Chicken Madras
Chicken Madras
5 from 89 votes
Instead of ordering takeout, make this homemade chicken madras. This easy family dinner is rich and fragrant, with a fiery kick in every bite. A delicious curry with a thick masala, that is ideal for scooping up with naan.
Chicken Madras

Have you ever craved the bold, flavorful spices of Indian cuisine? Look no further than the tantalizing dish of Chicken Madras. This iconic recipe traces its roots back to the southern region of India, specifically the city of Madras, now known as Chennai.

Legend has it that Chicken Madras was first created by the skilled chefs of the Anglo-Indian community who wanted to infuse local South Indian flavors with British cooking techniques. The result? A dish bursting with aromatic spices, tender chicken, and a rich, fiery gravy that will leave your taste buds singing.

As for the recipe difficulty, Chicken Madras falls somewhere in the middle on the scale of complexity. While it does require a careful balance of various spices and a bit of time to simmer and develop flavors, it is certainly achievable for home cooks of all levels.

With a little patience and a lot of love, you can recreate this beloved Indian dish right in your own kitchen. So, why not spice up your dinner routine with a mouthwatering bowl of Chicken Madras tonight?

Expert Tip: For extra depth of flavor, marinate the chicken in yogurt and a blend of spices for at least 30 minutes before cooking.


Chicken: Tender pieces of chicken are the main protein in this flavorful dish. The chicken is marinated and cooked to perfection, absorbing all the delicious spices and flavors of the dish.

Onion: Onions are a key ingredient in many Indian dishes, adding a sweet and savory flavor to the overall dish. In this recipe, onions are sautéed until golden brown, adding depth and complexity to the dish.

Garlic: Garlic is a staple in Indian cooking, adding a pungent and aromatic flavor to the dish. It is finely minced and added to the dish, enhancing the overall taste and aroma.

Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for cooking the ingredients and adding richness to the dish. It helps in sautéing the onions, garlic, and spices, creating a flavorful base for the chicken.

Ground Coriander: Ground coriander adds a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor to the dish. It is a common spice used in Indian cooking, enhancing the overall taste of the chicken madras.

Ground Cumin: Ground cumin has a warm and earthy flavor, adding depth and richness to the dish. It complements the other spices in the dish, creating a well-rounded flavor profile.

Turmeric: Turmeric adds a vibrant color and a slightly bitter flavor to the dish. It is a common spice used in Indian cooking, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and earthy taste.

Chili Powder: Chili powder adds heat and a spicy kick to the dish. The amount used can be adjusted to suit individual preferences for spiciness.

Paprika: Paprika adds a mild heat and a bright red color to the dish. It has a slightly sweet and smoky flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the chicken madras.

Garam Masala: Garam masala is a blend of ground spices commonly used in Indian cuisine. It adds warmth and depth to the dish, with a combination of flavors like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavors of the dish, bringing out the natural tastes of the ingredients. It is added to taste, balancing the spices and other seasonings in the chicken madras.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the dish. They are cooked down to create a rich and flavorful sauce that coats the chicken pieces, adding moisture and texture to the dish.

Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is used to thicken the sauce and intensify the tomato flavor in the dish. It adds a rich and concentrated taste to the chicken madras, enhancing the overall dish.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves are used as a garnish in this dish, adding a pop of freshness and color. They complement the flavors of the dish and add a vibrant touch to the finished chicken madras.

Expert Tip: To make the dish creamier, you can add a splash of coconut milk or heavy cream towards the end of cooking.

Serving Suggestions

For serving suggestions for your delicious Chicken Madras recipe, consider pairing it with some fluffy basmati rice or warm naan bread to soak up the flavorful sauce. You can also serve it with a side of cooling cucumber raita or mango chutney to balance out the spicy heat of the dish. Adding some fresh cilantro leaves on top as a garnish will enhance the presentation and flavor of the dish.

  • For a variation on the classic recipe, you can add some diced bell peppers or green peas to the dish for added texture and flavor. Stir in some coconut milk for a creamy twist on the traditional spicy curry.
  • If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can substitute the chicken with tofu, paneer, or chickpeas for a protein-packed meatless alternative. You can also add in a variety of vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes, or spinach for a nutritious and hearty meal.
  • To make the dish more kid-friendly, you can reduce the amount of chili powder and garam masala to tone down the spiciness. Serve it with a side of plain yogurt for dipping to help cool down the heat for sensitive palates.
  • For a gluten-free version of the dish, make sure to use gluten-free tomato paste and double-check that all of your spices are certified gluten-free. Serve the chicken madras with quinoa or cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice for a grain-free option.

Expert Tip: Experiment with different varieties of chili powder to adjust the spiciness level to your liking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chicken Madras?

Chicken Madras is a popular Indian dish made with chicken cooked in a spicy and flavorful tomato-based sauce, typically flavored with a variety of Indian spices.

Is Chicken Madras very spicy?

The level of spiciness in Chicken Madras can vary depending on the recipe and the cook. It is generally considered to be a moderately spicy dish, but you can always adjust the amount of spice to suit your taste preferences.

What are the key ingredients in Chicken Madras?

Some key ingredients in Chicken Madras include chicken, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, and a blend of Indian spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala.

Can I make Chicken Madras more mild?

Yes, you can make Chicken Madras more mild by reducing the amount of chili peppers or using a milder variety of chili peppers in the recipe. You can also add ingredients like coconut milk or yogurt to help balance out the spiciness.

What are some common side dishes to serve with Chicken Madras?

Some common side dishes to serve with Chicken Madras include naan bread, rice, cucumber raita, and vegetable dishes like saag paneer or aloo gobi.

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Chicken Madras

Chicken Madras

by Nabeela Kauser
Instead of ordering takeout, make this homemade chicken madras. This easy family dinner is rich and fragrant, with a fiery kick in every bite. A delicious curry with a thick masala, that is ideal for scooping up with naan.
5 from 89 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 263 kcal


  • 600 g Chicken
  • 1 Onion Finely chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 400 g Tomatoes Canned
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 handful Coriander For garnish


  • Begin by heating the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for 4-5 minutes until they become tender.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes until it turns slightly brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Mix the tomato paste, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, garam masala, and salt in the pan, and stir well to coat the chicken.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, adding a splash of water if required to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and reduce the heat to low, cover the pan.
  • Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  • Finish off by garnishing the dish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or naan bread.


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 15gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 854mgPotassium: 504mgFibre: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 534IUVitamin C: 17mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 68mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chicken, Cooking, Curry, Food, Madras, Meat, Recipe, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (4)

Nabeela Kauser

That’s wonderful to hear! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for sharing your feedback!

Nabeela Kauser

Thanks for checking out my chicken madras recipe! Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try!

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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