Gujarati Curried Chicken

There is good news to report! After having a conversation with Rosemary, author of Cooking in Sens, about beautiful skillets, my dad, a consummate charity shop ferret, received instructions to find me one. Not only did the ol’ chap deliver, he delivered in style – the skillet you can see below is not only in my eyes beautiful, it is made by AGA. Such a pan would normally set one back at least £60; this pan set us back £5 and is in jolly fine fettle. It appears that one may find it rather difficult to extoll the virtues of perseverance in charity shopping too much.

Frugal has now returned from his excursion to the wonderful Aylesbury – goodies have been purchased. You see, Aylesbury is a rather more ethnically diverse area of the world than is west Wales. As such, the supermarkets tend to stock all manner of obscure, though delightful, spices. Black mustard seeds, for instance, have proved rather tricky to find here in Aberystwyth, but they were quickly stumbled across in the back-end of Buckinghamshire. Naturally, both recent acquisitions simply had to be made use of, something this recipe does rather well. The spice mix for this curried chicken comes, roughly speaking, from a simply wonderful Indian recipe book penned by Laxmi Khurana. However, the recipe itself was not followed; it originally contained potato, no fresh tomatoes and occupied a place in the world which does not usually permit use of the humble onion. In my, admittedly humble, opinion this recipe and its colours really shows off the virtues of a good, cast iron, skillet – so, please enjoy!

Gujarati Curried Chicken

Serves 2


• 200g chicken, cooked or uncooked

• 1 onion, finely sliced

• ½ tsp whole cumin seeds

• 1 tsp black mustard seeds

• ½ tsp ground turmeric

• ½ tsp ground cumin

• ½ tsp ground coriander

• 60 – 100ml water

• 2 tsp tomato puree

• 1 fresh chilli, sliced

• 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved

• A handful of fresh coriander

• A spoonful of natural yoghurt


1. Begin by toasting the whole cumin and mustard seeds in a good glug of cooking oil. Cook these until they start to pop, before adding the rest of the spices. After 2 minutes add the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the puree and water, stir to make a sauce before adding the chicken – cook until the chicken is hot through. Some water may be needed before serving. Scatter over the tomatoes, chilli, coriander and yoghurt. Serve with rice or naan.

Cost: We used the chicken from a previous meal, so in some sense its price was factored in elsewhere. Anyway, if one takes each and every ingredient into account, this quick and easy curry should cost one no more than around £1.60.

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107 comments on “Gujarati Curried Chicken

  1. Razel Rull-Navarro
    March 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Dish sounds yum….and I am jealous of your skillet! 🙂

  2. Amrita
    March 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    This is ironic! Gujarat is the only state in India that’s officially vegetarian! 😀

    Guarati’s don’t eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, onions or garlic. When I saw your post title I thought maybe the spice-list for the recipe included something that’s especially “Gujarati” like sev or caraway seeds or something else – does the original recipe include something special like that?

    But at the end of the day, the curry looks gorgeous and totally shows how Indian cooking doesn’t have to be complicated!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      I know, but it’s still a nice curry – I’m not a veggie :D. It could easily be done with potatoes. The original spice mix is the same. Thanks, Amrita.

  3. cookinginsens
    March 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Skillet envy! Oh-my-God Frugal, that is such a beautiful skillet! I have to have one! I was at the AGA store in Paris and they didn’t have anything as good as that.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      I’m glad you’re jealous! I’m usually the jealous one. I didn’t know AGA stores existed 😀

  4. priya20g
    March 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I guess this could be made with cauliflower/potatoes and okra ! So yummy!

  5. Vanesther
    March 29, 2012 at 11:07 am

    The skillet looks great – and so does the curry!

  6. Chica Andaluza
    March 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I have skillet envy too 😉 I love charity shops but we don´t have too many of them round here. I have to wait for my “fix” when I get to London but I´m not sure Easy Jet would be impressed with my loading up my luggage with a cast iron skillet! Anyway, back to the gorgeous recipe. I miss curry so much and make it here when I can but I often find that recipes call for ingredients or spices that I don´t have. I was so pleased to start reading your recipe and as I read down the list I was thinking “yes, I´ve got that spice, ooh and that one”. Will most definitely be making this soon with some of our home reared chicken. Thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Haha! I’m making the entirety of wordpress incredibly jealous! Good! They would not… I always deliver the right spices to my friend in Spain when I go. I do hope you try it!

  7. Jennifer M.
    March 29, 2012 at 11:38 am

    What a lucky find – your “new” skillet is gorgeous 🙂 You will love using a cast-iron skillet. I got one for Christmas and have been using it nearly every day!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer. I’m absolutely loving my skillet.

