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An easy chicken madras curry is just the thing when the weather is cold! I guarantee that this warming, spicy Indian curry is sure to warm you up. This chicken madras recipe teams chicken with aromatic authentic Indian flavours. It is easy to make spicy chicken curry and it will become a favourite dinner recipe.

Garlic, onion, ginger, chili, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne all feature in this authentic Indian dish with madras curry sauce.

If you enjoy the flavors in this dish, you might also like to try air fryer fiesta chicken stuffed poblanos, parmesan herb crusted pork tenderloin or unsloppy joes biscuit pockets. Any of those makes a delicious dinner!

The moisture in this chicken madras recipe comes from canned tomatoes and coconut milk. Tweak the amount of chilli powder and cayenne if you want to make spicy chicken curry which packs a lot of heat! You can also reduce the amount of course for a milder result.

What is Madras Curry?

Madras curry powder tends to be spicier than regular curry powder. If you order a chicken madras recipe at a restaurant it can vary. The curry might be brown or red and it can be quite spicy or very spicy. Making your own easy chicken madras curry means you can tweak the flavour to suit your palate. Once you know about madras curry then you can know what is chicken madras is!

It is believed madras curry originated in the south of India. Madras in India is now called Chennai, although the name madras stuck for the dish! Some believe this curry made its way west when merchants from England arrived in Madras in 1640. However, it’s perhaps more likely the recipe dates back to the 1960s when Indian curry houses began to open in England.

Madras curry can be made with any kind of meat. It can also be vegetarian. Typically madras style curries will have tamarind, anise, ginger, chilli, and paprika in there. These spices can be added individually or you can buy readymade madras curry paste or powder.

Bear in mind madras curry powder is spicier than regular curry powder so you might want to use a little less than called for. You can always add more to the curry later.

What to Serve with this Authentic Indian Dish

Since this is a spicy Indian curry it’s nice to have contrasting dishes with it. Raita, a cucumber and mint yogurt dressing, goes well. You could also have naan bread or basmati rice. Or both! Cilantro pairs well with easy chicken madras curry. If you are like me, you can’t get enough of Indian food!

You might like to make a simple salad with cooling ingredients like tomato, cucumber, red onion, and simple vinaigrette or some kind of creamy yogurt dressing.

How to Make a Spicy Indian Curry

It’s easier than you might think to make spicy chicken curry. The first thing to do is sauté the onion. After that, add the garlic and the spices. Toasting the spices in this way really brings out their flavour. The air will be full of amazing aromas, which is one reason I love making this dish!

Next add the coconut milk and tomatoes and let the mixture simmer and thicken. Add the chicken and cook the curry some more. At this point you can make naan bread or boil rice to have on the side.

This easy chicken madras curry is an impressive dish boasting plenty of authentic Indian flavours. So if you’re wondering what to cook for a crowd during the fall or winter, consider a spicy Indian curry.

It’s easy to swap the chicken for any other kind of meat or choose potatoes, cauliflower or other veggie ingredients to make a meat-free version.

I like to use canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in homemade curries. The flavour and texture are just so good in there. You can add any kind of pulses or beans you want instead of, or as well as, the chicken, meat or veggies.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers will be fine for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can even freeze portions of this for up to 3 months, which is why it’s such a nice recipe for a double batch.

You can warm up leftovers in the microwave or in a pan on the stove and the fiery, intense madras sauce curry flavour will be just as good as when it was first made.

Anyone who loves authentic Indian fare should enjoy this easy chicken madras curry. Feel free to play with the spice level if you usually prefer mild or medium curries. This one might not pack the fiery punch of a chicken vindaloo dish or phaal, but it is certainly pretty spicy if you aren’t use to it!

Authentic Chicken Madras Recipe

5 from 5 votes

Easy Chicken Madras Curry

By: Bella Bucchiotti
An easy chicken madras curry is just the thing when the weather is cold! This warming, spicy Indian curry is sure to warm you up. This chicken madras recipe teams chicken with aromatic authentic Indian flavours and it is so easy to make spicy chicken curry!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, medium, diced 
  • 4 Cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder, madras
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika, sweet
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cloves
  • 1 Pinch cayenne 
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes, 28 ounce
  • 1 Can coconut milk, 14 ounce
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks


  • Heat oil in a dutch oven on low heat.  Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent.  Stir in garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add all spices and cook for another 5 minutes. (if this mixture becomes dry as you are combining, you can add a bit more oil) Allow this to simmer and bubble for a minute while occasionally stirring. 
  • Raise heat to medium.  Add diced, undrained tomatoes and coconut milk to your pan and stir together with spices.  Allow this to simmer for 15 minutes. The liquid will thicken quite a bit. 
  • Add chicken pieces and stir to coat them.  Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.  Then remove the cover and cook for another 10 minutes.  


Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 1332mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 6mg
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The spicy, zesty madras sauce boasts authentic Indian flavours in every mouthful. If you want to make spicy chicken curry, this madras chicken recipe is definitely going to tantalize your taste buds! So try this easy chicken madras recipe, and I promise it will come out super-tasty! It really is the best chicken madras recipe.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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