The heavy use of sliced garlic and chilli in this BIR curry gives a lovely flavour, with a bit of coconut to enrich it further. Star anise infuses the curry with an aromatic twist. Simply put, if you like garlic you will LOVE this curry. Feel free to experiment with alternatives to chicken.

This is one of many delicious BIR recipes in my book Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1.

Garlic Chilli Chicken Curry
Watch the Video


  • 3 TBSP (45ml) Oil, Ghee or a mixture of
    the two
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 75-100g Onion, finely chopped
  • 20g Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced (about 6 cloves)
  • 1½ tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1½ tsp Mix Powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala
  • ¼-½ tsp Salt
  • 4 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 1 TBSP each of finely chopped fresh
  • Coriander Stalks and Leaves
  • 280ml+ Base Gravy, heated up
  • Pre-Cooked Chicken or Chicken Tikka
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1½ TBSP Coconut Powder/Flour
  • 50-75ml Coconut Milk
  • 4-6 fresh Thin Green Chillies
  • 1-2 tsp Mango Chutney (optional)
Garlic Chilli Chicken Top Down


  1. Add the oil to a frying pan on medium high heat.
  2. Throw in the star anise. Fry for 30-45 seconds, to infuse the oil while stirring.
  3. Add the finely chopped onion and thinly sliced garlic cloves. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until nicely browned, stirring frequently. The garlic needs to be nicely browned, but not burnt.
  4. Next, add the ginger/garlic paste, stirring until just starting to brown and the sizzling sound reducing. This should take about 30 seconds
  5. Add the kasuri methi, chilli powder, mix powder, garam masala, and salt.
  6. Fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring very frequently. Add a little base gravy (e.g. 30ml) if the mixture dries out and sticks to the pan, to avoid burning the spices and to give them enough time to cook properly.
  7. Add the tomato paste and turn up the heat to high.
  8. Then add the pre-cooked chicken or chicken tikka, coriander stalks, lemon juice, and mix well, making sure the chicken pieces are coated in the sauce.
  9. Add 75ml of base gravy and the coconut powder/flour. Mix and cook for 30 seconds with no further stirring. The coconut will have made the sauce very thick at this point.


  1. Next add a second 75ml of base gravy, stir into the sauce, and leave on high heat with no further stirring until the sauce is reduced a little and small dry craters form around the edges.
  2. Add the final 100ml of base gravy, coconut milk and fresh green chillies, stirring and scraping once when first added.
  3. Leave to cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes. Stir and scrape once or twice to mix the caramelised sauce back in, but do this only to prevent the sauce from sticking too much and burning. It’s important to let the sauce adhere to the bottom and sides of the pan, which produces a great flavour.
  4. Add some extra base gravy near the end of cooking if it appears to be thickening up too much.
  5. 30 seconds before the end of cooking stir in the fresh coriander leaves.
  6. Taste the sauce. If you prefer it a little sweeter add 1-2 tsp mango chutney.
  7. Fish out the star anise and discard it. You can also spoon off any excess oil from the surface of the curry if you wish.
  8. Serve, sprinkled with extra fresh coriander.


  • All spoon measurements are level, i.e. 1 tsp=5 ml, 1 TBSP=15ml.
  • Learn about the health benefits of garlic in this article.

Books by Richard Sayce

Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1
Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 2 Front Cover
Curry Compendium Cookbook


  1. MrsMosh

    I made this on Friday. Oh my days, what an absolute delicious dream of a dish! I made it for 2, but only about half of it actually made it to the plates as it was too irresistible to wait and we kept dipping into the pan.


    • Richard Sayce

      So pleased you liked it. Are you planning on making any of my other recipes ?

  2. MrsMosh

    Hi Richard, absolutely.

    Your chicken Jalfrezi is already a regular in our house (on the menu again for tonight) and the chicken Karahi is a firm favourite. Gotta say that the bunjarra recipe from your YouTube channel is one the best things I’ve made. …. What a difference it makes. Sooooo tempted to spread it on toast.

    Thanks and please keep the recipes coming (from someone who’s never followed a recipe in her life).

    😊😊 Michelle.

    • Richard Sayce

      Thanks again Mrs Mosh. Very happy to read that.

  3. Paul Reeves

    Iv done this so many times now it’s my favourite, what if I wanted to do it for more people? Would I just double the ingredients?

    Cheers mate

    • Richard Sayce

      Thanks Paul, I’m quite partial to it myself. Scaling up is not straightforward. The more you multiply the greater the power of some ingredients, mostly powdered spices. In Volume 2 of Indian Restaurant Curry at Home there’s a very comprehensive and detailed chapter on scaling up curry, including all the ratios you need to know about. More info about the books: The Books
      If you’re just cooking for two people you can probably get away with cooking a single recipe portion but add a bit more base gravy and chicken – that will stretch to feed two with normal appetites.

      I published a YouTube video a while back exemplifying how to scale a chicken madras up to feed 4-6 people… that will give you some idea of the process, but as I said you really need Volume 2 for the full kaboodle.

  4. Lee

    How many servings is this recipe for please.

    • Richard Sayce

      Hi, it serves 1-2 People, depending on appetite. It’s about the same amount you would get from a takeaway.

  5. Stevie

    My absolute favourite – the best thing is, it tastes better than the takeaway i used to buy from! Saved me a fortune over the last 18 months.
    Your book 1 has been an inspiration Richard! I barely set foot in the kitchen until i bought this – now i love it in there! It’s even inspired me to cook other things outside of the curry genre. My Mrs is over the moon! I cook more than her now 🙂 Christmas dinner this year will be curry which is a 1st for me, can’t wait. On that note i wish you all the best for Christmas & New Year 2022. P.S The Compendium is on my Christmas list 😉
    Cheers, Stevie

    • Richard Sayce

      That’s awesome Stevie. It’s always good to hear from those passionate about curry. Keep it up, and thank you!

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