  8. Veronika
    March 29, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I have to join in the chorus of “oh gorgeous skillet!” here, although I do have a lovely and huge cast iron pan myself – but a girl (or a guy) can never have enough kitchen toys, can we? And thrift shops are the best place (next to someplace like TKMaxx) for kitchen things. And home decor… and… yep. I miss living in Chester and the junk shops there – I used to adore them!

    The curry looks fantastic as well, and I have to try something like it – I usually make simmered curries, much more liquid but this looks particularly enticing with the nearly-dry sauce and all that fresh stuff scattered on top!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks! We cannot, kitchen toys are the best. I usually make simmered curries too. I’ll do one VERY soon! You’ll love it.

  9. spree
    March 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Now there’s one gorgeous curry! And the skillet, Nick, what a lucky find! (though, as you point out, your perseverance helped luck along!) like you, I love the addition of fresh tomatoes, especially the cherry variety, added before serving along with a good handful of fresh coriander. Makes that delectable curry stunning. (If this is your first cast iron skillet, I just wrote a brief post – spreenkle #5 – on the care of them.) Wishing you many happy years with your new/old skillet!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks, Spree. I love my skillet. I love the colours they lend, almost as much as the flavour. I shall be checking out your tips, for sure.

  10. Michelle
    March 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Great skillet. How lucky to have “a consummate charity shop ferret” in the family! Oh, yeah, and the food looks great too.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. I’m glad you liked that phrasing too.

  11. denlyn3
    March 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Great looking dish. This is a curry recipe I will try, looks delicious.

  12. Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    March 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Looks yummy!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Thanks, Arturo.

      • Arturo Féliz-Camilo
        March 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm

        Thank you for always making me hungry! I think I owe you five pounds!

        • frugalfeeding
          March 31, 2012 at 12:04 am

          No problem! In weight, or money? You may post the money to me…

          • Arturo Féliz-Camilo
            March 31, 2012 at 12:34 am

            Unfortunately weight! I’ll send you some plantains as payment…not sure if paypal transfer plantains…

          • frugalfeeding
            April 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

            Hmm – I don’t think they do…

  13. putneyfarm
    March 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    That skillet looks beautiful. We collect cast iron cookery, and I am jealous you got it for so little.

    Love the blog and we will be trying this recipe, it looks great. Thanks

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks! Very sorry that I did :D. Go out and search for yourself :).

  14. Karista
    March 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Fantastic! I love a good curry and this looks so fun and delicious. I too have an old Dutch oven that I adore. It looks as if it’s seen better days but it keeps on cooking and cooks perfectly. I couldn’t imagine my little kitchen without it. Welcome back!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks, Karista! The old things always do the job the best 😀

  15. thekalechronicles
    March 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Beautiful curry, beautiful old skillet and beautiful phrasing (“a consummate charity shop ferret”).

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks, I do try to sound as pompous as possible 😀

  16. baconbiscuit212
    March 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I have to add my voice to the chorus and say that you have yourself a beautiful skillet. What an amazing find! I feel like things like that are getting harder and harder to score. I think most of it is scooped up by professional resalers, and what is left has a lot of competition. Even the Salvation went online and searchable last year!

    In any case, kudos to your dad! and that curried chicken looks amazing!

  17. Shira
    March 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I am getting a cast iron pan – stat! I can no longer stand the site of delicious dishes like this – this looks divine and I don’t eat chicken!!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Awesome! I’m sorry that you don’t eat chicken! Do it with potatoes.

  18. Just A Smidgen
    March 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Wow.. just look at those whole spices!! Your kitchen must have been redolent with fragrance!! So this is the pan Rosemary is in love with.. and you snagged an awesome deal!! Lucky you!!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      It was indeed… good word! I’ve not used that one here yet… I must. Thanks, Smidge… I’m so happy I’ve made her jealous.

  19. egg me on
    March 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    That really is a beautiful skillet. I love cooking with cast iron. And such a beautifully simple dish. Looks great.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks! I adore cooking with it too – it really provides the right sort of heat.

  20. trialsinfood
    March 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    our dads seem to have the same propensity for pre-loved items. who needs a recipe when you can create such a lovely dish? i am having curry as we speak albeit a much different yellow curry made by the hubby from pre-made curry paste and contains the potatoes i love so much.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Awesome! Exactly… I often don’t follow recipes… I love potatoes in curry.

  21. Villy
    March 30, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Looks delicious! Comment can be addressed to either the curry or the skillet 😛

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Thanks, Villy! The skillet is delicious – hurt my teeth though.

