This Quick and Easy Chicken Madras is a deeply flavored Indian curry that is on the table in about 30 minutes. If you’re a curry fan, this is the dish for you because we all want our curry in a hurry. Traditionally made hot, you can customize the spice level to your liking.

Chicken madras served in an Indian Karahi topped with fresh cilantro

This very tasty classic Indian Curry is a really easy recipe. Serve with a side of naan (or garlic naan) bread for curry sauce mopping.

It is made known that I love Indian food, particularly Indian curries. I mean love! It comes from being British and growing up with a heavy Indian influence in the UK and why I have so many Indian recipes in my arsenal.

When I made my first curry Indian recipe for the blog, back in 2013 it was Chicken Tikka Masala. This was an instant hit and is still one of my most popular dishes to this day with this madras chicken curry a close second.

A piece of chicken madras on a fork
What is Chicken Madras?

Madras sauce is a traditionally spicy curry. It  originates from southern India, named after the city of Madras (modern-day Chennai). Always red or orange in color from the spices and this also depends on how much coconut milk is added. This adds a little sweetness to counteract an acidity from the tomato and also adds a creamy texture to the madras curry sauce.

Chicken Madras Spice level

In keeping with tradition, this recipe is on the spicier sided thanks to the Indian red kashmiri (hot chilli powder). This can be adjusted to your preferred spice level.

Large pieces of chicken bathed in delicious

What I love about this easy chicken madras recipe is that it has a rich, depth of flavor that tastes like it cooked for hours. The garam masala is the spice base and main flavor along with turmeric powder, black pepper and red chili powder to create madras curry powder blend.

Indian Curry Spice Blend

Garam masala, one of the spices used is complex combination of many spices that include cardamom, ground coriander, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, cinnamon, the list goes on. This is why this is an amazing spice blend and allows you to achieve a wonderfully flavorful curry.

Large pieces of chicken bathed in delicious

Blending spices is one of the best ways to create a different flavor profile for many dishes. I have a custom Indian Curry Spice blend that I keep on hand to enhance the flavor of rice and vegetables.

I always have a good collection of Indian spices in my pantry which are easy to find when you have a local Indian grocery store. Buying spices online is also a great place to find them.

Tomatoes for Madras curry

Because I make this year round, I like to use canned/tinned tomatoes. If it is tomato season and you have sweet ones right from the garden, you can use them instead. Tomato paste is also added for richness (this is tomato puree in the U.K).

How to maximize the flavor of spices

Whenever I see an authentic Indian dish being made, the cook always toast the spices in a dry pan as the first step of the recipe. This brings out the flavors and takes away any raw taste that they may bring to the dish.

Slices of orange and green skinned acorn squash on a pewter plate

This leads me to tell you about the colorful acorn squash in the picture above (and a delicious side dish to an Indian curry). This is Roasted Acorn Squash with Indian Spices. That is not pumpkin you are seeing, who knew acorn squash came in orange as well as green?

Best chicken for curry

You can use whatever you like. I like chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces. You can also use bone-in or boneless chicken thighs.

Naan and Curry

What happens when all the chicken has been eaten? You’ll need something to mop up the curry sauce. I have the easiest Easy Naan Bread. You must always have naan with an Indian curry.

If you’ve tried this Quick and Easy Chicken Madras or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 4

Quick and Easy Chicken Madras

Quick and easy chicken madras in a copper serving dish

This quick and easy chicken Madras is a deeply flavored, mild Indian curry that is on the table in about 30 minutes. If you're a curry fan, this is the dish for you.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 skinless boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Indian kashmiri (hot chili powder) add 1 more teaspoon for extra heat
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (puree if you’re in the U.K)
  • 1 ¾ cups/14-ounce can (400 grams) diced/chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ¾ cups/1-14 ounce can (414 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • Cilantro


  1. To a large sauté pan add garam masala over low heat and toast in a dry pan. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until slightly brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. To the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and add the onion and cook until softened.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, tomato paste, stir. Add diced tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Add the chicken pieces, salt pepper and coconut milk. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove lid and simmer for 10 more minutes until thickened.
  6. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 243Saturated Fat 9gCholesterol 72mgSodium 455mgCarbohydrates 4gProtein 24g

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