Bombay Chicken Curry

I’ve always been a very truthful food blogger and so I’m going to tell you the truth about the video you see above. Part One of the truth is this: the Bombay Chicken Curry that Chef Floyd Cardoz (chef at the celebrated New York City restaurant Tabla) made for us in the first half of this video was the best chicken curry I’ve ever had in my life. Part Two of the truth concerns the chicken curry that I make in the second half of the video. Despite my assurances that it tastes delicious and the somewhat appealing (though slightly saturated) image at the end, the chicken curry that I made that day in my old Brooklyn kitchen was deeply flawed for two major reasons.

Reason #1: I didn’t stir up the coconut milk. You can see me add it straight from the can and it comes out as both clear liquid and clumpy solid. That’s not good at all. You want it all to have the same consistency, so if you make this chicken curry make sure to stir your coconut milk well!

Reason #2: When I covered the chicken and the coconut milk, I didn’t turn down the heat enough so the sauce broke. You can’t really see it in the video but when I lifted the lid, instead of an emulsified creamy coconut curry it was oily on the top and liquidy and chunky throughout. Very gross. If I make this again (and I will, because the recipe itself is so dyn-o-mite) I will control my heat with the utmost care.

Don’t let my initial failure discourage you because, as I said in The Truth Part One, this curry–when done correctly–is one of the best you will ever taste. And for those of you who can’t play the video (that’s anyone who’s not in the United States) here’s the recipe. Stir your coconut milk, keep your flame low and enjoy.

Bombay Chicken Curry

Adapted from Chef Floyd Cardoz of Tabla

Serves: 4


1 ½ lbs boneless chicken (preferably dark meat)


4 fresh green chiles minced (note: Chef Cardoz uses Finger Hot Chiles, but you can substitute Jalapenos)

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 medium white onions diced

1 tablespoon paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 can coconut milk (Note: make sure this is coconut milk and not coconut cream. Chef Cardoz likes the Chaokoh brand)

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup finely minced cilantro leaves

1. Season the chicken with salt and let stand for 20 minutes.

2. Puree the green chiles, ginger and garlic to a paste with a little water.

3. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and sauté the onions on medium level for about 4 minutes or until they are light brown in color.

4. Add the paste, spice, and cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken pieces and sauté with the paste for 4 to 5 minutes on moderate heat. Season with salt.

5. Add one cup water and coconut milk and bring to a boi. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring now and then, until the chicken pieces are tender and fully coked. Season with salt and add the lime juice.

6. Sprinkle with cilantro, stir and serve.

1 thought on “Bombay Chicken Curry”

  1. I made this yesterday, and chose to double the portion of green finger chiles, as I wasn’t sure if four wouldn’t be too little for that special zing. And I absolutely love it – it’s like being back home.

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