Fragrant Chicken Curry (with homemade Curry Powder)

Sucharita Vasudevan was my student in the Department of Home Science, Women’s Christian College, from 1979–1982. We lost touch with each other after she graduated. She contacted me on Facebook in 2014, and she’s married and settled in Malaysia. Sucharita is a fabulous cook, I am proud to present one of her recipes. 1900071_436013183211225_1547998787_n I have taken the liberty of standardizing the recipe and putting it in a proper format. Sucharita had used 5 T of chicken curry powder available in Malaysia. Since it is not available in India, I asked her for the constituents of the curry powder, and I received a list of the spices mentioned on the curry powder carton. So I had to work out the proportions, relying on my sense of smell and taste. I also decided to roast the ingredients of the curry powder, which has really enhanced the flavour.


  • 1 kg Chicken (skinned and medium size pieces)


  • 2 tsp Chilli powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Grind together
  • 6 to 8 large Garlic cloves
  • 3 cm piece of Ginger
  • 1 tsp Aniseed (saunf)


  • 12 Shallots (diced)
  • 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 piece Cinnamon
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Cardamom
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 4 T Oil
  • ½ C Coconut milk
  • 1 C (or as desired) Water
  • Salt to taste

Chicken Curry Powder

Roast separately, powder together:

  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 red Chillies
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp Pepper corns
  • 1 piece Cinnamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 Star anise


  1. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large wok or kadai. Add the dry spices for masala and the onion and fry till the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic-aniseed paste and fry till a nice aroma arises.
  4. Transfer the tomatoes to this and cook till the oil separates.
  5. Add the curry powder and cook for a minute.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and the marinade and stir well to coat the chicken pieces with the masala.
  7. Pour the water and salt and bring to boil. Lower heat and cook till chicken is done.
  8. When the gravy is thick, add the coconut milk and curry leaves. Remove when the curry begins to boil.
  9. Serve with rice, idli, dosai, idiyappam, chapathis, or parathas.


  1. If you find the curry powder too spicy use only half the amount. Store the rest in an airtight container for future use.

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