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Lemon coriander chicken curry is one of the very first curries I ever learned to cook. I cook dozens of curries now but this one is special to me. It’s different. Not a run of the mill curry. The sauce is on the runny side. No onion at all. It’s homestyle Indian cooking. Like somebody’s mom used to make. It makes me smile every time I make it.

This recipe is a spin on Madhur Jaffrey’s lemon coriander chicken curry. More green chili and a heavier hand on the spices are the big differences. I’ve also added a bit of cinnamon stick – adds a nice haunting background flavour. This recipe definitely works better with dark meat. And it’s best with chicken on the bone.

Lemon coriander chicken curry is a bright tasting Indian curry that's big on flavour.

The spices are straight forward. Coriander and cumin powder, turmeric and chili powder. I use Kashmiri mild chili powder. It’s well worth seeking out if you cook a lot of Indian. You can substitute cayenne but be sure to use half as much. Cayenne is a lot hotter than Kashmiri mild.

When you start cooking the curry it will seem a bit dry. Don’t flinch. The chicken releases natural juices. Too much liquid up front and the curry will be too thin. Keep the pot covered and have faith. It works. And it’s delicious.

Lemon coriander chicken curry is a bright tasting Indian curry that's big on flavour.

5.0 from 3 reviews
lemon coriander chicken curry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lemon coriander chicken curry is a bright tasting curry. Best of all, you probably have all the spices you need already. A trip to a regular grocery store and you'll be able to get anything else. Take the time to prep all your ingredients while the chicken browns. You need to be able to move quickly at the start of this recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: indian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs chicken, on the bone, skinned
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 4 green finger hot chilies, seeded and diced (or 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced)
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp kashmiri chili powder or ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 2" piece of cinnamon bark
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro leaves and stems (no roots)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup chicken stock or water
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold all the chicken. Dry the chicken with paper towel. Working in batches, brown all the chicken over moderately high heat. Don't over crowd the pan and let the chicken cook long enough to release naturally. This helps avoid sticking problems.
  2. Remove the chicken and drain off all but 3 Tbsp of oil.
  3. Over medium heat, cook the garlic ginger paste until it stops sizzling, about 30 seconds.
  4. Now add the green chilies and cook another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the spices (coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, chili powder and salt) and cook 15-20 seconds
  6. Mix in the chopped cilantro. Cook, stirring constantly for another 30-45 seconds.
  7. Add the lemon juice and the chicken stock or water.
  8. Return the chicken and accumulated juices, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through - about 15 minutes.
Notes
Remove the ribs and seeds from the chili. You are going for lots of green chili flavour but not all the heat.

Measure out your dry spices before you start cooking so you can add them all at once. Prep all the ingredients while the chicken browns. The French call this mise en place and it's a great habit to get into when you have to move quickly.

12 thoughts on “lemon coriander chicken curry

  1. Bone in meat is so much more flavourful too! I have never had success using coriander before because of the heavy floral flavour but the lemon in this makes so much sense! I definitely need to try this out and give coriander another try! Done in 40 mins? I’m sold right there.

  2. Yum!! This looks so good, Romain! I’m not a fan of cilantro, but I feel like I like there’s so many other great spices in here that I could omit it and it would still taste amazing! Or maybe replace it with something like Thai basil? Can’t wait to try this and experiment with different herbs! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This sounds absolutely delicious and so flavourful! If I were to make my own garlic ginger paste (I have loads of the fresh stuff at home), would you recommend equal parts garlic and ginger with some oil? Thanks! Pinning now too!

    • Marie – equal parts of garlic and ginger, some oil, salt to preserve it and a bit of water to get it to puree. I’ve added a link. Thanks for catching that.

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