A simple, everyday curry – well, maybe not quite literally everyday, unless you have a lot more time to sit around simmering things than I do – but the ratio of taste to effort is unbeatable.

Basic curry


You will need:

  • Two onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1kg chicken,
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic (frozen is easiest)
  • 3 tsp chopped ginger (frozen)
  • 3 tins chopped tomatoes
  • Spices:
    • 4 tsp ground cumin
    • 3 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp garam masala
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves


Heat the oil in a large pan. Preferably very large. The wok in these photos is 34cm, and isn’t really big enough. Fry the onions until golden brown, then add the garlic and ginger, and fry gently for a few minutes.

Onion & spices

Add the cumin, coriander, haldi, chili and paprika (save the garam masala and salt for later) and fry until the aroma is released. There’s quite a lot of powder here, so don’t skimp on the oil.

Add the chicken, and stir well to coat it in the spice mixture. Fry it gently, without burning the spices, until the chicken starts to brown – that’s the tasty bit.

Frying the chicken

Add the tomatoes, give it a stir, and bring to a gentle simmer. When the sauce has thickened sufficiently, add the salt and garam masala, stir, and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves.

Start to simmer

In these photos, the curry was simmered for so long that the chicken literally fell off the bones. This does make it more convenient to eat, but is probably a little overdone really.

Basic curry