• Yield: Serves 4

This curry features two of my favourite ingredients – chicken and chickpeas. I make it in an unusual way – the ingredients are combined in a saucepan first, then transferred to the oven. It’s a good method as, once the dish is in the oven, you can forget all about it until the timer bleeps. The spicing works well with the chicken, while the chickpeas give the dish plenty of substance. Serve it with rice or naan bread and yogurt.


  • 8 skinless chicken pieces on the bone (I use 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks)

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 green cardamom pods

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 10 curry leaves

  • 2 small green chillies, finely chopped

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes

  • 400g (14oz) can chickpeas

For the marinade

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • juice of 1 lime

Chetna's Healthy Indian Chetna's Healthy Indian by Chetna Makan


Put the chicken pieces into a bowl and sprinkle over the marinade ingredients. Now rub the chicken pieces so they are well covered with the marinade. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes while you prepare the onions.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350ºF), Gas Mark 4.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in an ovenproof saucepan over medium–low heat. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Stir in the curry leaves and green chillies and cook for few seconds more, then add the onions, increase the heat to medium and cook for 10–15 minutes, until the onions are golden brown.

Stir the garlic into the saucepan and cook for 2 minutes, then push the onions to the side of the pan. Increase the heat to high, add the marinated chicken and cook for 3–4 minutes or until it takes on some colour.

Stir in the salt, ground cumin and garam masala. Next, tip in the chopped tomatoes and chickpeas, plus their canning liquid, and mix well.

Cover the pan with a lid or kitchen foil, transfer it to the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid or foil and bake, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven, cover again and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

From Chetna’s Healthy Indian by Chetna Makan. Copyright 2019 Mitchell Beazley.