Books by Richard Sayce

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

BIR Laal Chicken Curry Recipe:

‘Laal’ translates to ‘Red’, and this vibrant chicken curry is loaded with the piquancy of paprika. Use a good quality paprika – it goes the extra mile. Spice this dish up to your preference with chilli powder and fresh chillies.

This recipe will feed 1-2 people. 


  • 4 TBSP (60ml) Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ¾ tsp Black Mustard Seeds (optional)
  • ½ tsp Nigella Seeds a.k.a. Kalonjee (optional)
  • 75g Onion, finely sliced into slivers (about half a medium sized onion)
  • 1 TBSP Ginger/Garlic Paste
  • 2 tsp Mix Powder
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 TBSP Kashmiri Chilli Powder (or to your taste)
  • ½-2 tsp ‘Regular’ Chilli Powder (or to your taste)
  • 2½ TBSP Paprika (Unsmoked Hungarian or Spanish)
  • ¾ tsp Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 330ml+ Base Gravy
  • 4-5 TBSP Tomato Paste


  • 175-200g Chicken (Raw or Pre-cooked)
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice (bottled will suffice)
  • A dollop of Yoghurt (optional)
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • Sliced Green Chillies for garnishing (optional)
Laal Chicken Curry


  1. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat and add the oil.
  2. Allow to heat up and add the cumin seeds, and the mustard and nigella seeds (if using).
  3. Stir for 20 seconds then add the onion and fry for a few minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onion starts to brown on the edges.
  4. Then add the ginger/garlic paste and continue to cook for a further 45-60 secs.
  5. Add the mix powder, kasuri methi, chilli powders, paprika, salt, and a splash of water. Also add the smoked paprika at this point if you are using it.
  6. Stir constantly for 20-30 seconds, adding a splash of base gravy (e.g., 30ml) during that time to help to cook the spices without burning them.
  7. Add the tomato paste and the chicken. Coat the chicken well with the sauce.
  8. Stir then allow to cook for a short while until you see the oil float to the surface, and small, dry craters start appearing around the edges of the pan.
  9. Then add 75ml of base gravy and stir and scrape everything together. Leave to fry for a while until the sauce reduces a little and you see small dry craters form around the edges of the pan.


  1. Add a second 75ml of base gravy, stir and scrape together, and again leave to cook as in the previous stage.
  2. Then add 150ml of base gravy, along with the lemon juice. Stir and scrape once when first added.
  3. Leave to cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes with minimal interference. Allow the sauce to stick and caramelise on the sides and surface of the pan. Stir and scrape the curry together only to prevent burning.
  4. Add the coriander. You can add extra base gravy at this point, to adjust the consistency to your liking. Stir and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  5. Taste, and if desired add extra lemon juice and/or salt.
  6. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked before serving.
  7. Serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt (optional), a sprinkle of paprika, fresh coriander, and optionally some sliced green chillies.


  • All spoon measurements are level (1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml).
  • Enjoy this Laal Chicken curry recipe, and please visit the Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen YouTube Channel for lots of Indian recipes.


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