Dinner Tonight: Chicken Curry with Turmeric

At various times throughout this meal, I assumed failure. I hardly ever make curry, especially an African-based one I found in The Ethnic Paris Cookbook. But it looked so easy that I had to give it shot, even if my instincts were rebelling. For one, besides some cloves, it only uses turmeric for spice. To act as some kind of insurance, I tossed out my aging old plastic bottle of the yellow spice and bought a brand new bottle from my local outlet of Penzeys Spice. Still, I had doubts.

I worried that the chicken was cooking for too long, that the spices wouldn’t amount to anything, and that I had added entirely too much onion. But that insecurity fell away as it started to simmer. It’s not a spicy, pungent curry, but more of an aromatic, earthy dish. It actually reminded me of an insanely delicious version of the chicken and rice dishes I used to pick up in New York street carts. The tomatoes give it a little more body, and the clove balances everything else out.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Curry with Turmeric

About This Recipe


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 whole chicken thighs, cut into three pieces
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  1. 1

    Crush the garlic with the cloves using a mortar and pestle, or the side of a knife.

  2. 2

    Pour the oil in a skillet and turn the heat to high. Toss in the chicken pieces and brown on all sides, just a couple minutes. Add the minced onions and cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Add the turmeric and the garlic mixture and stir until incorporated. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and thyme, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. 4

    Pour in the water and cook for another 30 minutes.

  5. 5

    Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve. I had mine with some nice rice. But it’s up to you.


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