Spicy chicken with red onion salad

Gurinder Chadha shares her mums recipe for this aromatic and punchy Indian classic, served with a fresh red onion salad
Spicy chicken with red onion salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 3 green birds eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 pinches garam masala, (optional)
  • 1 large coriander, stalks and leaves separated, both chopped
  • 1 kg skinless chicken, either skinless chicken wings or breast on the bone, cut into bit size pieces
  • ½ lemons, juice only
  • naan breads, to serve

For the salad

  • ½ red onions, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • handfuls salad leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp malt vinegar, or to taste

Tips and Suggestions

You can get skinless chicken wings from Indian butchers. As the wing tip end doesn't contain much meat, they look like mini drumsticks.


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat, and gently fry the onion for 2 minutes, then add the cumin and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.

2. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chillies (and garam masala, if using) then fry for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.

3. Fold in the coriander stalks, then add the chicken, lemon juice, some seasoning and stir well until combined. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked (as the chicken cooks, it will release its juices, but add a tiny little bit of hot water to prevent the chicken from sticking, though this dish should be dry, not 'saucy').

4. For the salad: while the chicken is cooking, stir together the ingredients for the salad and set aside.

5. Once the chicken is cooked, if there is too much liquid in the pan, turn the heat up and allow the volume of the sauce to reduce until it clings to the chicken.

6. Once the sauce has reduced, sprinkle over the fresh coriander leaves and serve with naan bread and the salad.

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