Anju's Chicken Curry

Learn how to make this Indian staple, the New Delhi way.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be welcomed into the home of Anju. Originally from India’s populated capital New Delhi,  she is famous amongst family & friends for her aromatic chicken curry, accompanied with chapati bread.

Immigrating to Sydney with her husband and son some 15 years ago, she was an esteemed psychologist back home teaching in top universities in Delhi, she now runs a successful kaftan company , which she proudly boasts about as she floats around in the kitchen, sprinkling spices here and there and transforming the dish into a whole hearted Indian classic.

Capturing this keepsake recipe required some fines and a pretty good understanding of spices.  The varieties kept coming from Anju’s pantry, and I was in absolute awe of the collection, it made my spice rack look like an amateur. As the aroma’s floated in the kitchen Anju explained to me how she thinks restaurants make their curries so heavy and oily, and after trying hers I can only agree. This chicken curry is light, but fully developed in flavour.

The chicken marinating overnight helps for those rich Indian flavours to flourish so make sure you keep this in mind ( Anju saying she usually marinades overnight). And don’t forget to have your pantry fully stocked with all the right spices, she picks hers up at a local indian grocer, in particular look out for the bright orange powder of the Bush brand variety, which makes this curry glow that orange red.


Another speciality which Anju  is known for is her spiced tea, and I was lucky enough to sip on one while she whips up her curry. I’m suffering from a  wretched winter flu at the time and the tea picks me right up ( Cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves), it has restorative properties.

Look out for Anju’s chapati bread recipe in the coming week - a perfect accompaniment to her curry, but if you can’t wait until then serve up this chicken beauty with a side of fragrant basmati rice. Anju also has a self published book, This is what Indians eat at home which explores all her authentic recipes, which will be available in September. Check it out!

I hope you enjoy this sample of New Delhi in your kitchen & your bellies.

RECIPE: The secret spices for a traditional chicken curry

Prep time: 7 hours 30 mins Cook time: 1 hour Serves: 5


Curry Base

  • 4 red onions
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies
  • Chicken Marinade
  • 1 Kg chicken breast chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 green chilli
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon of orange red powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Curry Masala


  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 5 Cardamon pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons of tumeric
  • 1 Tablespoon red chilli
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon of garam masala ( cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, aniseed, roasted cumin, cardamon, bay leaves)


  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter


Chicken Marinade

  1. Cut your chicken breast into even sized squares
  2. Marinade your chicken with yoghurt, garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon, orange red powder ( Bush brand) & curry masala powder ( MDH Brand)
  3. Let the chicken marinate for 6/7 hours - best done overnight.


  1. Cut your red onion, green chillies & garlic
  2. In olive oil cook off your onion, chillies & garlic until soft.
  3. Add the cinnamon powder, cardamon pods, cloves and bay leaves
  4. Add your tomato can and cook for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add your marinated chicken and let cook, adding turmeric, red chilli, fresh coriander, garam masala
  6. After approx 10 mins add 2 cups of water, tomato paste and cover for 30 minutes let bubble.
  7. Add Butter & let cook out for another 10 mins
  8. If the curry needs more liquid add more water, check for seasoning.
  9. Curry time!

From The Table Top x