Chicken Curry in a Hurry with Basmati

The best thing about this quick chicken curry is the homemade curry mix. Though you can always use store bought, making your own spice blend gives you the chance to experiment with your own curry flavor.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Curry Spice:

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seed 

1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed 

1 teaspoon fennel seed 

1 teaspoon fenugreek 

1 teaspoon black peppercorns 

1-inch piece cinnamon stick 

A few curry leaves, fresh or dried, if available 

4 to 5 cardamom pods 

1 tablespoon turmeric 

1 teaspoon ground red pepper flake or red chili powder

Chicken and Vegetable Base:

1 leek

1 small onion 

1 to 2 red finger chile peppers, optional 

4 cloves garlic 

1 inch ginger root 

1 apple, large Gala or Honeycrisp 

4 tablespoons butter 

A few curry leaves, if available 

3 tablespoons flour 

4 cups chicken stock 

1 1/4 cups basmati rice 

1 rotisserie chicken, 3 to 4 pounds 

About 1/3 cup mango chutney, Patak's preferred brand 

Salt

2 store-bought garlic naan bread 

Cilantro leaves and 2 scallions, to serve 

Directions

  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. For the curry spice: Add to a small skillet: cumin, coriander, mustard seed, fennel seed, fenugreek, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, curry leaves and cardamom. Heat and toast about 2 minutes over medium heat. Transfer to a spice mill, zap it up and grind spices. Add turmeric and red pepper flake or powder and zap again. Reserve any extra in an airtight container.
  3. For the chicken and vegetables: Place a medium pot on stove with 2 quarts water and bring to boil.
  4. Heat a griddle pan or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for bread.
  5. Place a bowl on the counter. As you work, transfer your ingredients to a bowl. Trim the top and roots of leek and split it lengthwise. Fan it under cold running water to release grit. Leave on cloth to dry. Peel and chop onion. Slice chile peppers if using. Peel garlic. Rub skin off the ginger with the tip of a spoon. Peel apple then cut 1/4-inch slices around the core in slabs. Stack and chop into about 1/4-inch dice. Split the halved leek again lengthwise and slice 1/4 inch.
  6. Place a deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add the vegetables and stir. Grate garlic and ginger and add along with curry spice and curry leaves if using. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir a minute or so. Whisk in broth, bring to a boil and reduce, 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Add rice to the boiling water. Boil 12 minutes, then rinse in a strainer under HOT water to serve.
  8. While the curry thickens, peel chicken of the skin and cut away meat. Pull into bite-size pieces.
  9. Stir chutney into sauce to combine, then add chicken. Adjust salt if necessary.
  10. Add a splash of water to griddle pan or skillet and place naan bread on to char both sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bread from griddle and cut into quarters.
  11. Pull cilantro and chop scallions, whites and greens.
  12. Serve curry in shallow bowls or dishes with a lip on or beside rice, with naan strips alongside. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Cook’s Note

You can substitute 3 tablespoons or scant palm full of Madras curry powder (store-bought blend of curry spices) or toast up my house mix.