lemon coriander chicken curry

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. Not what you’d expect. But so good.

Lemon coriander chicken curry is Indian comfort food

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.

This is an easy and absolutely delicious Indian chicken loaded with lemon and cilantro flavours!

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.

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

The juices from the chicken make the sauce

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.

This is a family style curry. Not like you get in a restaurant. Homey. Whole chicken pieces. A thinner sauce. But a super flavourful sauce. This one isn’t fancy. It isn’t ever going to be on a menu on a restaurant.

It’s a curry for when you want clean tastes. But big tastes. I’ve jacked it up a bit from the original recipe and it has become one of my absolute go to Indian curries.

Lemon coriander chicken curry. When you want something different. When you just want something tasty. Indian comfort food at it’s finest.

Lemon coriander chicken curry is a bright tasting Indian curry that's big on flavour.
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5 from 12 votes

lemon coriander chicken curry

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.
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 380kcal
Author glebe kitchen


  • 3 lbs chicken on the bone, skinned
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 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
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 piece of cinnamon bark
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro leaves and stems no roots
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or water


  • 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.
  • Remove the chicken and drain off all but 3 Tbsp of oil.
  • Make sure your heat is set to medium. Add the cinnamon stick. Let it cook about 20 seconds (you want to see little bubbles forming around it).
  • Next, stir in the garlic ginger paste until it stops sizzling, about 30 seconds.
  • Now add the green chilies and cook another 30 seconds.
  • Add the spices (coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, chili powder and salt) and cook 15-20 seconds
  • Mix in the chopped cilantro. Cook, stirring constantly for another 30-45 seconds.
  • Add the lemon juice and the chicken stock or water.
  • Return the chicken and accumulated juices, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through - about 15 minutes.


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.
You can buy it but it's easy to make garlic ginger paste. It's way better homemade. Way better!


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 9.9mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

22 thoughts on “lemon coriander chicken curry”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Romain, I’ve done this one a couple of times now. My wife’s favorite and one of mine too. I find it hard to imagine my life without this dish in it nowadays. Many thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    This is now my mid week go to. So simple to do and very tasty. I sometimes posh it up with a sprinkle of cashews and a few sultanas. I also occasionally serve it with coconut rice too. This ones definitely a keeper and recommended.

    • That’s great to hear. It’s one of my all time favourites and it doesn’t seem to get the attention on glebekitchen I wish it would.

      Thanks for pointing out the cinnamon stick. Appreciate that!

  3. I want to make this! Lemon and coriander are two of my most favorite flavors. If I was going to make it with vegetables or paneer, how would I compensate for the lack of liquid from the chicken?
    Thanks so much.

    • You could add a little water or vegetable stock. Maybe a few tablespoons to start but keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to dry out/burn. Add more as needed. Depending on the vegetables you want to use maybe adjust the liquid. This is a little bit runny curry so perhaps try to get a feel for what it is supposed to look like in the pictures?

      Good luck.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. That color is amazing, just looking at it you know this is going to be so flavorful! I like how you amped up the spices and I’m sure the lemon brightens up everything. I’ll have to try this one!

  7. 5 stars
    Dark meat is my favorite and chicken legs are so versatile. I’m excited to try this different variation on curry, pinning for later!

  8. 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.


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