Everyday Simple Chicken ka Shorba (Chicken Curry)

This is chicken curry is not heavy on spices. Instead ingredients like cumin, black cardamom and bay leaves have a cooling affect on the stomach.

A simple everyday curry

This chicken curry has been a staple at my in-law’s place. It’s my mother-in-laws recipe. Whenever we visit her, chicken ka shorba has to be on the menu. We have it almost everyday with slight variations like addition of bottle guard (lauki), potatoes, peas, eggs etc. The best thing I like about this curry is that it is not heavy on the stomach. The spice blends it uses aids in digestion and do not produce acidic compounds in your body. It makes this a great option for your simple everyday meals.

I highly recommend using parts with bones like chicken legs or thighs. Boneless breast could get too dry. If you want to use boneless, use boneless parts from thighs and legs. I used de-skinned chicken but you can also use chicken with skin.

What ingredients to use and where to buy them?

  1. For the curry paste: The following ingredients will be needed to make the curry paste. You will also need a blender or a stick mixer to turn these ingredients into a smooth paste.
  • Red Onion: I highly recommend using red onion for this recipe as it has less water content and is also sweeter in taste as compared to white onion.
  • Coriander Powder: You can find coriander powder (koriander-gemahlen) in the spice section at many well stocked grocery stores in Germany. Recently Aldi has started stocking bio spices which are of great quality. If you want to buy it in bulk, go to an Indian store and you will find bigger packets at a reasonable price.
  • Turmeric Powder: This could also be found at well stocked grocery stores in Germany as well as at Aldi by the name Kurkuma-gemahlen. Bigger packets could be found at Indian grocery stores.
  • Red Chili Powder: For my recipe I like to use Kashmiri red chili powder as it has a brighter red color and is mildly spiced. You can find it at any Indian grocery store. However, you can replace it with any red chili powder or with cayenne pepper. Adjust the quantity to your preferred spice level.
  • Garlic: Use any standard garlic that is easily available to you.
  • Ginger: Use fresh ginger. It is available at fruit section at most German grocery stores.
  • Salt: Use any salt of your preference.
  • Water: I use plain tap water.

2. Other ingredients: In addition to the above ingredients, you will also need the following ingredients.

  • Black cardamom: You can find black cardamom at any Indian grocery store. DO NOT replace it with green cardamom as they both have a different flavor profile.
  • Cumin seeds: You can find cumin seeds at many well stocked grocery stores in Germany. They are called ‘Kreuzkümmel’. Do not replace it with ‘Kümmel’ (caraway seeds) which will alter the flavor. You can also find it at Indian stores with the name ‘zeera’.
  • Indian Bay leaves: Indian bay leaves have different notes than the European Laurel bay leaf. You can find Indian bay leaves at any Indian grocery store. If you do not have them, replace it with small bark of cinnamon.
  • Chicken: Use bone-in chicken pieces such as legs and thighs. If you want to keep it boneless, use boneless legs or thighs instead of breasts. With skin or without is up to your preference.
  • Olive oil: To keep it light and healthy I like to use olive oil. You can replace it with avocado oil, mustard oil, rapeseed oil or coconut oil.

Serving Recommendations

For a healthy and fulfilling meal, serve this chicken curry with either of the following options:

Chicken ka Shorba (Chicken Curry)

A mildly spiced, easy to make curry. Perfect for your everyday meals.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 persons


  • Blender


For the curry paste:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 (5 cm) piece of ginger
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder (substitute: any other red chili powder) adjust to preferred spice level
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Additional ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 pieces black cardamom
  • 2 pieces Indian bay leaves (substitute: small bark of cinnamon)
  • 600 grams chicken legs and thighs (bone in recommended)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water


Make the curry paste:

  • Peel the onion, ginger and garlic and roughly chop them.
  • Add the above ingredients, along with coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and water into a blender. Turn them into a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Start cooking:

  • Heat a big pot on medium high heat and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds, black cardamom and bay leaves. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Add all of the prepared curry paste to the top. Stir and cook on medium low heat for around 5-7 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning. If the masala starts sticking to the bottom, add small splashes of water and continue cooking. When your masala turns glossy and you see some oil appearing on the surface, you can move on to the next step.
  • Add the chicken into the pot and coat it well with the masala. Stir and cook until the chicken changes it's color from all sides. This will take 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the water and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (See notes below for Instant pot and pressure cooker instructions)
  • After the chicken is cooked, keep it covered and leave to rest for about 5 minutes. This will allow the oil to appear on surface and your curry will look more appetising.


If you have an Instant pot or pressure cooker, you can reduce the cooking time:
  • Instant pot: after cooking the masala on sauté mode, tenderise the chicken on high pressure (lid sealed) for 12 minutes (quick release).
  • Pressure cooker: after sautéing the masala, tenderise the chicken by cooking on medium low heat (lid sealed) for 15 minutes. 
Keyword basic curry recipe, basic Indian cooking, easy chicken curry, everyday meals

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