Gurkha Chicken Cardamom Curry Recipe

60 minutes


  • 2kg chicken thigh
  • 250ml of natural yoghurt
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed to release the seeds
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 bulb of garlic, all cloves peeled and finely minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, hot
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 tomatoes, large, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 350ml of water, cold
  • fresh coriander, to garnish


Make a masala from the yoghurt, cardamom, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, fennel and chilli powder by grinding the mixture into a smooth paste
Sprinkle the meat with a little salt, then pour over the masala mixture, and allow to marinade for at least an hour
Heat the oil, in a large pan, until a slight blue haze can be seen. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds and the onion and cook until the onion is golden brown
Add the marinated chicken pieces to the pan which should still have the onions, cloves, cumin seeds and cinnamon, making sure that you get as much of the marinade in the pan as possible. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander and the bay leaf
Put it back on the heat. Without stirring the mixture, you should see oil slowly rising to the surface. At this stage carefully add the cold water and bring the mixture back to the boil
Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat until the chicken is cooked and tender. Stir occasionally, OR, place the whole dish into an oven proof tray and bake until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat is tender if using chicken thighs with skin on
Serve the chicken meat on a bed of rice and pour over the masala sauce mix from the pan