Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Curry

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Why I love it: I love to eat Indian curries but I’m not always in the mood to cook them because they usually require a lot of time standing at the stovetop. Not this one! This slow cooker Indian chicken curry needs just a little bit of prep and once that’s done it’s “set it and forget it” – my favorite way of cooking.

slow cooker indian chicken curry

How to make this slow cooker Indian chicken curry:

You start with the prep work for this curry and that involves boiling and then pureeing an onion as well as making a spice paste by mixing a bit of water with powdered ginger, fresh garlic, turmeric, curry and chili powder.

Then you get to cooking! You briefly sear boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a Dutch oven, then fry a handful of spice seeds (fenugreek, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds), the pureed onion, sliced carrot, a star anise and the spice paste you made earlier.

Next you add canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth, bring everything to a boil and then transfer it to the slow cooker.

Three hours later you open the lid, stir in sour cream and you’re ready to go! You can serve the curry with rice but I personally prefer naan for this one.


Related Post:

In the mood for more curries? I can recommend this Shrimp Coconut Curry:

shrimp coconut curry

slow cooker indian chicken curry
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Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Curry

A great recipe for a delicious Indian chicken curry made in the slow cooker. 
Cook Time3 hrs 40 mins
Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: slow cooker chicken curry, slow cooker curry, slow cooker indian chicken curry
Servings: 2
Calories: 960kcal
Author: Nicole Branan | The Spice Train


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • vegetable oil
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black, brown or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or more, if desired
  • cilantro for garnish
  • 2 over easy eggs optional


  • Peel the onion and chop into ~ 1-inch chunks.
  • Put onion into a pot along with 1 cup of water and boil without a lid until almost all water has evaporated. Let cool for a bit.
  • Put ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry powder and chili powder together in a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of water and mix with a spoon to make a paste. Set aside.
  • Transfer the boiled onion (along with any water there may be) into a food processor and process into a puree.
  • Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven until shimmering.
  • Lightly season the chicken thighs with salt, then sear them on both sides in the hot oil.
  • Turn the heat down.
  • Move the chicken thighs over to one side of the Dutch oven and add fenugreek, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds to the other side. Fry the seeds for 4 - 5 minutes (the seeds need to sizzle but be careful not to burn them).
  • Carefully add the onion puree (be careful, this will splatter!).
  • Add the star anise and the carrot.
  • Turn the heat back up and fry onion and carrot for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the star anise.
  • Add the spice paste and stir until you have a homogeneous mix.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth and mix well. Let the mix come to a boil, then transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours.
  • Stir in the sour cream.
  • Serve the curry with naan or rice and sprinkle with cilantro.
  • For extra flavor and substance, fry one egg per serving either sunny side up or over easy and put it on top of the curry.


Calories: 960kcal

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slow cooker Indian chicken curry


  1. Susan L. says:

    This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I do not own a slow cooker and wondered if you think after all the prep work is done if everything could be put back into the dutch oven, lid on, and put in an oven on low temp (not sure of temp) for the 3 hours? What do you think the result would be like? Or should I splurge on a slow cooker!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hi Susan, I haven’t made it in the oven so I can’t say for sure but I imagine that this would work just fine. I was actually planning on making this curry again today and I’ll just go ahead and try it in the oven instead of the slow cooker. I’ll see how it comes out and report back here this afternoon and let you know. Stay tuned! :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hello again Susan,

      Reporting back here with the news that the oven method did not work. The curry burned. It’s possible that the oven temperature was too high (I had it at 325 degrees F.) but at this point I don’t recommend to make this recipe outside of the slow cooker. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Yes, I can imagine you may need a (brief) curry break! I’m a fan of this onion technique too with the cooking and the food processor, it’s much less painful than grating the raw onion. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Yes, beef and also lamb would be very good here! I actually briefly thought about cloning out the reflections in the bowl but then decided against it. :)

  2. Melinda | Sprinkle and a Dash says:

    I think I see a common theme here, we love curry! I don’t think I have come upon a curry that I didn’t enjoy. I look forward to trying yours too. I actually have an incredible Naan recipe on my site, I only mention it, because I have had lack luster naan before and I am of the opinion that you really need good naan with curry. =D

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Rachel! I have had that little pan for years and don’t use it very often but it did work in this shot. :)

  3. Emily says:

    We love Indian food, but it usually takes me so long to get it right. Love how to adapted this for the slow-cooker- putting it on my list of recipes to try. :) Beautiful as always, Nicole!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Emily! It took me a while to get the original recipe right but then adapting it for the slow cooker went pretty smoothly and I was surprised how well it turned out. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Louise! I know what you mean about craving comfort food, we still have a few feet of snow on the ground up here. I’m looking forward to summer but until then hot stews are the thing. :)

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