dry chicken curry recipe


Dry chicken curry is chicken pieces braised in a combination of dry and powdered masala. Much like Chicken Chukka, a less known restaurant favourite than korma and chicken tikka masala, it does not contain added tomatoes or water like Durban a chicken curry does. It cooks on low heat with moisture from the chicken itself. The combination of onion and masalas form a thick lush sauce like coating around the meat. It is best served with a vegetable accompaniment, I recommend Dhal and soft roti to mop it up.


This post features a few chicken curry FAQ, scroll to view or go straight to the recipe.

Dry Chicken Curry Recipe


Chicken Curry FAQ

How to a dry Chicken Curry

The two main components of this dish firstly the use of two masalas and second is that it cooks on low heat so that you don‘t use added water to the dish. The word dry may be misleading because the chicken in this recipe is quite juicy. Dry refers to the lack of water and thick spice coating rather than the texture of the chicken. To make the chicken succulent I usually brown it on high heat in an open pan then slow cook on low heat with the lid on the pot.


 This releases the moisture within the meat and gives it it‘s succulent texture like in my barbecue chicken drumsticks recipe.


What Masala to use for Dry Chicken Curry

Chicken Chukka uses two Masala‘s, a wet masala made up of ginger and garlic, fresh green chilli and coriander and a dry one made with a combination of chilli and other powdered spice.


For this recipe I used mother-in-law masala, Durban’s blend of fiery yet fragrant masala. Alternatively use Durban masala which is a medley of aromatic sweet spices and pungent ones. The combination of the two masalas and onion form a thick sauce around the meat.


Which chicken pieces to use for chicken curry

You can use any preferred cut, thighs, chicken wings, breast with or without skin and bone. I prefer bone because it adds flavour and nutrition. In this recipe I have used mixed chicken pieces.

How to Store Chicken Curry

Can chicken curry be reheated twice? , yes depending on the duration between the first and second time it is heated. If with the same day then yes. In my experience it never lasts more than two days, it is always eaten .But if you have curry left over it is best to freeze or refrigerate in small portions rather than reheat a big portion every time. This recipe freezes easily, simply leave in the fridge overnight to defrost or microwave. It is best not to leave chicken out of the fridge overnight.

What to eat with Chicken Curry

One of the most favored accompaniment to chicken curry is rice. Try basmati rice or even kitchri. This dry curry goes down well with a dhal roti too.

Dry Chicken Curry Recipe

I have used the same method as Chicken chukka in this recipe. It is has a wet spice component and a dry one. The difference in recipes are that some marinate the meat in the masalas then fry with onions and others fry spices first then immerse the meat. I have opted for browning the meat first then frying the wet masala and onion and finally the spices.

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dry chicken curry, chicken chukka, Durban chicken curry
Author: Food Like Amma Used to Make It

Dry Chicken Curry Recipe

Dry Chicken Curry Recipe

Prep time: 15 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 45 M
Dry chicken curry is made with no additional moisture, it cooks on low heat simmering in the moisture of a wet masala and chicken pieces.


For the Wet Masala:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm piece of ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • half a cup of coriander

For the Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons Durban masala or mother in law masala
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions
  • 1 kg chicken pieces
  • curry leaves
  • salt


  1. Make the wet masala by combining ginger, garlic,chilli and coriander.
  2. Slice onions fine or grind in the wet masala.
  3. Heat a pan on high heat, Add a tablespoon of oil for browning the chicken . Turn every few minutes until evenly browned. Lower the heat and remove chicken from pan, set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add finely sliced onions. Fry until soft . Add wet masala until caramelized. Add powdered spice. Allow to fry for a few minutes until the spice separates from the oil.
  5. Add chicken pieces, turn to coat in spice. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat. By covering the pot or pan with a lid, the meat cooks within it’s own moisture.
  6. Turn every 10-15 minutes to allow even cooking.
  7. Remove from heat and top with fresh curry leaves (if possible) I have used dried ones.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Dry Chicken Thighs

This recipe can be adapted to make spicy chicken thighs. Follow the same instructions in the recipe, except use only chicken thighs, to make the perfect bites.


More Spicy Chicken Recipes

Durban Chicken Curry

Birth Masala Chicken Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala

Barbeque Chicken


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