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Carbon steel bowl full of garlic chilli chicken from the front - rice and chana in the background.
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4.97 from 29 votes

garlic chilli chicken

Garlic chilli chicken is all about garlic, green chilies and Indian spices wrapped up in luscious sauce
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Pre-cook the chicken20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: garlic chilli chicken
Servings: 2
Calories: 433kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


Pre-cook the chicken

  • 12 oz chicken thighs or breasts cut into large bite size pieces
  • 2 tsp curry powder or Indian restaurant spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Spice mix

  • 1 tsp kasoor methi
  • 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix powder - recipe link below
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Restaurant garlic chilli chicken

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 2" cinnamon bark - also called cassia
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced finely
  • 2 green chilies halved, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste diluted in 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro leaves and stems - finely minced
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 1-2 tsp garlic pickle - available at Indian grocers
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes cut in half


Pre-cook the chicken

  • Combine the cut up chicken, curry or mix powder, salt and enough no-sodium chicken stock to cover the chicken in a sauce pan. If you are using chicken stock with sodium taste it out of the container. You want the liquid right on the edge of too salty. If it isn't there add a bit of salt.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Give the chicken a bit of a stir. You don't want pieces clumping up, preventing things from cooking evenly. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of around 150F for white meat or 160F for dark meat. It will finish cooking in the final curry.

garlic chilli chicken

  • Combine the Indian restaurant spice mix, kasoor methi, kashmiri chili powder and salt in a small bowl. This is your spice mix.
  • Cut up the chilies and tomatoes.
  • Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
  • Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp vegetable oil. Use all the oil specified. It's important.
  • When the oil starts to shimmer add the cinnamon bark and green cardamom. Cook until you see little bubbles form around the whole spices.
  • Add the garlic and green chilies and cook until the garlic just starts to turn golden.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste. Cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
  • Turn down the heat to medium low and add the spice mix you prepared above. This is a critical step so really pay attention here. Stir it constantly for about 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. 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 the cilantro leaves and stems. Cook for around 15-20 seconds.
  • Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here.
  • 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 again. Turn the heat down to low, add the garlic pickle and then the pre-cooked chicken.
  • Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are just warmed through. Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh coriander if you like and serve.


Here's how to make curry base.
This is my Indian restaurant spice mix
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 just making one restaurant style curry you can just warm up the curry base in the microwave. If you are cooking up a storm think about heating it up in a sauce pan. 


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1742mg | Potassium: 835mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 543IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg