Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Gluten-FreeLow CarbChickenCurry

A quick, tasty, and filling recipe for chicken curry.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

We first encountered “Chicken Curry in a Hurry” in Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times.

The concept is simple. You’re looking for maximum flavor in minimal time.

We’ve made a few small changes to Mark’s original recipe—cutting the chicken into easier to cook pieces, salting the chicken first to intensify its flavor, plumping the raisins, and doubling the amount of curry powder.

It’s an easy curry dish, with lots of flavor, that can be made in about 30 minutes!

Recipe updated May 27, 2014


Chicken Curry in a Hurry Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets*
  • Salt
  • 3 teaspoons your favorite yellow curry powder or combination of curry spices (such as garam masala)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, rice bran oil, or olive oil
  • 1 medium-large onion, thinly sliced crosswise (about 2 cups
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (optional), placed in a bowl and covered with water to plump them
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream or a mixture of plain full-fat yogurt (or Greek yogurt) and whipping cream or sour cream
  • Minced fresh cilantro and toasted slivered almonds (optional) for garnish

*The cutlets should be about 1/2-inch thick. If you are starting with full chicken breasts, cut them in half horizontally, or pound them to 1/2-inch thickness with a meat hammer between two layers of wax paper.


1 Cut the chicken cutlets and rub them with curry powder: Cut the chicken breast cutlets in half or into thirds or quarters to make smaller serving pieces (they'll cook more quickly too). Sprinkle them on both sides lightly with salt (about 1/4 teaspoon). Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the curry powder, lightly rubbing the curry powder into the chicken on all sides.

2 Sauté the onions, with raisins and curry powder: Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while the onions are cooking.

Drain the raisins from the water and add them to the onions.

Lower the heat to medium and sprinkle the onions with the remaining 2 teaspoons of curry powder. Continue to cook for another minute or two.

3 Sauté the chicken: Push the onions to one side of the skillet. Place the chicken pieces in the pan in a single layer. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and just cooked through. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. (Bunch them together so they retain their heat.)

4 Add sour cream or yogurt: Add the sour cream and/or yogurt mixture and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture has heated through. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little water to thin it.

If you are using yogurt, or low-fat sour cream, be careful not to let the mixture simmer or it may curdle!

Return the chicken to the skillet (and any juices from the plate the chicken has been resting on), turn over the pieces in the sauce. When all is heated through, it's ready to serve.

Garnish with cilantro and toasted slivered almonds and serve alone or over rice.

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Chicken Peanut Curry here on Simply Recipes

Chicken Curry Salad here on Simply Recipes

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

Showing 4 of 75 Comments / Reviews

  • Ashley

    Made this recipe tonight for dinner! Me and my daughter loved it!!!

  • Renee

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m always looking for good chicken recipes, and anything with sour cream is good!!!!

  • Kevin Kennedy-Spaien

    There’s a great YouTube video on making Curry in a Hurry – specifically it is for a Chicken Korma. It features Michelle Koen of Healthy Helpings TV:

    It is slightly different, but very tasty indeed!

  • Lydia Sugarman

    Love Mark Bittman! And, this recipe is about as easy as it gets. Looks really good.

    I wonder if you could easily replace the sour cream, part or all, with coconut milk and the cilantro w/ basil, add some steamed green beans to turn it into more of a Thai curry.

  • Suzanne

    We make a very similar recipe and then serve with toppings for everyone to choose from. These are usually green onion, shredded coconut, raisins, and mandarin oranges. Yummy!

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