Chicken Bhuna

A traditional curry dish with a dry sauce. This dish can (and should) be made with extra garlic instead of the onion – you’ll need a couple of bulbs, but it’s great! This recipe follows the ‘framework’ for many of my curry recipes – master this and it’s easy to diversify with alternative meat or vegetarian versions of your own. You can make the sauce wetter by cooking in chopped tomatoes with the spices or adding extra onions, but it’s no longer a bhuna.

Adjust the Chilli to taste, but try to keep the relative proportions of Chilli:Turmeric. This recipe should give a medium-hot curry, depending upon the quality of your chilli powder. Use fresh chillis if you prefer.

Serves well with breads

Cooking Time – approx 45 minutes

Serves 2-3


  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Ginger, chopped (approx 1 tbsp)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 4 tsp Coriander seed, ground
  • 2 tsp Cumin seed, ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 500g Chicken Breast, cubed
  • 2 Tomatoes, quartered
  • handful of Coriander Leaves, chopped


  • Heat the oil in a pan and sweat off the onions on a medium heat for a few minutes until soft
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute
  • Add ground spices, chilli powder, turmeric & salt and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes
  • Turn up the heat and stir in the Chicken. cook hard for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the meat is coated in the spice mixture. Turn down the heat, cover and cook for another 10 minutes
  • Stir well, then add the tomatoes. cover again for another 5 minutes
  • Stir in the coriander leaves, heat for 1 minute and serve

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey, great post! I like that it's very simple and easy. I've been really craving a chicken bhuna for days now and came to the conclusion that because of the lack of Indian cuisine here-i will have to make my own! Great recipe to follow!

  2. Del says:

    Have you changed this recipe? I am sure it used to have fenugreek seeds in it?

  3. Hi Del,
    No – this is my original recipe (note to self – add a photo…). Having said that, it is one of my foundation recipes for curries in general, I add different things to this every time I cook it (including fenugreek!) and I’d encourage using different herbs and spices to get effects.

    Fenugreek is wonderful in curries, both toasted seed as a ground spice but particularly the leaves as a herb. The fenugreek leaves (also known as Methi) add an aroma that most people would instantly associate with curry. Use like coriander leaves late in the cooking. Alternatively (and unlike coriander), dried Methi is really quite effective as it does retain a good proportion of its flavour, although will need a slightly longer cooking time.

    Fenugreek seeds are also great for sprouting on the windowsill like mustard, and add a lovely spicy punch to a salad!


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