An aromatic, classic Fijian chicken curry, that is simple to cook from scratch and a delight to the taste buds. The paste and spice blend in this curry are the result of a delicious fusion of Fiji Indian food, resulting in beautiful texture and flavour. Serve with our homemade roti, for a feast everyone is sure to enjoy!
Ready for a new favourite, let us show you how to recreate this dish!
Featured recipe review:
"Just made this tonight and it was phenomenal. Is definitely going into the regular rotation."
We spent several years living in Fiji and we loved the cuisine there. The pacific island life had a big impacted on so many dishes we still love to cook today. Our Fijian coconut cured fish salad is a must try!
The memories of this curry found in both restaurants and local village will stay with us. You can't beat the richness and flavours that are melded together over an open kitchen fireplace. While we can't bring you the open fire place cooking this recipe stays authentic to the process and ingredients bringing the classic flavour to your kitchen!
What is Fiji Indian food?
Fijian cuisine was traditionally very healthy, based on fresh fish, farm grown vegetables and coconut based dishes. When the Indian's (Indo Fijians) first came to Fiji they brought with them a collection of spices which changed the food scene and diets of the local Fijians. Creating some amazing Fijian Indian food and our classic Fijian curry is a delicious example of that fusion!
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For the base:
- Garlic cloves - peeled
- Fresh ginger - peeled. The best way to peel fresh ginger is to scrap the skin off using a teaspoon. It's easier and creates less waste.
- A medium onion.
- Canola oil - or your preferred non flavoured cooking oil.
The spice blend:
- Turmeric powder - (ground) A common spice in Indian cuisine, it is well known for its many health benefits. You will find this in most supermarkets.
- Coriander - (ground) A great addition to Indian curries, it has a sweet, earthy, slightly tart taste. And should be easily found in your local supermarket.
- Garam masala - A classic Indian ground spice mix. Many families have their own secret recipes for making this, creating slight different aromatic flavours. Most supermarkets have good quality garam masala available and if you are lucky enough to live near an Indian store, we encourage you to try different brands.
- Kashmiri chilli powder - we love the mild sweet but subtle heat of this chilli. It also gives a beautiful red colour to your dish. This chilli powder is worth finding and buying it bulk! Try to nearest Indian store or online. NOTE: You can substitute this with a standard chilli powder but reduce the amount to a half to one teaspoon, depending on the heat of the chilli and your personal preference.
For the curry:
- Chicken thigh - we used bone out and skin off. But it's also popular to use bone in and chop the meat, bone and all to cook in the curry. Thigh is a great tender cut that won't dry out.
- White potatoes
- Salt - to taste
- Fresh coriander (optional)
How to make a Fijian chicken curry.
In 4 simple steps:
- Create the base. Using a mortar and pestle (or mini chopper/ blender) pound the garlic and ginger into a paste. Separately using a mini chopper or blender, blend the onion until well chopped. Heat a large pot on a medium heat. Add the oil and cook the ginger and garlic paste for 5 minutes, until the raw smell goes away. Then add the onion and cook until well softened but don't allow to brown.
- Add the aromatic spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cooking out the spices will fill your home with a delicious aroma.
- Add the fillings. Add the chicken, potato and tomato, mix all the ingredients well.
- Allow to simmer. Add enough water to just cover your ingredients. Season with a good pinch of salt. Bring the pot to the boil then reduce to a simmer for around 45 minutes. Or until most of the liquid has reduced to create a sauce like consistency. Check seasoning and adjust to taste. Add chopped coriander, serve and enjoy!
Serve with some deliciously, soft roti, for a true Fiji experience.
This Fijian chicken curry can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It is one of those dishes that increases with flavour too, just be sure to reheat slowly in a pot till piping hot.
Once cooked and cooled it can also be frozen. Make sure it is well sealed. Allow the thaw overnight in the fridge, until fully defrosted and again reheat in a pot till piping hot.
Alternative curry ideas.
Traditionally in Fiji, all meat curries are made with the bone in. By chopping up a whole chicken, lamb neck, goat or whole fish. Keeping the bone in gives much more flavour and depth to your curry.
But you could also use this curry recipe and substitute the chicken for cuts of lamb, goat or fish for equally delicious results.!
Time to get cooking! Making these curries at home, invokes the memories of our family travels and life in the beautiful Fijian islands. We hope you enjoy creating this at home too.
Fijian Chicken Curry
- 8 cloves Garlic (peeled)
- 50 grams Fresh ginger (peeled) 1.7 oz
- 1 Medium onion (peeled)
- 100 ml Canola oil 3.38 fl oz
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Ground)
- 2 teaspoon Ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon Coriander powder (Ground)
- 2 teaspoon Garam masala
- 2 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder See note 1 - If replacing with standard chilli powder.
- 500 gram Chicken thigh (bone out, skin off) Cut into chunks 1.1 lbs
- 3 Medium potatoes (peeled) cut into chunks
- 2 Ripe tomatoes (cut into quarters)
- Salt (to taste)
- A Bunch Fresh coriander (Chopped) (Optional)
- Take the garlic and ginger and pound in a mortar and pestle (or mini chopper/ blender), add a pinch of salt to help the process, pound until you have a paste. Set aside.
- Separately, roughly chop the peeled onion and place into the food blender or mini chopper and blend until well chopped.
- Heat a large pot on a medium heat. Add the oil, then add the garlic and ginger paste. Cook until the raw smell goes away, about 5 minutes. Then add the blended onion and continue to cook until well softened but not too brown. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the spices to the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken, potato and tomato, mix well.
- Add enough water to just cover the ingredients in the pot. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil, once boiling reduce to a simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Give it a stir now and again to make sure it doesn't burn to the pot of the pot. This should take around 45 minutes.
- Once the liquid has reduced to a sauce like consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, you might need a little more salt. Top with some chopped coriander.
- Serve with steamed rice, homemade roti bread and enjoy!