Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins

As I mentioned on Tuesday, this recipe came from my friend Beth, after I tried her leftovers at Bible study one night and demanded that she share immediately how to make it. She had gotten the recipe from her friend Susan, who in turn adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Chicken Recipes.” I knew there was a genius behind it the moment I tasted it.

This curry . . . what shall I say about this curry. “Delicious” feels like an understatement when this rich, tomatoe-y sauce with the perfect bursts of golden raisins is concerned.

Please make it.

You know how addicted I am to making new recipes and trying new things, so hopefully this will mean something to you: since October, I’ve made this curry 1) for ourselves, 2) for ourselves, 3) for Heidi and Mike, 4) for our neighbor, and 5) for our friends Julie and Zane. I can’t get enough of it.


(Serves 6)

2 TBS sweet or mild curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
4 TBS vegetable oil
2 onions
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
4 cloves garlic
1 TBS minced or grated ginger
1 serrano chili
1 TBS tomato paste
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 medium)
1 cup raisins (regular and golden, mixed)
1/3 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
2 TBS chopped cilantro

There’s a lot going on in this ingredients picture–but don’t freak out! Stay calm, stay calm–if you lose your focus now, you’re going to miss out on a truly incredible dish.

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast the curry powder and garam masala for 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning them.

Set the spices aside in a bowl.

Finely dice the onions. Heat the 3 TBS of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the onions and 1/4 tsp of salt.

Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. If the onions seem to be browning too quickly, turn down the heat. If you have time, cook the onions for longer and on lower heat. The more they caramelize, the more sweet depth they’ll give to the curry.

In the meantime, mince the garlic and grate the ginger, and de-seed and mince the chili (removing the seeds and membrane). Or leave the seeds in if heat doesn’t scare you.

Going, going . . .


When the onions are caramelized (about like this:)

add the garlic, ginger, chili, toasted spices, and tomato paste.

Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant, then add the chicken broth . . .

. . . and crushed tomatoes too (not pictured), stirring and scraping up any brown bits.

Quickly rinse the chickpeas from that nasty liquid they have in the can with ’em, and add them along with the chicken and raisins to the pot, submerging the meat.

Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and turn down the heat to medium low.

Simmer 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is just done (160-165 in the thickest part of the chicken breast). In the meantime, chop up some good ole cilantro:

Move the chicken on to a cutting board, and using a fork and knife (it’s hot!), dice it up.

If it’s still a little raw inside, no biggie–it will finish off in the sauce momentarily.

Return the meat to the pot along with the cream or coconut milk . . .

. . . and heat through (about 2 minutes on medium high). Stir in the minced cilantro:

And we’re down to the final step! Taste, and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve over rice or spiced couscous!

I’m racking my brain to try and turn up ways of convincing everyone I know to make this. Why? Because I love you, and I want the best for your taste buds.

Anyway, hopefully the pictures will nudge you in the right direction. I can only hope.

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17 thoughts on “Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins

  1. giselle

    Since this is your favorite, I’ll have to try it! You never disappoint! My boyfriend loves Indian curry, so he’ll be excited for sure.

  2. Suzie

    I just printed this off and it will be made within the next week 🙂 Seeing how many times you’ve made, it must be good! And it looks great in your pictures too!

  3. Margarita

    I love Indian food! Combinations of spicy sauces, tons of onions, chicken, and raisins… just wonderful. I love this recipe and I will make it! The pictures are making me so hungry!

  4. Joanne

    This is going to turn from a best chicken recipe to a best tofu ever recipe in my kitchen. You just wait and see!

    Umm. Sounds to.die.for.

  5. Veronica

    It will be a little while before I can try this b/c dried fruit is off the eating list for the next couple weeks, but it’s my #1 priority once I feel like I can handle it! (We’ve been off sugar and concentrated fruit sugar for almost a month now and feeling so good, but I will bring it back a little soon, esp with dried fruits.)

  6. Megan Jones

    I found your recipe posted on pinterest and I made it tonight for the first time for me and my husband. I cannot describe how pleased we were with the results, it was absolutely fantastic! The raisins and fresh cilantro gave the chicken and mix of spices added pizzazz. This is my first time cooking Indian food and I will be making it a lot more often. Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s become one of my favorites and one of my husband’s favorites too!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Megan! I’m so glad that you guys liked it–it’s definitely a favorite in our household and I’m so happy to spread the love!

  7. Tobi

    I made this last night and I had to give you my RAVE review. The spiciness with the sweetness–oh my! The hubs loved it as well. I’m happy that the weather is now cool enough to have stew-like dishes, but most of all I’m thankful that you shared this life-changing meal with us!!

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  9. JR

    Been on an indian food kick lately; made dal earlier this week and now my list of ingredients on hand includes everything here, so this is perfect. I will be substituting full fat unflavored yoghurt for the cream in your recipe and will add smoked paprika.I will most likely have it over jasmine rice, but i also want to try making chapatis!

  10. JR

    Double post to update- just finished. Ended up being out of raisins, but aside from that it turned out really good. The yogurt definitely works well- the little sour fruity notes it leaves replace some of what it must have lost from the raisins being missing. If you follow my example be sure to bring the yogurt up to temp slowly and add a bit of flour or cornstarch. This will keep it from curdling or separating. I also added a bit of butter to account for the lower fat content of yogurt versus heavy cream. First time I have used or eaten chickpeas but I’ll definitely be making this again!

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