Madras Chicken Curry

Mains, Gluten-Free, Parties & Potlucks
My Mama didn’t know how to cook when she left the nest. She had to learn fast. This Madras chicken curry recipe was one of her most requested-by-us dishes. It’s so simple a newlywed could master it!
Madras Chicken Curry


  • 1 package of Pomi tomatoes (26.46 oz tetra packed—no BSP (bisphenol-A))
  • 1 pound yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1 2-3 pound whole chicken, cut into pieces, if desired ( or use legs and thighs)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint plain yogurt or coconut milk (optional—in original recipe, my mother never added it.)


  1. Place all ingredients, except yogurt or coconut milk in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. If it seems a little dry, you can add some water.
  3. After a half an hour, taste and adjust the seasoning. Depending on the strength and taste of your curry powder, you may need to add more.
  4. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until the chicken falls off the bone, about one hour.
  5. Cool completely. Remove bones from the curry.
  6. When ready to serve, add yogurt or coconut milk. Reheat completely.
Total time:
Yield: 6 servings


Serve white rice with chutney and your choice of raita on the side. The original recipe calls for garlic powder, but I added fresh garlic. The original written recipe calls for cooking it for 45 minutes in a pressure cooker.
You can make it a day ahead, it also freezes beautifully.