Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Curry

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This slow cooker Indian chicken curry is full of flavor from both ground spices and spice seeds. It’s made with chicken thighs that are fall-apart tender by the time the dish is ready.

slow cooker indian chicken curry

How to make slow cooker Indian chicken curry:

The prep work for this curry starts with boiling 1 yellow onion, chopped up into 1-inch chunks in 1 cup water (uncovered). Once almost all the water has evaporated, turn off the heat and let the onion cool a bit. Meanwhile, make a spice paste by mixing 3 tablespoons water with 2 teaspoons powdered ginger, 2 garlic cloves (minced or pressed), 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 4 teaspoons yellow curry powder and 4 teaspoons chili powder. Set the spice paste aside. Next, process the onion in the food processor into a puree and set that aside as well.

how to make slow cooker indian chicken curry step by step

Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven and then briefly sear 4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in it. Move the chicken thighs over to one side of the Dutch oven and fry a handful of spice seeds (1/4 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds, 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds and 1/4 teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds). Fry the seeds for 4 – 5 minutes (the seeds need to sizzle but be careful not to burn them). Next, stir in the pureed onion, 1/2 sliced carrot and 1 whole star anise and fry for 10 minutes.

how to make slow cooker indian chicken curry step by step

Take the star anise out and throw it away, then mix in the spice paste you made earlier. Stir in 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1 cup chicken broth, bring everything to a boil and then transfer it to the slow cooker.

Cook the curry for three hours on low, then stir in 2/3 cup sour cream and you’re go to go! You can serve the curry with rice but I personally prefer naan for this one.

how to make slow cooker Indian chicken curry step by step

This curry freezes very well so if you want to make it in advance, just transfer it into a ziploc bag (after letting it cool to room temperature), seal and put it in the freezer.

Use high quality spices:

As always, I highly recommend that you use high-quality spices from a dedicated spice shop for this recipe. High quality spices make a huge difference in any dish and that is especially true for curries.

More delicious curry recipes:

slow cooker indian chicken curry
Print Recipe
4.6 from 5 votes

Slow Cooker Indian Chicken Curry

This slow cooker Indian chicken curry is full of flavor from both ground spices and spice seeds. It’s made with chicken thighs that are fall-apart tender by the time the dish is ready.
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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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 remaining water 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 might 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 960kcal

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slow cooker indian chicken curry

25 comments

  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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