Easy Madras Curry Recipe

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Juicy bites of chicken in a creamy, hot curry sauce, this recipe is sure to bring the spice! This easy chicken madras curry is packed with deep Indian curry flavors, and ready in less than an hour. 

picture of madras curry on a table in a pan
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picture of a spoon scooping chicken madras curry in a pan

Easy Chicken Madras Curry

Madras curry is a fairly hot sauce, red in color with a heavy use of chili powder and madras curry powder. Made with madras curry powder, this dish is HOT! It’s spicier in taste compared to the standard curry powder. So, if you’re looking for something spicy, this dish is sure to kick up the heat. 

Not only is this easy chicken madras curry spicy, but it’s so easy to make. With only a little bit of prep work and cook time, you’ll have this dish on the table in less than an hour. Plus, it’s made all in one pan, so you won’t have to worry about a ton of dishes to wash. 

picture of hand scooping madras curry with naan bread

How To Make Chicken Madras Curry

The intense aromatics of the madras curry powder and other spices completely fill your kitchen while cooking this dish, creating a wonderful, satisfying warmth both in your home and in your belly! For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Oil– I use olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or even butter to saute your garlic and onion. 
  • Chicken breasts– Cut your chicken breasts into bite sized chunks. 
  • Spices– You’ll need madras curry powder, ginger, chili powder, smoked paprika, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne. 
  • Garlic and onion-Both add a depth of flavor to the dish. Mince the garlic and dice the onion. 
  • Coconut milk– Coconut milk adds a sweetness to the curry that counteracts the spice, creating a nice balance.
  • Diced tomatoes– Onion and tomatoes form the base of your Indian curry.

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, follow the steps below:

  1. First, heat your oil in a dutch oven on low heat. Then, add your diced onion and cook for 5-minutes.
  2. Stir in your minced garlic and cook for another 5-minutes. Then, add the rest of your spices and cook for an additional 5-minutes. 
  3. Allow the spice mixture to simmer and bubble for 1-minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Raise your heat to medium, and add the diced, undrained tomatoes and coconut milk to your pan. Stir well to combine. 
  5. Let your sauce simmer for 15-minutes allowing the liquid to thicken quite a bit. 
  6. Add in the chicken bites. Stir to combine and coat with the sauce. Then, cover the pan and cook for 10-minutes. 
  7. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 10-minutes. 
  8. Serve over rice and enjoy!
picture of madras curry in a pan with a spoon

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Madras Curry Chicken and FAQs: 

  • If your spice mixture becomes too dry while you are cooking, add a bit more oil to it. 
  • To bring down the heat, you can add half a can of tomato paste and an additional tablespoon of sugar. 
  • If you want this dish to be even less spicy, you can use regular curry powder instead of madras curry powder, and leave the cayenne pepper out. 
  • If you don’t have sweet smoked paprika, you can use regular paprika instead. 


What temperature do you cook madras curry?

You will cook your curry spices in a dutch oven on the stovetop on low heat. After the spices have simmered a bit, you will increase the temperature to medium heat. 

How long does this recipe take to make?

With 10-minutes of prep time and about 45-minutes of cook time, you should have dinner on the table in 55-minutes to an hour. 

Can I just add the spices with the liquid ingredients?

No, you should not add the spices with the liquid. Part of the flavor of this curry dish comes from toasting the dry spices in a pan. However, if you do put them with the liquid, it will still taste great. 

Do I have to use chicken breasts?

No, you don’t! You can use 1 pound of any chicken that you would like. However, you will want to cut it into pieces without skin or bones. If you want to use leftover, cooked chicken, just add it near the end so it heats up, but doesn’t overcook. 

Can I use a different kind of meat?

Sure, you could try this recipe with beef or lamb. Additionally, you can make it meatless by using chickpeas, squash, potatoes, and cauliflower. 

Is this dish really spicy?

Yes! Madras curry powder is spicier than regular curry powder. You can adjust the spiciness by adjusting the amount of madras curry powder and cayenne that you use. You could also substitute regular curry powder for the madras curry powder.

How do I store madras curry leftovers?

Place any leftovers in an airtight container and put them in your refrigerator. Madras curry is good for up to 4-days in the fridge. Or, you can place leftovers in a freezer-proof container and store them in the freezer for up to 3-months. 

picture of madras curry on a table in a pan

What To Serve With Madras Curry 

Indian dishes are typically served with white rice and a bread called naan. I usually serve chicken madras curry on top of a heaping pile of white rice and a side of my Easy Keto Naan. You could also serve this madras curry with Garlic Lemon Cauliflower, Easy Garlic Butter Texas Toast, or a side of Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

picture of madras curry on a table in a pan

Madras Curry Recipe

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picture of madras curry in a bowl

Easy Madras Curry Recipe

Spice up your dinner with this Madras Curry recipe. Made with spicy madras curry powder, it’s perfect for those who really enjoy a kick of heat!
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chicken curry, chicken madras curry, madras curry, one pot curry, spicy chicken curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 525kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon madras curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes don’t drain
  • 1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into chunks


  • Heat oil in a dutch oven on low heat.  Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent.  Stir in garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add all spices and cook for another 5 minutes. (if this mixture becomes dry as you are combining, you can add a bit more oil) Allow this to simmer and bubble for a minute while occasionally stirring.
  • Raise heat to medium.  Add diced, undrained tomatoes and coconut milk to your pan and stir together with spices.  Allow this to simmer for 15 minutes. The liquid will thicken quite a bit.
  • Add chicken pieces and stir to coat them.  Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.  Then remove the cover and cook for another 10 minutes. 


This is a fairly simple recipe to make! Madras Curry is on the spicier side so if you want to leave notes about making this less spicy, you can even recommend readers make this with regular curry (we tested it with both) and no cayenne pepper. They can also add half a can of tomato paste and an additional tablespoon of sugar to bring down the heat.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 348mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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