An easy, delicious curry that can be on the table in under 30 minutes, this Easy Chicken Rogan Josh is perfect for busy weeknights!
One of the most popular dishes on my blog is my Lamb Rogan Josh – it’s a deliciously tasty recipe, inspired by Rick Stein’s Rogan Josh from his lovely book ‘India’ (though, as you’d expect, my version is vastly simplified!). My version of Lamb Rogan Josh is a great easy peasy recipe – throw onions, garlic, lamb and spices into a pot, then let the oven do all the work for an hour or two, while the cook relaxes… Then, almost by magic, out pops the most delicious, fragrant curry with meltingly tender pieces of lamb – totally my kind of cooking…buuut, with one significant drawback – what if you don’t have a couple of hours to spare before dinner?
That kind of laid back cooking is perfect for the weekend, or if you happen to have an hour or two to spare on a midweek evening – but what if it’s a totally hectic weeknight and you literally only have 30 minutes to make and serve up dinner, but you still want a tasty curry? No, PUT THAT PHONE DOWN, you don’t have to order a takeaway – by using chicken instead of lamb, this easy Rogan Josh can be on the table in under half an hour!
Not only is this curry almost as quick as ordering from your local Indian restaurant (possibly quicker – don’t get me started on the takeaway we ordered recently that took over 2 hours to arrive, was stone cold and wasn’t even the right order!), but it is also even tastier (IMHO) and likely to be much healthier too – especially if you serve it with my Pilau Cauliflower Rice.
If cauliflower rice is not your thing, this curry would go equally well with my Easy Peasy Pilau Rice or, if you want to be super quick, just serve this Easy Chicken Rogan Josh with plain basmati rice or naan breads. And don’t forget all your favourite pickles and chutneys…I love a bit of mango chutney and lime pickle – what are your favourite extras to go with curry?
Don’t be alarmed by the number of spices in the recipe – once you’ve bought them, the hard part is over. Once they’re in your kitchen, it’s really just a matter of tipping them into the pan – having a well-stocked spice cupboard is one of the secrets to my easy peasy cooking style – adding spices to a meal really is the simplest thing, yet creates incredible flavour!
With only a small amount of chilli, this curry is not hot at all (but feel free to add more chilli if you want it to be!), but it is has wonderful depth of flavour from all those lovely spices. It’s a great chilli level for kids who don’t mind a little heat (mine are 7 and 8 and happily wolf this down) or wusses like me that can’t take anything above medium…but you can reduce the chilli down even further or leave it out if you or your family really don’t like hot food.
Apart from the speed of cooking time, the only difference between this quick and easy Chicken Rogan Josh and my Lamb Rogan Josh, is that with this one, I add a few fresh tomatoes in at the end for extra deliciousness. They add such a lovely freshness and contrast to this curry, but if you are in a hurry and can’t be bothered with the extra chopping, just leave them out – there is still plenty of tomatoey goodness from the tinned tomatoes!
To go with this curry, I would suggest a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc or a Gewürztraminer from Alsace in France (always a good bet with chicken curry), alternatively a fruity rose from the South of France or Spain would work well here. If you prefer red, a South African Pinotage will also work well. Of course (as I always say), my husband would recommend a beer to go with a curry. I’ve just asked him and he suggests an nice hoppy IPA should stand up to the spices in this Chicken Rogan Josh.
By the way, if you are wondering about the wine and beer recommendations, which I casually throw in from time to time…I used to work in the wine industry, mainly in buying and a bit in marketing, and I did all my wine qualifications (WSET level 4 if that means something to you!) which involved lots of very tricky exams in wine tasting – yeah, I know, tough gig! My husband, who has never worked in the drinks industry, has one of the most freakishly naturally good palates I’ve ever known…and since I’m not much of a beer drinker these days, I always default to him on matters of beer!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 5cm stick cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 6 cardamom pods, bashed (optional)
- 4 cloves (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves, grated finely or crushed
- 3cm piece fresh ginger
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (more if you like things hot!)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 800g chicken breast, chopped into bitesize pieces
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 4 medium plum tomatoes, quartered (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons of coriander leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 300g plain or pilau rice to serve or Pilau Cauliflower Rice
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a wide, deep saucepan and add the sliced onion, cinnamon stick, bashed cardamom pods and cloves. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until the onions have softened but are not brown.
- Add in the crushed garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Stir and fry uncovered on a low heat for 2 more minutes – add a splash of water if it starts to get dry.
- Add in the chopped chicken and stir to coat the chicken in the spices. Continue frying for a couple of minutes to allow the chicken to brown slightly.
- Add in the tinned tomatoes and salt. Stir and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down low. Cook for 10 minutes then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked.
- Just before serving the curry, add the quartered plum tomatoes and coriander leaves to the curry and stir. Serve scattered with more coriander leaves and with some rice and a beer or a glass wine.
Need more curry inspiration? Check out my collection of Easy Peasy Curry Recipes
Love chicken? Check out my collection of Easy Peasy Chicken Recipes…
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