“Curry has become a national dish in the UK, and in Manchester there is a street named a ‘Curry Mile’. I went into one of the most popular Indian restaurants on that strip, Mughli, to learn how to make a true British curry. I was told it was best to cook this curry in a solid wok-like pan, which is where the kadai gets its name. A combination of chicken thigh and breast meat works best, but you can use one or the other if you prefer. If you like a slightly less spicy curry, add the green chilli to the pan with the onions- or leave them out altogether.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (103 votes)


  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • pinch ground coriander
  • pinch ground cumin
  • 300 g boneless and skinless chicken meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tsp julienned ginger, plus extra to garnish 
  • 1 long green chillies, thinly sliced
  • chopped garlic and chopped red chilli, to garnish (optional)
  • fried onion slices, to garnish (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle and pound until a paste forms.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat, then add the cardamom, cumin seeds and black pepper. Toss for 30 seconds, then add the onion, garlic and ginger paste, and ground spices and sauté until very lightly coloured but not browned. Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken and cook, tossing the pan regularly, for 5-7 minutes or until nearly cooked through. Increase the heat to high, add the chopped tomato and cook for 15 minutes or until the oil splits from the tomato. Add the coconut cream, butter, ginger, coriander and green chilli and combine well.  Season to taste with salt and garnish. Serve immediately.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgi Larby.

Artistica pasta bowls and round tapas dish, both from Tomkin.


Visit the Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.