?

Madras curry powder is indeed spicy and hot, but it also offers a complex taste and texture. It’s not just mild; the blend includes garlic, ginger, cinnamon, tamarind, paprika, and fenugreek, offering a tangy and rich flavor profile.

What To Serve With Your Madras Curry Recipe Chicken?

To complement your chicken curry, serve it with boiled rice or a pilau rice recipe. Adding a tomato, onion, and coriander salad can offer a refreshing touch.

Don’t forget mango chutney and chapatti for dipping. As a starter, consider spicy lamb chops.

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