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Authentic Chicken Curry with Kale

Authentic, simple, quick chicken and kale curry, that is finger-licking good and is perfect for week nights.



Is it even possible to have too many curry recipes? In fact, I’ve been reached out by few readers wanting more. I’m so thankful that you guys take the time to try my recipes and write back asking for more. I’m totally with you on curries, they are so quick and oh so delicious and can be served with almost anything.

Authentic curry can be subjective. Every state / region / family has their own version of an authentic curry. This recipe is more inclined towards the southern part of India, where coconuts and curry leaves rule. In fact, an authentic chicken curry might mostly involve breaking open a coconut, shredding the white meat, making a paste out of it and then adding to the curry. Growing up in a region with coconut trees all around, I think hard before getting into the daunting task of dealing with a coconut. So, I resort to the convenience of canned coconut milk most of the time.

Kale is such a hearty, leafy green loaded with vitamins and minerals, I try to sneak it wherever possible. If your kids (or even husband like mine) aren’t huge fans of kale then adding it to a curry is a great way to bump up the nutrition value. If you can’t find kale then spinach is a great substitute. Just add spinach along with coconut milk, as it requires very less cooking time.

This curry is so easy and comes together in under 30 minutes…

—-Heat oil in a pan (choose a pan that has a lid)

—-Toast whole spices for a few seconds

—-Saute onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and half the salt (salt speeds up the cooking process)

—-Cook tomato, all powdered spices and remaining salt, cook until spices are toasted well and the mixture gets shiny

—-Add water, chicken and kale, cover and cook

—Uncover and stir in coconut milk, simmer for 2 minutes

—serve hot with almost anything (white rice/brown rice/ any type of flatbread)


-Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, taste the finished product and add a pinch or two more, if required

-Spinach can be used instead of kale. Add chopped spinach along with coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes

-Curry leaves can be found in Indian and some Chinese grocery stores

-Store remaining coconut milk in a freezer safe zip lock bag or container for a another recipe

-Recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed a larger crowd

– This curry freezes very well – Just like coconut milk, store cooled curry in a freezer safe zip lock bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months.

Skill level – Intermediate

Authentic Chicken Curry with Kale


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 piece cinnamon

2 cloves

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, smashed well

1/4 inch piece ginger, smashed well

10 curry leaves (optional)

3/4 – 1 teaspoon salt, divided (refer notes)

1 medium roma tomato, finely chopped

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 stalks kale, mid rib removed and chopped coarsely

2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces

1 cup water

1/4 cup canned coconut milk


1. Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat.

2. Add cinnamon, cloves and fennel seeds and toast for few seconds.

3. Add onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves (if using) and half the salt. Saute until translucent (about 3 minutes).

4. Add tomato, coriander powder, cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder and remaining salt, reduce heat to medium, saute for about 4 minutes, until spices are toasted well, and the mixture gets shiny (stir often).

5. Add kale, chicken and water, cover, reduce heat to low-medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked.

6. Uncover, stir in coconut milk and let simmer for additional 2-3 minutes.

7. Take off heat and serve hot with rice / naan/ rotis/ parathas

Makes 2 servings

Please note that curry will continue to thicken as it cools.




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