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.

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

I donโ€™t do garnish, it has no place on a plate of food for me.

Everything on a plate should add something to what I am eating and if it does not, it should not be there.

So if coriander isnโ€™t your thing then maybe consider something like a chicken korma, another curry at the milder end of the heat spectrum.

If you want something a little more pokey then you should check out the rest of my chicken curry recipes!

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

Is it a Spicy Hot Curry?

In short no!

It is very much one of the mildest curries that I make and that I have eaten.

It is spicy, but the spices used are fragrant spices and not ‘hot’ spices.

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

The techniques are simple and most importantly there is not an overwhelming amount of spices to confuse the beginner!

Give it a try, you’ll love it!

Chicken Pasanda Recipe

Chicken Pasanda Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
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

  • 1 Tbsp Cooking oil
  • 3 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 125 g Onion
  • 15 g Ginger
  • 3 Cloves Garlic,
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Almonds
  • 100 g Full Fat Natural Yoghurt
  • 400g Chicken Breast
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 10 g 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: 530 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 173mg Sodium: 546mg Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Protein: 68g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

51 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  2. Iโ€™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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  3. 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

    Reply
    • 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 and 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 for me that boldness overwhelms the chicken and makes it a lifeless piece of protein.

      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

      Reply
  4. 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

    Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
      • I don’t think that low fat or no fat yoghurt will always split, it just has a greater likelihood of splitting. Likewise, it is not impossible to split full-fat yoghurt, it is just less likely. I am sure you are right that the pan temperature plays a huge part in this, as you can see from my video my pan is pretty hot and had no issues.

        Reply
    • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  5. Tried the recipe again, using full fat yoghurt. It was perfect! Thank you so much for your help, we’ll definitely be having your recipe again.

    Reply
    • So glad you had another crack and that you enjoyed it… No one is a good cook, it is all about learning, I have spent 20 years as an almost fanatical cook and still have “those moments”. I am so grateful that you took the time to write to me, all to often something goes wrong and people put it down to a bad recipe.

      Your message has taught me something and I will be slowly going through and updating many of my recipes that use sour cream and yoghurt to mention the low-fat thing. You have helped make my site better and that helps both me and my 1m+ readers cook a little bit better next time ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
    • I’ve never had anyone report this problem before, did you use low fat yoghurt?

      You can possibly get things to emulsify again by removing a little of the sauce and whisk it into some more yoghurt, remove the chicken and add this additional yoghurt mix to the sauce and whisk off the heat.

      Reply
      • Thanks. Yes, I did use low fat yoghurt. After it curdled I lowered the heat then added more yoghurt. That curdled too. I kept it on a low heat hoping it would thicken, but it went to water. It smelt nice but was awful. We had to throw it away.

        Reply
        • Bugger I am so sorry, I had to Google what was happening when I got your email, I will update the post to say avoid low fat yoghurt, it is apparently much less stable and prone to curdling, I’m a greedy chap so have never tried it.

          You can apparently whisk arrowroot into low fat yoghurt to help stabilise it before you cook with it, although it is not something I have ever tried!

          I hope you give the recipe another try, it is one of the most popular on my site and one of my personal favourites too ๐Ÿ™‚

          Reply
  6. I am looking for something nice to do with lamb leg steaks I have in the freezer. Would this work with lamb? Keeping it on file for the chicken anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Lamb is often associated with pasanda, so absolutely yes it would work. A couple of things to consider, “beef” up the spicing lamb has much more flavour than chicken and as a result, can handle more flavour before it just becomes a “texture”.

      I would personally leave the chilli where it is, this is a mild curry and then increase the other spices by 25%, maybe even a little more cumin than that.

      Cooking wise you could either braise the legs in the pasanda sauce or fry off the lamb legs in ghee and garlic and then nap the sauce over for later, I would probably err towards the latter.

      Have fun!

      Reply
    • lol, ruin is a strong word… I don’t think it would make the recipe inedible but it will fundamentally change it. If I were to omit the coriander I would consider adding a citrus edge with either lemon or lime juice to taste, tamarind would also work well.

      Let me know how you get on ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  7. I made this tonight. The flavors are excellent and I love th spice balanced with the yoghurt. Th almonds compliment it beautifully, both ground in the sauce and on top with the coriander. Two thumbs up!

    Reply
  8. Oh, this chicken passanda looks amazing. Iโ€™m actually off to make a curry now. I have to say that for me nothing compares to a nice home cooked made from scratch dish and when it comes to curries homemade is by far the best! ??
    Talking about dentist, ? Iโ€™ve got an appointment tomorrow. Wish me luck as injection is inevitable.

    Reply
  9. Congratulation on your bravery, my reward for early morning blood test is always a croissant. I am glad you were able to compensate your bad experience with your own chicken passanda, home cooking is always the best. Sooo, as tomorrow is the start of 6 Nation, I am going to the shop to buy the ingredients for this passanda…..Italy vs England I will remind you !!!!!

    Reply
    • I’m not a fan of the oval ball I am afraid, sends me to sleep. That and cricket really, apart from that I’m pretty cool with most sports, so long as I can have a beer and a curry after ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply
  10. I like the sound of loads of coriander – and that it’s integral to the dish. Sounds delicious and I luckily have all those spices on hand.

    Reply
    • So often corriander is used as a garnish and really serves no purpose but here the citrus flavour is there to sit along side and counteract the richness of the almonds.

      Reply
  11. I have to confess, I don’t think I’ve ever tried chicken passanda! It sounds amazing though, and I actually have all the ingredients! It looks so warm and comforting!

    Reply
    • I think of it a an interesting version of a korma, everyone knows a korma but it is pretty dull, this is much more interesting.

      Reply
  12. For once I actually have all but one of the ingredients in your recipe ๐Ÿ˜› I am looking for some new ways to enjoy chicken this summer and just added this one to the list!

    Reply
    • Hehe, it is strange how common place ingredients change from one geographical location to another. Most of what I cook with I have been cooking with as a regular ingredient for nigh on 20 years yet I read some recipes on US based sites and I have to Google what many things are, it is even worst when it comes to Mexican recipes ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply
  13. First, this has made my “must try” list because I love Indian flavors, especially when I already have all ingredients except the yogurt at home. Second, I completely agree with you regarding garnish and don’t understand unnecessary garnishes on plates, neither in restaurant presentation or photography…

    Reply
    • Totally with you on Indian flavours, so much vibrance and complexity of flavour for relatively little work and yay to a fellow ‘if I can’t eat it get rid of it’ supporter ๐Ÿ˜€

      Reply
  14. That sounds fabulous and those warm curry seasonings are some of my favorites! I will have to try this soon! I’m pinning it so I don’t lose it! ?

    Reply
  15. Love me some SPICE! And you definitely got it going on right here. This would be a great recipe to try out . Pinning

    Reply
  16. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a passanda before, but the flavours sound absolutely delicious. Will definitely be trying your sauce recipe!

    Reply
    • Thanks Becca, the sauce could be put to a lot of uses, I particularly love it as a dip for roasted broccoli, the almond flavours really work so well ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  17. This chicken looks absolutely incredible. Sorry about your poor restaurant experience. This sounds like it would be a favorite of mine as well.

    Reply
    • Thanks Tara, it wasn’t really that poor just average… Not what I was aiming for as a reward for doing ‘grown up things’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ Definitely a great curry though ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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