Recipe: Country Captain Chicken Curry


CCCC = Country Captain Chicken Curry

This popular and easy to prepare Chicken dish has its origins in the British Raj in India. Why the strange name? In the 1800s, British trade ships in India were called ‘Country Ships, ‘ and their Captains were known as ‘Country Captains’. Country Captain Chicken was a popular dish at their tables and got its name through this association! Whatever the name, this is one easy and tasty dish to prepare.

Country Captain Chicken Curry can be as hot or mild as you like it… simply adjust the number of green chilies you add. Crushing the green chilies makes the curry even hotter than when you just add them whole or chop them. Country Captain Chicken Curry freezes week so I always make a double batch and freeze some for another meal a couple of days later. When you are ready to eat, just reheat and garnish with freshly chopped coriander and you’re ready to go! Add a crunchy green salad and it’s a perfect well-rounded meal.​

What You’ll Need

  • 1 kg/ 2 lbs chicken on the bone, cut into 3″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste
  • 5 tbsp sunflower/ canola/ vegetable cooking oil
  • 3 large onions sliced thinly
  • 2 fresh green chilies
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth/ stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander to garnish

How to Make It

  1. Put the chicken, garlic and ginger pastes, turmeric, pepper and chili powders, lime juice and salt to taste, in a bowl. Mix well so the chicken is nicely coated. Keep aside for at least 30 minutes to marinate. The longer you marinate the better. I usually do it the night before and cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate, however, this is not mandatory.​
  2. Heat 3 tbsp of the sunflower/ canola/ vegetable cooking oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. When hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they are a pale golden brown in color. Take half of the fried onions out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put onto kitchen paper towel and keep aside for later use.
  3. To the other half or the onions, add the remaining 2 tbsps of your sunflower/ canola/ vegetable cooking oil, the green chilies and the marinated chicken and fry till the chicken is browned or golden. Stir/ turn frequently to prevent the chicken from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Once browned, add the chicken broth/ stock, simmer the heat, cover and cook till the chicken is tender. Remove the cover from the pan and dry most of the liquid/ gravy off.
  5. When the gravy has mostly evaporated, turn off the heat. Garnish with the remaining, reserved fried onions, chopped coriander and serve.
  6. Country Captain Chicken tastes delicious with hot, freshly made Chapatis or plain boiled Basmati rice and a green salad.

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