The whole chillies impart a subtle heat to this mild chicken dish, however if you like it hotter, you can always finely chop them and add to the pan with the curry leaves. Marinate the chicken pieces the night before and all the not-so-hard work in this recipe is done.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (73 votes)


  • 8 organic skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 130 g (½ cup) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, leaves stripped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) chicken stock
  • 540 ml coconut milk
  • 3 long green chillies, pricked all over
  • sea salt flakes, to taste
  • steamed rice, paratha and green beans or fried eggplant, to serve

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.


Marinating time 30 minutes

Place the chicken, yoghurt, garam masala, garlic, ginger and lemon zest in a bowl, toss to combine well, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if time permits.

Heat the ghee in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the chicken in two batches until light golden. Don’t worry if the chicken sticks to the pan. Remove from the pan, then reduce the heat to low. Add the curry leaves and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the stock and scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any cooked pieces. Return the chicken to the pan, add the coconut milk and whole chillies and season to taste with salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is just tender. Stir in the lemon juice to taste, then serve in small bowls with steamed rice, paratha and green beans or fried eggplant.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Tile piece from Onsite Supply.