Kadai Chicken Curry

4 Servings

1 hour

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At APB Cook Studio cooking school in Mumbai, cooking instructor Shivani Unakar taught us how to make this chicken curry with tomatoes and bell peppers. A kadai is an Indian wok, the cooking vessel traditionally used for cooking this dish, but Unakar used a Dutch oven, so that’s what we reached for when re-creating the curry. Two tablespoons of Kashmiri chili powder—which has a stunning red hue, a fine, powdery texture and mild spiciness—lends the curry a rich, burnished red hue. It’s sold in spice shops and Indian markets, but if you cannot find it, a fresh jar of sweet paprika is a decent substitute, with a little cayenne to add a touch of heat. Ghee is a type of clarified butter often used in Indian cooking; its flavor is slightly sweet and nutty, and because the milk solids have been removed, it has a higher smoke point than regular butter. Look for ghee sold in jars in the refrigerator case near the butter or in the grocery aisle next to the coconut oil. Serve with basmati rice.




Don’t combine the green and red bell peppers after prepping them. Keep them separate, as they’re added to the pot at different times. The green pepper is briefly sautéed, then set aside for stirring into the chicken at the end so that it adds a tender-crisp texture; the red pepper is cooked with the chicken so it becomes silky-soft.

1 hour


  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds

  • 2

    tablespoons Kashmiri chili powder (see headnote) or 2 tablespoons sweet paprika plus ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Julie S.

Would you double the spices if you doubled the recipe?

Lynn C.

Hi Julie -

Yes. If you're doubling the amount of chicken you definitely want to double the spices as well.

The Milk Street Team

Patrick B.

I have ordered this dish at restaurants in the past. One alteration I made was to chop the peppers into half inch pieces (the pictures depict a fine chop), which is consistent with the restaurant preparation I have observed. This recipe tasted amazing! Way more flavorful than I have had in the past. It was my first time cooking with kashmiri chili powder. I highly recommend this recipe for the indian spice lovers out there.

Michael Y.

This was pretty good. The recipe calls for a lot of butter. If I make it again, I might try to reduce that a little.

stephanie e.

Enjoyed this dish- happened to have gotten Kashmiri red chili recently and it adds a lot of flavor with out being overly "hot". I added some roasted chunks of butternut squash and they worked really well.