Recipe for Success!

It’s a bit of a common misconception that a good Indian curry has to be made by using fancy pestle and mortars and fresh spices. The thing I love about this recipe is that it’s so simple to make and you can keep most of dried spices in your cupboard. The trick to this curry is to make sure the gravy or ‘johl’ is as smooth as possible so it’s a good idea to blend the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic first (don’t be afraid to cheat and buy puréed garlic and ginger, I have jars of the stuff in my fridge).

Remember, there is no perfect science to this, which is why my curries taste different every time – I always think a slapdash approach is the best, and definitely more fun!  

Curry Tip: Next time you’re out for an Indian meal, don’t always steer to the expensive ‘Chef’s Specials’. The closest you’ll get to an authentic curry is often the ‘Chicken Curry’ which generally also happens to be the cheapest dish on the menu!

Murgir Johl

 helen curry

(Serves 4)

500g chicken cut into medium pieces

Oil or ghee 

3 peeled and chopped potatoes

3 medium onions (thinly chopped or puréed)

8 pods garlic

1 inch ginger

2 large, ripe tomatoes

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

5 peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

2 cardamom pods

3 tbsp mustard oil



  • Rub salt on the chicken and marinate in mustard oil and 1 teaspoon of turmeric

  • Fry the potatoes until they turn slightly golden brown, remove from heat and set aside

  • In another pan fry the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns

  • Add the onions to the pan and stir gently

  • When onions have turned transparent, add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a few moments

  • Add the coriander, chilli powder and rest of the turmeric,

  • Mix in the tomatoes pieces and stir well

  • Add a cup of water and the potatoes and simmer gently until the gravy has slightly evaporated and the chicken is cooked through

Serve garnished with some chopped coriander. 


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