Deeply flavoured gluten free, paleo homemade chicken curry.
Updated: Jun 18
This homemade curry will be your answer to a classic British curry house-type curry, the sauce is aromatic and thick with a hint of sweetness from a little honey added right at the end of cooking.
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 with a side dish
For the curry
3 tbsp of ghee - if dairy free you could use coconut oil.
3 chicken breasts- chopped into cubes
2 large white onions- very finely diced (I used a mandolin). These onions are going to be the body/bulk of your sauce so they need to be very finely chopped- you could also use a food processor
6 cloves of garlic- minced
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger- grated/minced
2 star anise
4 cardamom pods - smashed open so the seeds come out when added to the curry
2 tbsp of curry powder
1tbs of unsmoked paprika (the standard paprika)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of ground coriander
1/2 tsp of turmeric
5 dried Kashmiri chillis (more if you like it hot)- soak in boiling water to rehydrate for about 10 mins, (I recommend removing stalks first and emptying the seeds out before rehydrating and chopping roughly once done).
2 medium tomatoes quartered
1 cup of tomato passata.
1/3 of a 200g block of *creamed coconut - chopped so that it melts easier.
1/2 pack of coriander
2tbs of dried fenugreek leaves
1tbs of honey
1 tsp salt flakes
*creamed coconut is not the same as coconut cream in a can, creamed coconut is usually sold in a 200g solid block, vacuum packed and often in a little cardboard box on the shelves with the cans of coconut milk and coconut cream. If you can't find it you could use 3 tbs of coconut cream from a can (not the liquid part).
For the Chicken marinade
1 cup of full-fat greek yoghurt - if dairy free you could also use dairy-free coconut yoghurt such as COYO.
1 tsp of sea salt flakes
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp of turmeric
2 cloves of garlic- minced
Chop your chicken breasts up into chunks. Make the marinade in a large bowl. Simply mix the yoghurt with the rest of the ingredients and add the chicken- stir well, making sure all of the meat is coated. Marinade for at least 30 mins- preferably overnight.
Heat a wok/ or large pan/saucepan on a medium heat and add the ghee, when it's melted add your very finely chopped onions, there will be a lot- they do cook down a little. Add the salt.
Keep cooking your onions until they start to darken a little- this can take anywhere between 30-40 mins! Keep stirring and resist the temptation to turn the heat up to high as they will burn. (This stage can be done the day before if you prefer and the onions can stored in an airtight glass container for up to 2 days until you're ready to use them). *Cooking the onions for this long is worth it and gives the onions a gorgeous flavour with more sweetness and they also add colour to your curry. Trust the process.
After cooking the onions for about 20 minutes add the minced garlic and ginger. Your kitchen will now smell incredible and very appetising. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, and keep stirring.
When you're satisfied that your onions, garlic and ginger have cooked for long enough-then add your star anise, cardamom pods, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and ground coriander, and stir well for 30 seconds, be sure not to burn the spices.
After about 30 seconds add the tomato passata, stir and turn the heat down a little, then add the chopped tomatoes and roughly chopped Kashmiri chillis, and simmer for about 10 mins. This is your curry sauce. The liquid will cook down a little, if it's too thick you can always add a small amount of water.
Whilst the sauce is simmering, grill your yoghurty chicken pieces. I place mine in the air fryer and grill for 4 mins on each side- or you could grill them in the oven on a high heat. They should be cooked through and have a nice bit of char on the corners and edges.
Add the coconut cream chunks to the sauce and help them to melt in with a little stirring.
When the chicken is done add it to the curry so that the pieces are covered in the sauce and allow everything to simmer and mingle for a couple more minutes.
When you're ready to serve add the honey and stir well, check it has enough salt, then add the chopped coriander and sprinkle with fenugreek leaves. Serve with your favourite accompaniments and enjoy!