This tandoori chicken curry came about quiet by accident (during my cooking demonstrations days) but is so good and so much quicker to make than the original version, you’ll want to try it! There is no sautéing of onions or pre baking the chicken involved, yet it results in a flavorful and authentic tasting dish. I like to make this for quick weeknight meals. And added bonus, it’s dairy free too!
Here’s what I used to make this chicken curry:
Chicken – Tenders or thighs cubed into bite sized pieces are best as they are juicier than breast meat and quicker to cook than bone in meat.
Ginger and Garlic – Both minced or in a paste. If you have this prepped ahead, the process will be much faster. Please don’t buy the prepackaged version. Ginger and garlic are some of the most anti inflammatory ingredients in South Asian cooking and you want to make the most of these fresh.
Spices – Red chili powder, turmeric, tandoori masala and salt.
Tomato sauce – You can make your own tomato sauce at home or get the store bought version.
Make it dairy free
Coconut milk – Since we have skipped the onions, which is what gives most South Asian curries the “curry”, coconut milk is the perfect substitute for yogurt. The best thing, you can’t even taste the coconut!
How to make it
This recipe comes together fast because there is no marination involved. Because the chicken is precut into bite sized pieces, it will cook faster too. You could marinate if you wanted to but I feel chicken thighs and tenders tend to be a juicer cut of meat and so marination can be skipped for the sake of time.
Begin by heating up the oil in a medium sized pan. Once the oil is heated, add the ginger and garlic and saute till aromatic. Add the chicken and saute some more till the chicken pieces change color. Next, add the spices and saute about a minute till the spices are well combined and coat the chicken. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine and then add the coconut milk. Cover the pan and let the chicken cook for about 20 minutes. Once the chicken has cooked through, uncover the pan and let some of the water dry. Your tandoori chicken is ready once the oil rises to the top. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, cauliflower rice or a side salad.
Frequently asked questions
Of course! Just puree 3 small tomatoes and use instead. The consistency will be more watery and the color may vary slightly but you can always dry it out some by cooking it on high heat.
You can, but the coconut milk is what gives this curry its “curry” if you will. You can perhaps omit the coconut milk and add in half a cup of yogurt thinned out with some water.
Yes, absolutely! Just let it cool to room temperature, portion out so you only thaw as much as you will need and store in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Once ready to eat, defrost overnight in fridge or on countertop. Heat on stove top till heated through. Discard any leftovers.
What to serve with Tandoori Chicken Curry
Traditionally tandoori chicken is served with naan ( a wheat based flat bread) but because we keep things gluten free around here, white rice would be great. I also like to serve it with brown, or wild rice and a side salad. Cauliflower rice or hearts of palm rice will keep the meal low carb/Keto.
If you like chicken curry recipes, here are some more to try!
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Tandoori Chicken Curry
- 2 tablespoons ghee or neutral oil. I use avocado oil
- 2 lbs. chicken tenders or boneless skinless thighs cubed into 1 “ pieces
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1 teaspoons ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt or to taste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- On medium high heat, add ghee/oil to the pan.
- Add ginger and garlic and saute till aromatic.
- Add the chicken and saute some more till it changes color, about 3 minutes.
- Add all the spices and tandoori masala and stir some more.
- Add the tomato sauce and coconut milk and stir to combine.
- Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with white, brown or cauliflower rice.
- You can substitute the ghee with neutral oil like avocado oil and even split half ghee and half avocado oil.
- I use Spice Tree Organics tandoori masala as it is batch made without additives and no salt so check to see if yours has additional salt and adjust accordingly.