Punjabi Chicken Curry

Ramadan fever has hit me hard.

Growing up, Ramadan was always one of my favourite times of the year: the midnight feats (as I see them anyway) before dawn; the spread of dishes when you break your fast; the feeling of being in it together with everyone – it’s like the satisfaction you get when you have run a 5k (I was going to say marathon, but that was unrealistic on my part) and you know it was exhausting but you did it!

Other great memories include always having “Radio Ramadan” on in the kitchen and eating dates (which now that I come to think about it, I have no idea why they are confined to one month – I wanna eat them all year!) But, it’s also one of my favourite times because it’s a month dedicated to really reflecting on your life, giving up all the bad habits you have wanted to but haven’t had time, and a chance to focus on who you want to be while having the support of everyone around you who is doing the same thing. Ultimately, I’ve always associated Ramadan with the feeling of peace and balance in my life.

My utter Ramadan joy continues on this year. Every year, I like to make new year goals and think about what I’m going to do to incorporate changes into my life – these are usually over ambitious (but God loves a trier). Other things I like to do include: buying lots of fruit (get in my basket Mangos!), eating a lot of hearty home cooked traditional meals, making starters (who makes starters unless it’s a dinner party – this girl does), and try out new recipes. Note: Faiz is determined to stick to healthy eating this year, but I’ve managed to sneak a few teats past him.

I’ve kicked my Ramadan off with a classic this year. Chicken curry. I absolutely sucked at making curries for the longest amount of time. It got to the point where I could make anything BUT a curry. This was partly blamed on my electric cooker - curries are usually best made on a gas hob - but modern living means no such luck. However, I have finally cracked it.

But before I am hit with “Aisha, you said you were going to be healthy this year,” (which you should always take with a pinch of salt), curries aren’t actually bad for you! Indian recipes and chicken curry get a terrible rep which is why an Indian doesn’t make it into most healthy eating plans but this has always been lost on me. I grew up with a healthy amount of curry in my life, but I also grew up with a health-conscious mum.

The basis of every curry is onions and tomatoes, with plenty of tasty spices. So, a chicken curry can be a yummy protein rich meal. Where it goes downhill is the copious amount of fat, and accompanying white breads and rice. So, if you deal with that, curries are back in the game.

So, below is my low-fat, chicken curry, cooked on an electric cooker, which you can enjoy with quinoa, whole grain rice, cauliflower rice, or mixed roast vegetables on the side.

Punjabi Chicken Curry Recipe

🍴   Serves: 4
⏰ Prep Time: 10 minutes
🍳 Cook Time: 45 - 50 minutes
⏳  Total Time: 1 hour
🎯 Calories:  427 per serving

🌱 Dietary Information: Gluten Free, low-carb, low-fat


1 large chicken, skinless, on the bone, cut into medium-sized pieces (approximately 1kg)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large white onions finely sliced
3 tomatoes finely sliced
1 tbsp garam masala
3 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml water


1. In a heavy based pan heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions and brown on high heat makings sure to periodically stir.

2. On medium heat add the sliced tomatoes and cook for a further 3 - 4 minutes mashing the onions and tomatoes with the back of your stirring spoon. Add a splash of water (approximately one cooking spoon worth).

3. Add in the garam masala, chilli flakes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, and ginger and garlic paste. Thoroughly combine and add a 1/4 cup of water cooking for a further 3 - 4 minutes. The mixture should now come together as a masala paste.

4. Add the chicken and on high heat coat the chicken in the masala thoroughly sealing off your chicken - the flesh of the chicken should turn white.

5. Add 250 ml of water and turn the heat to medium. Pop a lid on the pan and cook for 45 minutes.

6. Serve with a side of rice or roti. Alternatively, if you want to keep it healthy, you can try it with a side of quinoa or cauliflower rice.


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