Bowl of chicken madras with rice from the front.
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5 from 6 votes

indian restaurant madras curry

Indian restaurant madras curry is a classic dish on the menu of just about every Indian restaurant out there. Now it can be on your menu too.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: madras curry, restaurant curry
Servings: 2
Calories: 526kcal
Author: glebe kitchen

Ingredients

The spice mix

  • 1 tsp indian restaurant spice mix or curry powder - recipe link below
  • 2 tsp hot madras curry powder or use more indian restaurant mix powder if you don't have any madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne mixed with 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

The curry ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 2 inch piece of cassia bark or cinnamon stick
  • 2 Tbsp onions minced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic/ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasatta
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 10-12 oz pre-cooked chicken or lamb
  • 1 Tbsp coconut milk powder in enough water to get to coconut milk consistency (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice - about 1/6 of a lemon

Instructions

  • Make the spice mix.
  • Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
  • Dilute your coconut milk powder enough with water to get it to the consistency of coconut milk.
  • Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil.
  • When the oil starts to shimmer add the cinnamon stick. Toss is around the pan for about 15 seconds until bubbles start to form around it. It may crackle a bit.
  • Add the onions and stir constantly until the edges of the onions start to brown. This takes about a minute.
  • Next comes the garlic ginger paste. Add it into the pan and cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
  • Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  • Turn the heat up to medium high. This is important. The heat is what caramelizes the onion base and gives the curry it's Indian restaurant flavour. As you become more comfortable with this technique try pushing it. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  • Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Think lively boil. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here. Sticking is OK. Just scrape it back into the base. Burning is bad.
  • Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Add the lemon and diluted coconut milk powder. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked lamb, beef or chicken.
  • Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water.
  • Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.

Notes

The recipe for curry base is here.
The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here
The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.
If you haven't read about Indian restaurant technique yet, do that before you start cooking.
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
If you are making multiple curries, have your curry base warming in a pot on the stove. If you are just making one, microwave it to warm it up right before you start cooking.
Indian restaurants pre-cook their meat so it's ready for service. This recipe assumes the same. To pre-cook chicken, simply simmer it with a bit of curry powder and salt in chicken stock for about 10-15 minutes - until it's barely cooked.
To pre-cook lamb or beef, do the same but plan for 1 to 1/2 hours for lamb and 2 hours or more for beef. You are making stew meat so you are braising until tender. You will need to keep an eye on the level of the stock. For beef use beef stock.

Nutrition

Serving: 2servings | Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1025mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 5.2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1.9mg