Here at Currytastic, we love all curries – even really mild ones such as a Korma, but one of our favourite curries is a spicy Chicken Madras Curry nom nom.
The Madras curry originates from what was the Madras region in the south east of India and it’s a spicy curry that can be made with chicken, pork, beef and even mince beef or lamb as a Keema Madras. If you’re not a meat lover then you can also enjoy a Vegetable Madras which can be made using carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnip or swede etc cubed into 2cm chunks.
The ingredients of a traditional Indian Madras recipe will change depending on what ingredients are available locally and also by the traditions of the chef or cook, so you will find lots of variety with this particular curry, but typically a madras curry has a reddish colour which comes from the red chillies and turmeric and a slightly sweet and sour taste that comes from the tomato and lemon, lime or vinegar.
Anyway, this Chicken Madras Recipe is based on a Gordon Ramsey recipe which has been adapted slightly for a spicier palette and the ingredient quantities as listed are enough to make 4 portions.
Chicken Madras Ingredients:
- 4 chicken breasts, one per person!
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2cm block of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped – Depends how much garlic you like. Personally I don’t like it to be over-powering
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 400g ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 300ml water
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Coriander leaves, to garnish
The following spices can be varied to your own personal taste, but if this is your first time with this recipe, then I’d suggest the following:
- 2–4 red chillies, finely chopped – You can de-seed if you prefer, but this will make it not as spicy
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1–3 tsp (or more!) hot chilli powder, to taste – Adding more or less will vary the hotness
- 6–8 curry leaves
- Juice of half a lemon or lime (you can use vinegar here instead, but not both)
Preparing the Chicken Madras Curry
Cut the chicken into strips or cubes and put aside. Heat the oil and add the onions and cook until they start to soften which will be about 5 or 6 mins. Once the onions have started to brown add the chillies, the garlic and the ginger and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Then add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry leaves and chilli powder and leave to cook for a further minute or so.
In that time, season the chicken you set aside earlier with the salt and pepper and add to the pan and cook stirring the pan until the chicken begins to go golden brown all over.
At this stage you’ll want to add the water and the chopped tomatoes and then bring to boil. Once the pan is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan stirring ever so often. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes and add more water as needed if it begins to stick or the sauce becomes too dry – remember to stir well if you do need to add water. At the end of the 30 mins, stir in the garam masala and leave uncovered for another 10 mins, again taking care not to let it dry out.
When the cooking’s finished and you’re ready to serve the chicken madras, garnish it with some coriander leaves (not the stalk!) and I usually have it with rice or a Garlic and Coriander Naan bread, although it’s equally as good with chips(!), a jacket potato or even and this is controversial…in a large Yorkshire Pudding!
Chicken Madras not hot enough? Try my Chicken Vindaloo Receipe…
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