sarah’s chicken curry and yoghurt naan

serves 4-6

Good morning – crikey it has been a whole two weeks since I was last here (makes me feel like I’m giving confession…). Today’s recipe is exactly what I feel like eating right now despite the fact that it is just after 7am – a gently (but deeply) spiced chicken curry scooped up with a piece of light, soft naan. Yes please! (Said in my head exactly like Bejan in Cuban Fury, God I love that movie). The chicken thighs are marinated in yoghurt and spices and then cooked together with more spices, tomatoes and a little cream (trust me) so that the end result has a whisper of ‘butter chicken’ about it without being so rich – I promise it is bloody delicious! If you can’t be faffed making your own naan just grab some, or some naughty paratha, from the supermarket – too easy.

Aaaand what I have I been doing for the last two weeks? I had a fab night on Waiheke with gorgeous friends – swimming, eating, drinking and watching movies (all the good stuff), as well as enjoying cinema nights with dear mates, drinks and dinner with girlfriends and lots of getting out and about. Hurrah! To top off the good times my darling Hoob drove up from Welly and stayed with several of his friends for a few nights (to go to Laneway) so I got to be in full mother entertainment mode whipping up breakfast quesadillas and pizzas and generally fussing about making sure everyone was looked after – my kind of heaven. Next up I will be nipping to Melbourne in a few weeks to spend time with my lovely Pog and the gorgeous Will…I can’t wait to see them, and I haven’t been to their place for aaaages – I know Henry has it looking more magazine-worthy than ever. Oh – and just to temper all of the jolly times I have pulled a calf muscle at the gym (classic ex-personal trainer ignoring my own advice – gah), and had a mole (moley moley) removed from the prominent location of the middle of my forehead…waiting for the results is always such a pain. I did ask the doctor if perhaps he could give me a little two-for-one facelift deal at the same time but sadly no…

Anyhoo thats it from me – make the curry, you won’t be sorry! (I’m pretty sure).


1 thumb ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Greek natural yoghurt
800grams skinless chicken thighs


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, finely sliced1 thumb ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, crushed
400grams crushed, sieved tomatoes
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon chilli powder
¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek
¼ cup cream
½ cup fresh coriander to garnish
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
½ cup Greek natural yoghurt to serve
Cooked basmati rice to serve


Put the ginger, garlic spices and yoghurt in a small food processor and whiz to a paste. Put into a large sealable container. Trim the excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut each one into about three pieces. Place the chicken pieces into the marinade and fold to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or up to over night.

Easy chicken curry:

Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large heavy bottomed pot. Add the cumin seeds and cook for one minute then add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the onion is softened but not coloured. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes then add the chicken. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid, add the cream and cook a further 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the curry on basmati rice, with a dollop of yoghurt, fresh coriander, black sesame seeds and flat breads on the side.

Quick yoghurt naan:

Makes 8-10 depending on size
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes

2 ¼ cups self raising flour (plus extra to dust the bench)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (plus extra to sprinkle)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 ¼ cups Greek natral yoghurt
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons melted butter

Sift the flour and baking powder into a stand mixer and add the salt and cumin seeds. Give a quick mix to combine then add the yoghurt, milk oil and garlic. Mix for 2-3 minutes until smooth (this can also be done by hand by kneading for 5 minutes). Tip out onto a well-floured bench and knead a little more so that the dough is soft but not too sticky. Roll the dough into a sausage about 48 cm long and cut into 8-10 pieces (8 for medium, 10 for small naan). Roll each dough piece into a smooth ball, cover with a tea towel and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Either gently roll with a rolling pin or flatten each ball with the heel of your palm into a rough oval about 3/4cm thick. Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat and dry fry the naan in batches of 2 at a time, for 1 minute each side or until puffed, golden and cooked through. As they come out of the pan brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with extra sea salt.


  1. So yum! I made this curry for dinner last night for our family of six, and everyone (including a 2, 5, 7, and 9-year-old) had seconds! I only omitted the chilli powder because the kids can be quite adverse to heat in their food! I’m also loving your beautiful cook book and have cooked quite a few of your recipes from it ;o)

    1. Thank you so much for your message – and yay, success! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Hi Sarah
    I made this for friends and it was a big hit. The Naan breads were so soft and pillowy oozing melted garlic butter deliciousness! Really enjoyed making this dish and it’s now going to be a staple. Thank you x

  3. So easy and so tasty – marinated last night and finished easily tonight. Loved all the spices (surprised that I actually had them all!). Will give the naan breads a go next time.

    1. Hi – that should be fine, but I would wrap the naan in paper towels and microwave it to reheat 🙂

  4. Beautiful blend of flavours, yummy , the array of flavours engage well for this type of meal. Will be on my hit list permanently. Thank you for sharing your recipes Sarah.

  5. Must confess – I’ve been monkeying with this Sarah – I upped the spices (personal preference) and after marinating the chicken, I fan-grilled it to par cook it and get some charred bits – and OMG!!

    I use dried fenugreek, never seen powdered – that is the key to this curry!

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