Madras chicken is a spicy South Indian curry, popular in the western world since the Colonial times.
Usually curry recipes and flavours vary from house to house in the Indian subcontinent, depending on the availability of ingredients and family preferences.
Madras chicken also has many variations…in some recipes roasted coconut flakes or cashew nuts are added to the curry paste, in others yogurt or coconut milk is used to make a creamy curry.
The level of spiciness also differs according to personal preference, though it is considered very hot but many restaurants have toned it down to suit the global palate.
It’s red colour is less a result of red chillies and more of all the tomatoes used in the recipe.
In my house, fenugreek is an integral part of the recipe as it lends a distinct taste to madras chicken and makes it different from all other curries, handis and baltis.

For Madras Chicken :

1/2 kg chicken breast fillet cut into cubes
Juice of one lemon
4 tablespoons butter or ghee ( clarified butter)
2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
Fresh coriander for garnishing

For dry spice mix :
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
3 tablespoons dry coconut flakes
2 black cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
4 cloves

For Madras Curry Paste :
3 tomatoes, chopped
6 tomatoes
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger

This Is What You Do :

Roast cumin, coriander, coconut flakes, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves on a hot skillet or ungreased frying pan.
When the spices are at room temperature, grind them in a dry mill or electric grinder. Mix with other dry spice ingredients and set aside.
Add 6 tomatoes, onion, ginger and garlic to a food processor or blender and make smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat butter or ghee in a deep pan on medium heat, add chicken and fry till golden on outside to seal the juices. Add the dry spice mix, continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes or till the spices are aromatic.
Add the tomato paste blend, continue to fry another few minutes, add chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through and oil separates from masala.
If you want some gravy in your madras chicken, add a little water ( about 1/4-1/2 cup). Sprinkle dry fenugreek leaves,squeeze a lemon, turn off heat and cover the pan for 5 minutes so that the aroma and flavour of fenugreek can incorporate into the masala.
Serve hot with steamed rice, roti or naan.

Makes 4 servings

2 Replies to “Madras Chicken”

  1. This is a nice and easy to follow recipe. I’ve never cooked anything curry. This I must try! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by The Unknown Cook 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy your first experience of cooking a curry 🙂

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