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Restaurant Style Chicken Madras Curry Recipe
Madras is an East Indian curry dish that originates in the southern part of the country and is highly popular in British Tandoori (Indian) restaurants. It is characterised by its strong spicy, slightly sour taste. Here I have given a recipe for Madras using chicken but it can also be made with beef, lamb or pork if you prefer. If you are not a meat eater then it can also be made with the vegetables of your choice. Here I have used my curry base sauce as the basis for the recipe, you can find out how to prepare this here in one of my earlier hubs. The curry base sauce itself is very versatile and can be used to make a wide variety of different types of curry such as Jalfrezi, Bhuna, Tikka Masala etc. Here I have chosen Madras simply because it is a favourite of mine, but no doubt you’ll have a favourite curry of your own.
The recipe here is in the style of British Indian restaurant cooking and the result should taste very similar to what you are served in a typical tandoori restaurant. It won’t be exactly the same because each restaurant has a slightly different way of cooking but the method of preparation and main ingredients of this recipe are basically used universally.
If, like me, you love curry then I’d encourage you to roll up your sleeves and give this a try, I think you’ll like it. If so then feel free to experiment by changing some of the quantities and maybe some of the ingredients to suit your own tastes. I’d be interested to hear how you get on, so please let me know. Okay curry lovers, let’s get started!
The Spice Mix
- This spice mix is very versatile and can be used in various different recipes. You can make it up in whatever quantities you like, when made it can be stored in an airtight container for use later. Making the spice mix this way saves you the trouble of measuring and adding individual spices to your curries each time you cook them. For this reason spice mixes are popular with chefs in Indian restaurants where dishes need to be made and served quickly. To make the spice mix we’ll need six different spices, they are Curry Powder, Cumin, Coriander, Paprika, Turmeric and Garam Masala (all ground). You can buy these spices readily in most supermarkets. The quantities for the mix are as follows:
- Add them all together in your container and stir together until thoroughly mixed. Voila!
Ingredients for Spice Mix
- 2 x Curry Powder
- 2 x Cumin Powder
- 2 x Coriander Powder
- 2 x Paprika Powder
- 3 x Turmeric Powder
- 1 x Garam Masala Powder
To Cook Your Chicken
Cooking the chicken this way isn’t totally necessary but I think it is well worthwhile doing. If you want to skip this part of the recipe then simply dice your chicken and boil in water until thoroughly cooked. However cooking the chicken using the method below will allow your chicken to take on an enhanced flavour of its own which will greatly complement the taste of the finished dish. I’d recommend that you give it a try.
- Two tablespoons of cooking oil (vegetable or sunflower)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 6 Cardamom pods
- 2 pieces of Star Anise
- Half a Cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons of Tomato Paste (puree)
- 1 teaspoon of Garlic puree
- 1 teaspoon of Ginger puree
- 1 tablespoon of Spice Mix powder (see above)
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- Water to cook
Add the oil to a saucepan and place over a low heat. To this add the Bay Leaves, Cardamoms, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Tomato, Ginger and Garlic Paste, Mix Powder and Salt. Mix the ingredients well and add your chopped chicken pieces and stir in until well coated. Now add a little warm water until the liquid reaches about three quarters of the way up the chicken.
Cook very slowly on a low heat for about thirty minutes. This will allow the chicken to cook thoroughly and also take on the flavour of the spices.
When cooked separate your chicken pieces and set aside. Be careful to separate the chicken from the spices, we don’t want to be biting down on a piece of cinnamon stick when we’re enjoying our finished meal. Ouch! When added to the sauce the chicken will have a succulent texture with a fantastic flavour.
If you prefer to add vegetables to your curry they can also be cooked using the same ingredients and method. Cooking vegetables this way allows them to again take on an enhanced flavour of their own which also complements the overall flavour of your finished dish.
Madras Curry Sauce
This Madras sauce is a British Indian restaurant style curry and as such will result in a hot, spicy, slightly sour but full flavoured sauce. If you don’t like your curries to be too hot then simply omit using the Chilli powder, the result will still be spicy but won’t be spicy hot.
- Two tablespoons of cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable}
- One batch of curry base sauce
- One batch of garlic paste
- Two medium size chicken breasts (cooked as above)
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- Tablespoon of Garlic puree
- Tablespoon of Ginger puree
- One medium size onion
- One small green or red chilli, sliced finely
- One tablespoon of tomato paste (puree)
- Two tablespoons of spice mix
- Two teaspoons of Chilli powder (optional)
- Tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- Teaspoon of chopped, dried Fenugreek leaves
- One lemon
- Coriander leaves, fresh (chopped finely)
Prepare and cook your chicken (as above)
Add the oil to a deep frying pan or wok and heat on a low setting.
Chop onion very finely and add to pan and fry very gently for 10 minutes.
After the onion has been frying gently for 10 minutes add the chopped chilli and fry gently for 2 minutes with the onion.
Then add the ginger puree and garlic puree and continue frying gently for another 5 minutes.
Now add one batch of curry base sauce along with salt. Mix this around with other ingredients and fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add your spice mix and chilli powder (optional) and blend into the base sauce and ingredients. Continue frying for another five minutes. Note the sauce will thicken as you add the spice mix powder; add a little water if you think it is becoming too dry.
Add the white wine vinegar and mix well, then add the fenugreek leaves and mix. Continue frying for another two minutes.
Now add two teaspoons of the garlic paste, mix and cook for two minutes (note this is not garlic puree but rather the garlic puree we cooked whilst previously making our curry base sauce).
Add chicken pieces, stir these into the sauce ensuring they are coated and continue frying for another five minutes to ensure it is fully heated.
Add around a tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander leaves and stir in. Now slice the lemon and squeeze around two desert spoons full into the curry. Mix and continue cooking gently for another 10 minutes.
Divide into portions and serve with rice or naan bread.
Chicken madras is delicious served with pilau rice. A well made pilau rice will really complement the taste of your curry and turn your dish into really tasty and authentic east Indian meal. In my next hub I’ll give the recipe for, and show you how to cook Mushroom Pilau rice.