This bhuna-style curry is a real crowd pleaser and you can use a ready-made medium curry paste to make it extra easy. We’ve used boneless chicken thighs because they are more forgiving than chicken breasts and can be reheated without becoming tough. They’ll also help give your curry lots of flavour. This is a great curry to make ahead, so either pop it into the fridge up to two days before serving or freeze it for up to two months. Be sure to defrost it thoroughly before reheating.       

Serves 14–16

5 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee

6 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced

24 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

8 garlic cloves, crushed

50g chunk of fresh root ginger,peeled and finely grated

250g medium curry paste

4 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

300ml cold water

1 chicken stock cube

2 tbsp mango chutney

large bunch of fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped

flaked sea salt freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a very large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish, preferably non-stick. Add the onions and cook them over a medium- high heat for about 10 minutes until softened, stirring regularly. While the onions are cooking, put the chicken thighs on a board and trim off the fat. Cut each thigh into 4 pieces, season with a little salt and pepper, then set aside.

Whack up the heat and cook the onions for 6–8 minutes more or until they are a rich golden brown, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, while stirring. Add the chicken pieces and fry them for 5 minutes, turning often until they are no longer pink. Stir in the curry paste and cook it with the chicken for 2–3 minutes, stirring until it covers the chicken all over and gently sizzles. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, add the water, crumble over the stock cube and stir in the chutney. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly.

Cover the pan loosely with a lid and simmer gently for about 11⁄4 hours or until the chicken is tender and the sauce is nicely reduced but still plentiful enough to soak into rice or be scooped up with warm bread. Stir the curry occasionally and more regularly as it comes towards the end of the cooking time as you don’t want it to stick. If you are making the curry ahead of time, it’s best to reduce the simmering time to about 50 minutes, as the chicken will be cooked again when you reheat it.

Remove the pan from the heat and skim off and discard any fat that might have risen to the surface with a spoon – some ready-made curry pastes are quite oily. If serving straight away, stir in most of the coriander, saving a few leaves for the garnish, and ladle the curry into a couple of warmed serving dishes. Garnish with the rest of the coriander.

If serving the curry a day or so later, leave the curry to cool, then cover and chill until ready to eat. Reheat the curry in a preheated oven at 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5 for 40–60 minutes until it’s bubbling and hot throughout. You can also reheat it on the hob which will take 25–35 minutes. If reheating the curry on the hob, it is important to stir it regularly so it doesn’t begin to stick, but try not to break up the chicken. Add a little extra water if the sauce thickens too much.

Recipes taken from The Hairy Biker’s Great Curries, Si King and Dave Myers, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, £20 new book out on 28 February