This Whole30 chicken curry recipe is restaurant-quality and surprisingly easy. Low carb, paleo, and, of course, Whole30, this healthy Indian dinner recipe is a favorite at our home and doesn’t even require any hard-to-find ingredients! You’ll love this chicken curry recipe because it’s super flavorful and versatile.
This weird thing happens when I’m pregnant. I crave Indian food all the time. And I have a theory.
The theory is this: when you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to crave the food the father was raised on. It’s a super scientific theory, because I tested it on my tight-knit local mom group, so it’s basically natural law. And if it wasn’t right for you then… whatever. Outlier. Doesn’t count.
So for me that means Indian and Pakistani food, which isn’t the most convenient thing to crave when you’re pregnant and tend to grow babies with full heads of hair, with the fiery heartburn to match. But it is what it is, and I’ve accepted it now. If I ever get pregnant again, I know what to expect. Send India Palace gift cards.
This Whole30 chicken curry recipe totally did the trick for me during pregnancy, too: it helped me strike a balance between omg give me all the chutney and maybe we should eat sort of a little bit healthy. It’s, after, all, a Whole30 chicken curry recipe, meaning there’s a gorgeous focus on real, whole foods, with no weird extras or ingredients that drag your system down.
Instead, it’s loaded with flavor and is actually pretty simple to make! I whipped it up as a weekend lunch for the first time I ever made it and was surprised at just how easy it was to get a restaurant-quality chicken curry out of a little bit of time and effort. Bonus points: there’s not even any hard-to-find ingredients necessary to make this (Unlike my restaurant style chicken tikka masala which is so much better with dried fenugreek leaves)! You do need garam masala, but even Kroger makes their own blend of that now, so I maintain my stance that this is a pantry-doable recipe that you’ll love to throw into your rotation.
A Note from Cheryl: Years ago, we referred to certain ingredients in this recipe as “weird”, a term we erroneously used to describe harder-to-find ingredients that are generally unfamiliar to the average American reader. In using this term, though, we unintentionally contributed to furthering the stigma that these ingredients are somehow “not normal”. That was never our intent, but it was our impact, and that’s what matters.
The beautiful thing about this Whole30 chicken curry recipe, aside from the fact that it’s, duh, Whole30, low carb, and paleo, is that you can control how spicy it is or isn’t, and it’s takeout-quality without all the styrofoam and rice coma to follow. I’m in love, y’all.
I added mushrooms for extra veggie power and coconut milk for a super creamy texture. I actually prefer coconut cream for most recipes, which you can find canned next to the regular canned coconut milk. Make absolutely sure that you do not get sweetened coconut cream, or you’ll find yourself feeling like you’ve got a Whole30 chicken curry piña colada infusion. Pass.
Whole30 Chicken Curry (Low Carb, Paleo)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. ghee divided
- 1 large red onion diced
- 2 Tbsp. ginger thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder preferably Indian chili powder but any will do
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- dash cinnamon
- salt to taste
- water as needed
- 1 cup Roma Tomatoes diced (about 2)
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts about 2 lb., cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cups mushrooms quartered (about 8 oz.)
- 1 14- ounce can coconut milk or cream unsweetened
- cayenne pepper to taste
- cauliflower rice steamed
- 1 tsp. ghee
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 2 serrano chiles split
- fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions and ginger until onions are softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add chili powder, curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, and a few big pinches of salt. Stir well to combine and sauté on low heat until a toffee brown but not burned, about 20 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water, as needed, to keep from burning. Cook until the curry smell begins to become more prominent.
- Add tomatoes and cook until the mixture is shiny and soupier than the spice-onion mixture. Remove from pan and transfer to food processor or blender; process until a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Return skillet to stove and add 1 tablespoon ghee. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring frequently, until just opaque. Add mushrooms and sauté until browned and softened.
- Add curry paste from step 3 and stir well to combine. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add 1/2 cup water and can of coconut milk. Stir well. Simmer 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat.
- In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp. ghee over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and green chiles. Sauté until mustard seeds start to pop and green chile is softened.
- Spoon cauliflower rice into serving bowls, top with chicken curry, then with mustard seed-chile mixture. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.