Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry – Playful Cooking

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry | Playful Cooking #foodphotography #chicken #curry #recipe

I have not been cooking much since last Thursday. It’s been a busy festive week! Durga Puja Celebration was going on in full swing and that also included a lot of eating out. It was a good break from the usual routine. Getting back in the kitchen after a gap is always a little challenging and I needed an easy comfort meal to start. Few months back, my Mom had mentioned about this caramelized onion chicken curry that she had tried and everybody loved it. So, I gave it a go yesterday morning. The caramelized onion added a lovely rich vibrant shade along with mild sweetness, which we all loved!

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry | Playful Cooking #foodphotography #chicken #curry #recipe

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry | Playful Cooking #foodphotography #chicken #curry #recipe

For me, cooking chicken is always comforting and I often look for different ways to prepare it. Because the kiddo can’t candle heat yet, I look for mellow flavored dishes that doesn’t involve too much spice yet gives a flavor bang. The idea of caramelizing onion can sound like too much work but trust me, apart from that, it’s all easy one pot stirring activity. What I also loved about this curry is how creamy the gravy turns out without adding any cream. The caramelized onion paste does all the work.

The key note to remember is when you are caramelizing onion, make sure you give it your complete attention. You don’t have to gawk at it the entire time but just be around to stir the onion every now and then.

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry | Playful Cooking #foodphotography #chicken #curry #recipe


Now, before we jump into the recipe, I have a quick announcement to make! I often get requests on writing tutorials on photography, food styling and also on backdrop creations. So, I gave it a good thought and started working on several articles. The first one would be on how to style curries. So, if you want these mini booklets with clear instructions, tips and tricks, then go ahead and SUBSCRIBE. By Subscribing, you will not only have access to my weekly recipe blog updates but also these exclusive really useful articles.

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Now, back to the caramelized chicken curry. If you are a vegetarian, try the same recipe with vegetables like cauliflower or potatoes, with tofu or paneer. It will work great! I love to pair this dish with Naan, but you could go with rice as well.

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry

Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry


  • 2 big red onions (7.40 oz/210 g each)
  • 1 lb chicken cubes (skinless, bones-in)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon fennel powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger-garlic
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 fresh green chili
  • Lemon wedges and fresh cilantro (optional)


  • Marinate the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and turmeric powder. Leave it aside for minimum 4 hours or overnight for best flavor.
  • When you are ready to prepare the curry, start by slicing the onion very thinly.
  • Place a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat and pour 1 tablespoon of oil. Scatter the sliced onion, sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt and the sugar. Sauté for about 15 minutes or until it changes to golden brown in color. Take it off the pan and let it cool before you blend it to into a paste.
  • Pour the caramelized onion paste in the marinated chicken and mix it around.
  • Place the same pan on medium heat and pour rest of the oil. Drop the cinnamon stick, cardamom and bay leaves along with the fresh ginger garlic. Sauté it around for a few seconds and then, drop the finely chopped tomato. Cook for 2 minutes and drop the marinated chicken. Stir it around to mix everything, cover the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Give it a stir and pour 1 cup of water along with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cover the pan and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  • The chicken should be cooked by now, unless you have very large pieces. If the chicken is not cooked through, continue at simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Next, sprinkle the garam masala powder, stir around, check for salt and add any, if needed. Cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle fresh lemon juice, scatter finely chopped fresh cilantro and serve it warm with your choice of bread!


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Caramelized Onion Chicken Curry | Playful Cooking #foodphotography #chicken #curry #recipeCaramelized Onion Chicken Curry | Playful Cooking #foodphotography #chicken #curry #recipe

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