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Mild Indian Chicken Pasanda Curry

A chicken pasanda is a relatively mild curry loaded with yoghurt and almond and it has become one of my absolute favourite curry recipes.

Tall close up image of a chicken pasanda curry with a pile of basmati rice and flaked almonds on a black plate with a beer in the background

Mild, Creamy & Delicious.

This recipe was born out of a rather disappointing visit to an Indian restaurant in Budapest. A trip of all things, to get a broken tooth fixed.

My reward for being a brave little soldier was a belly full of beer and a curry. This is a true British treat!

I went for a Vindaloo, which to be honest was a little disappointing. I’d much rather have either my beef vindaloo or pork vindaloo.

My wife ordered a pasanda, sometimes called a passanda and it was fantastic. Yes, we share, don’t you?

Creamy and with a tart edge from the yoghurt but fragrant with spice and just a hint of heat.

It must have been good because I pulled over on the way home to buy the ingredients to begin work on this recipe. 

Tall overhead image of a chicken pasanda curry with a pile of basmati rice and flaked almonds on a black plate

What is a Pasanda Curry?

It is a triumph of a dish, loaded with fragrant spices and a lovely mellow hint of almond and punches of fresh coriander.

It is much more commonly associated with lamb and that is a glorious dish. But lamb is expensive and chicken much more frugal.

As a result, the flavours have been scaled back a little and not work perfectly with the much gentler flavour of chicken.

We have cumin and coriander leading the way on the flavour stakes. This is supported by turmeric and cinnamon.

Then coriander and it is by no means a garnish on this dish, it is integral to the recipe.

So if coriander isn’t your thing then maybe consider something like a chicken korma, another curry at the milder end of the heat spectrum.

This is very much one of the mildest curries that I make.

Square extreme close up of a chicken pasanda curry with flaked almonds and coriander

Serving Suggestions.

As ever with a curry, I very much favour a plain boiled rice as a side dish.

Then I typically add some Indian flatbread.

I usually refrain from my love of naan bread and go with chapati instead.

This is because this is not a particularly “saucy” curry and I much prefer chapati in dishes like this.

But if you wanted something different, Bombay potatoes work wonderfully. Or how about some “real” vegetables in the form of this green bean poriyal?

Square overhead image of a chicken pasanda curry with a pile of basmati rice and flaked almonds on a black plate
Yield: 2 Servings

Chicken Pasanda Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This chicken pasanda curry is creamy and tart from yoghurt and fragrant with cumin and coriander. It is one of the milder and more simple Indian chicken curry recipes and a real treat for all the family!

Ingredients

  • 400g (14oz) Chicken Breast
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking oil
  • 3 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 125 g (4.5 oz) Onion
  • 15 g (0.5 oz) Ginger
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Almonds
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) Full Fat Natural Yoghurt
  • 1/4 -1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 50 ml (1.5 fl oz) Water
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) Flaked Almonds
  • Fresh Coriander

Instructions

  1. Finely dice the onion, mash the garlic and grate the ginger.
  2. Bash the cardamom with the side of a knife to open them up.
  3. Begin by toasting your almond flakes in a dry pan and set aside for the end of the dish, keep an eye on them it is very easy to burn nuts.
  4. Now add the cooking oil to the pan over a medium high heat and fry off the cardamom pods for 30 seconds before adding in the onions and cooking until they just start to brown which should take around 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and cook on for a further 2 minutes.
  6. It is now spice time, throw in all of the spice powders, cumin, chili, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon and cook out for 30 seconds, stirring continuously.
  7. Add the chicken and stir to coat in the spicy mix.
  8. Now finally add the yoghurt, ground almonds, salt and water then reduce the heat to medium and cook out for 15-20 minutes.
  9. The sauce should thicken nicely and cling to the chicken.
  10. Finish the dish with the flaked almonds and the coriander

Notes

Using low fat or no-fat yoghurt in this recipe increases the risk of the sauce curdling.

I favour serving this dish with a plain boiled rice, the subtle fragrant flavours in this dish are easily masked, however a chapati or a naan bread would also work a treat.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 530Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 68g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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Colin Sandall

Saturday 6th of June 2020

Tried this today - the first of your recipes I've done and I was very impressed. I like the simplicity of your recipes and even more importantly, the taste - at least as far as this one is concerned. I will definitely be trying some of your other recipes. Cheers!

Colin

Saturday 4th of July 2020

@Brian Jones, Thanks Brian, since then I've also tried the chicken Korma and I enjoyed that too.

Regards.

Colin

Brian Jones

Monday 15th of June 2020

Glad you enjoyed it Colin, I have a real diverse mix of stuff here, I like to think a little bit of something for every taste :)

Jon Hulbert

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

I do something like this with lamb. I always share my food with my dog (who loves curry), so I use peanut or coconut instead of almond.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

I love that your dog loves curry, how cool is that!? Pasanda is very much a dish closely associated with lamb and I love it that way but lamb is a difficult meat to source here in the Hungarian countryside.

Liz Boyle

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

I’ve made this before and it was lovely. However thinking of making it for a dinner party and one of the guests is coeliac. Is this gluten free? LizzyMajB

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Hey Liz...

I am not a nutritionist so take this as my thoughts rather than a definitive answer!

I believe all of the individual ingredients that are in this recipe are naturally gluten-free, although I would double-check that with a professional if you are at all worried.

But you should always check the packaging of individual ingredients, for instance I am aware the some chilli powders are cut with small amounts of wheat flour to prevent clumping.

Sorry I can not provide more of a definitive answer.

Brian

Andy

Monday 6th of January 2020

Hi,

Before I explain my issue, I'm about as novice as you can get when it comes to cooking. Although I whip up a mean Cheesy beans on toast....

I decided to try out your recipe as we love this curry, however, despite the end result being pleasant enough, it didn't have the distinctive Pasanda taste. This may seem like a stupid and obvious question but could it be down to the fact I couldn't get hold of Kashmiri Chili Powder so used normal Mild chili powder off the supermarket shelf instead?

Thanks!

Andy

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Hey Andy... That's a tough old question, I have eaten curries all over the UK, heck all over Europe and the one thing that I have learned is that the flavours and subtleties vary massively.

For me the base flavours of a pasanda are almond and coriander. For me in this recipe they are at the perfect level for the mild flavour of the chicken breast. This is the mildest curry that I cook and it is meant to be that way, you can "however" beef up those flavours by increasing the spices to your personal preference. I scale back the ground almond in my recipe to replace it with toasted almonds on top.

Pasanda is traditionally made with lamb and as such the sauce is a little bolder. But I find that boldness overwhelms the chicken and makes it a lifeless piece of protein, this dish aims to taste of both chicken as well as the curry.

All of my recipes are jumping off points for people to play with, I would however not worry about the mild chilli powder thing though. It will have changed the flavour subtly but not massively.

Have Fun...

Brian

Kris Dalziel

Sunday 5th of January 2020

Thank you so much for this recipie, the only thing I changed and I think it was a mangor plus was chicken breast, I swapped in chicken thighs as the have so much more flavour and a better texture. I cooked this for 6 people and just times threed everything. It was the perfect warmth and heat.

Thank you again

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Glad you liked it Chris, I tend to buy whole chickens so use the breasts in the milder curries that I cook and then the thighs in the ones with heavier spices, it works great with both :)

Kris Dalziel

Sunday 5th of January 2020

P.S. I used no fat yougurt because I had your recipie before that update and it was perfect so I am not sure what went wrong with Jac's but mine was fine, I can only imagine the pan was too hot?