3 minutes

BIR Chicken Curry without using a Base Sauce Gravy

Crafting a BIR-style chicken curry without relying on a pre-made base sauce requires a thoughtful combination of spices and ingredients to capture the essence of BIR flavours. Here's a new recipe that aims to achieve that:


  1. 500g chicken pieces (boneless or with bone)
  2. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
  3. 2 large onions, finely chopped
  4. 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  6. 2 medium tomatoes, pureed
  7. 2 teaspoons red chilli powder (adjust based on desired heat)
  8. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  10. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  11. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  12. 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), crushed
  13. 100 ml cream or yogurt
  14. 2-3 green cardamom pods
  15. 1 black cardamom pod
  16. 4-5 cloves
  17. 1-inch cinnamon stick
  18. 2 bay leaves
  19. Salt, to taste
  20. Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish
  21. 1-2 green chillies, slit (optional)
  22. 1 tablespoon almond or cashew paste (blend soaked nuts with a little water for smoothness)


  1. Preparation: If using boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces.

  2. Tempering Spices: In a large pan or pot, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the green and black cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Sauté for a minute until aromatic.

  3. Sauté Onions, Ginger, and Garlic: Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add the minced ginger and garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

  4. Tomato Puree: Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the oil separates from the mixture.

  5. Spices: Add the red chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Mix well.

  6. Chicken: Introduce the chicken pieces to the pan, ensuring they're coated well with the masala. Sear the chicken on all sides.

  7. Simmer: Add enough water just to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked.

  8. Enhancements: Stir in the almond or cashew paste and mix well. This will give the curry a rich, creamy texture. Add crushed fenugreek leaves and garam masala. If you desire a creamy texture, introduce the cream or yoghurt at this stage. Adjust salt to taste.

  9. Garnish & Serve: Once the chicken is tender and the gravy has reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and slit green chillies (if using). Serve with steamed rice, naan, or other Indian breads.

This recipe captures the rich and layered flavours typical of BIR curries. Using whole spices and a combination of almond or cashew paste ensures the curry is aromatic and luxuriously creamy. Enjoy your homemade BIR-style Chicken Curry!