  22. Tessa
    March 30, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Nice skillet and beautiful curry!

  23. annesturetucker
    March 30, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Let me be part of the skillet fan club – I love it 🙂 There is Nothing quite like cooking in an old skillet. Yum this dish looks and sounds awesome! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      You may indeed enrol! It’s not an old skillet, just not brand new. Thanks, Anne.

  24. Karista
    March 30, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Ooops! And I forgot to tell you that I was recently awarded the ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award and have now also passed it along to you as I think your blog is “totally awesome”.

  25. ashkitty
    March 30, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Gujarati chicken! thats a first…about 99% gujus are veggies…me being one of them. But it does look like a nice recipe…my hubby would devour it!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Indeed, I knew this before I posted it… but forgot to mention it… oh well. Why not try it with potatoes as the original recipe suggested?

      • ashkitty
        March 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        perfect substitute as always though paneer would be more apt. where did you get the recipe from ?

        • frugalfeeding
          April 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

          Perhaps it would! I got the spice recipe from a Laxmi Khurana book, the rest of it came out of my brain.

          • ashkitty
            April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

            Good customisation I must say then

          • frugalfeeding
            April 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

            Why, thank you.

  26. plummymummy
    March 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Yippeee a blog post with “Gujarati” in it! Oh it’s chicken. Oh other readers have pointed out that most Gujus are vegetarian though most of my young cousins in the UK aren’t! And also hubbies of Gujus like mine! Also we are a branch of guju that eats loads of onions and garlic.
    Was surprised there was no chili powder but I’m sure the fresh chili gave sufficient heat.
    The Laxmi Khurana book is awesome…one of my most thumbed ones despite the lack of pictures (I’m assuming that you have the same one as me)
    Now to your GORGEOUS skillet….from a charity shop. Awesome. Did you have to season it? I got given a ridged one that I managed to burn food on yesterday so over the weekend will be doing plenty of seasoning. I cannot wait to see what bread type things you make on your skillet and am waiting here with pen in hand for the recipe.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Yes, I did mean to write something about Gujus being veggie… but forgot. I think it’s a nice twist though. I was going to add chilli powder, but I often find it impairs flavour since you need to use quite a lot… cayenne pepper is much better. I think I must do – it’s on my kindle. I don’t know what seasoning a skillet is… it works perfectly though.. Glad you like it.

  27. Corina
    March 30, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I always love reading posts about curries! Sounds delicious.

  28. Kimby
    March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    As the ol’ adage goes… “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”… way to score on the skillet! 🙂 It is now part of your cooking legacy.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Exactly… not sure how anyone could consider this trash though 😀 – it is!

  29. 4plates2table
    March 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    This looks fabulous! I will have to make it. I just invested in a variety on Indian spices so I have everything on-hand. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  30. Bluejellybeans
    March 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Wonderful! Both, recipe and skillet 😉

  31. sugaredpecan
    March 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Juls
    March 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I am completely jealous of your awesome new skillet. I also live in an area where one struggles to sometimes find more interesting ingredients but I’ve found online resources like and excellent for the stranger herbs and spices and seasonings that are otherwise a total hassle to track down!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Hehe, dreadfully sorry. I shall check them out – thanks!

  33. Purely.. Kay
    March 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    You have outdone yourself with this curried chicken. I typically don’t care for curry a lot of times.. but this looks good

  34. cityhippyfarmgirl
    March 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Love the colours in this dish

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Me too, red and green are my favourite colours in cooking.

  35. The Teenage Taste
    March 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    This dish looks delicious! I love your photos!

  36. Florian
    March 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Now I want Indian food 🙂

  37. filingawaycupcakes
    March 31, 2012 at 7:41 am

    MMMM you could really mix this and then make baked eggs over the leftovers.

  38. tanyamhudson
    March 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Love curry, and that skillet really is beautiful!

  39. cakeboule
    April 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Yum! My Mum is also a charity shop ferret and often finds my wonderful baking goodies. It is great when you get a bargain.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Ah, that’s cool! I love a good bargain – obviously.

  40. Wheat Free GG
    April 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Score on the skillet!!
    The curry looks great too 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Oh yes, I’m very, very happy with it. thanks!

  41. Ragamuffin Diaries
    April 5, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Wonderful! I couldn’t survive without a good cast iron. I check out the second hand store here at least a couple times a week; it’s so exciting when there’s a great find like that skillet! And the curry looks incredible. Nice work!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      I couldn’t either… I shall go round the shops again this weekend.

  42. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    April 8, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Now we know where you get your frugal skills from! Delicious looking curry! 🙂

  43. Kate Olsson
    April 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Mama's Gotta Bake
    April 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I find the best things at thrift shops! I found some of my most treasured dishes there. Good job dad!