Mamta's Kitchen

Chicken Curry, Free From Onion, Garlic and Tomato

Chicken Curry Bina Pyaz, Tamatar, Lahsun Ki

Mamta Gupta

EasyFree From GarlicFree From OnionFree From TomatoIndianMainMeat

Not until the last 50 years or so, onions and tomatoes were used sparingly in the curries in India. Out of season vegetables these, were not accessible to the masses, too expensive/unavailable. It is in my lifetime that onions have taken over. Almost all curries have onion and tomatoe these days. Even dals tend to have ?tarka? with onion and tomatoes these days, not really necessary.

In the coming weeks/months, I am aiming to go back to some of the old recipe from my parent?s generation and cook meat/vegetable/fish and dals without them. For Dals, look under individual dal recipe, they already have instructions on how to give Tarka without onion and tomatoes.

Serves 2


  • 200gm chicken pieces of choice, here I have used chicken thighs

  • Marinade ingredients

  • 1/2 cup full cream, mature yoghurt, at room temperature, cooking straight from the fridge can sometimes split the yoghurt.

  • 1 level tsp. ground coriander seed powder

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. chilli powder, adjust to taste and heat of the chilli powder you have.

  • Curry gravy ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. oil

  • 1 level tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 bay leaf*

  • A small piece of cinnamon stick*

  • 1-2 black cardamoms, slightly crushed

  • 2-3 green cardamoms*, slightly crushed

  • 3-4 cloves*

  • 3-4 black peppers*

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1 tbsp., Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves). Not essential, but they do enhance the flavour

  • 1 level tsp. turmeric powder.

  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder for colour and flavour

  • Chilli to taste

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 cup water (adjust later according to need)

  • * If you don't have these individual spices, use a teaspoon of good quality Garam Masala instead.


  1. Cut chicken into small pieces and place in a bowl.

  2. Add all marinade ingredients, mix well to coat all chicken pieces and leave aside. Do not chill, or yoghurt may split when you cook it.

  3. To cook the Chicken curry

  4. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.

  5. Add cumin seeds, all whole spices and ginger.

  6. Stir swiftly until cumin seeds crackle.

  7. Add ground spices for the curry sauce/gravy, salt and fenugreek leaves.

  8. Turn the heat down (you don't spices to burn) and stir for few seconds.

  9. Add the marinating chicken pieces, stir them in. Turn the heat up and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Don?t let it catch.

  10. Add a cup of water, bring to boil and then simmer covered for 20 minutes or so, until the chicken is tender.

  11. Adjust seasoning.

  12. Serve hot with Chapatties or Tandoori Roti or Nan .

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