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Cilantro Chicken Curry

Tender & succulent pieces of chicken cooked in a medley of aromatic spices, flavors of coconut & cilantro. Serve cilantro chicken curry with rice or naan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 -4
Calories 473 kcal


  • 2.2 lb 1 kilogram chicken
  • 1 tablespoon oil plus extra if needed
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1- inch cinnamon stick
  • 10-12 curry leaves


  • 2 teaspoon paprika/Kashmiri red chilli powder; adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala; adjust to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric/turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander/coriander powder
  • Salt to taste

Grind to paste

  • 400- milliliter coconut milk see recipe notes
  • 1 small bunch about 2 to 2.5 oz cilantro leaves/ coriander leaves
  • 2-3 Serrano Pepper adjust to taste
  • 2 medium-sized 300-350 grams onions
  • 1 tablespoon ginger -garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp



  • Cut the chicken into curry-sized (bite-sized) pieces.


  • In a medium-sized bowl, add the ingredients listed under marination along with the bite-sized chicken pieces and coat the chicken pieces well. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Grind to paste

  • Wash and pat dry cilantro leaves. Roughly chop the leaves.
  • Peel, wash, and roughly chop the onions. Place the onion pieces in a microwave-safe bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Microwave (high power) covered for 2-3 minutes or till the onions pieces are blanched.
  • In a food processor or blender, add the coconut milk, blanched onions, and all other ingredients listed under the "Grind to paste" section and make it into a smooth paste.


  • Heat oil in a skillet or kadhai on medium-high heat and add the chicken pieces. Fry for a minute or two till the pieces brown on the side. Flip over the pieces and fry the other side too. Remove from oil and keep it aside till it is ready to use.
  • To the same oil (add extra if needed), add the cloves, cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds. Then add the curry leaves. Give it a quick stir. Pour the ground paste and the tamarind paste and bring to a boil. Add the browned chicken pieces and cook covered for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked well.
  • Season to taste.
  • Remove the lid and cook for a couple of minutes uncovered to thicken the sauce.
  • Serve hot with rice or Naan.


1. I have not tried this dish with freshly squeezed coconut milk. I prefer to use the coconut milk made using Maggi Coconut Milk powder in this recipe. You can also use coconut milk in cans. The cans are usually 420 ml, so you can use the whole can and boil a little extra time to thicken the sauce.
2. If Paprika is not available, use Kashmiri red chilli powder for color. The Serrano pepper is the one that adds heat to the dish. If Serrano pepper is not available, use any spicy green peppers of your choice.
3. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
4. I prefer to blanch the onions in the microwave to avoid the bitterness it imparts when using ground onions.
5. If you want to make it spicy, here are few more ideas. Increase the number of green peppers, marinate with additional black pepper or use Cayenne pepper while marinating.