Jaya Auntie's Chicken Curry

Jaya auntie has been killing the curry game from her kitchen in Louisville, KY for years.  Serve with rice, and make another vegetable dish to go with it.  Hoping to get the recipe for her fish curry soon, that one will make you believe in a higher power.    


  • 1 whole chicken cut into chunks (discard skin)
  • 1 ½ large onions, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (can substitute with canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 ½ tbsp garlic-ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp yogurt (remove from fridge before starting, should be at room temperature)
  • fresh cilantro
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 2 ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 whole dried red chilies
  • ¾ tsp spoon turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp black cumin seeds (you can skip these if you’re having a hard time finding them)


  • Heat oil till hot but not smoking in large pot.
  • Add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, green cardamom, bay leaves, whole red chilies.
  • Wait 30-40 seconds, add onion and turn heat down to medium low.
  • Let onions brown/caramelize, soft not crispy (around 20-30min).
  • Add tomatoes with a pinch of salt. Cover pot, and cook them down (7-8min).
  • Add garlic-ginger paste, turmeric, red chili powder
  • Cover pot, turn heat up to medium, cook 7-8min
  • Add chicken, mix, fry well on all sides (15 min).
  • Add yogurt, and 2 tsp of salt, mix well
  • Add 2 cups of water, bring to low simmmer, cover and cook for (20-30min)
  • In small pan heat 1 tsp of oil
  • Remove from direct heat while adding black cumin seeds, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder
  • Put pan back on heat, stir spices together
  • Add 2 tbsp water, while stirring constantly, until mixture becomes slightly frothy
  • Add spices to chicken curry, and finish with fresh chopped cilantro.