Winging the Chicken Curry

Growing up in India, I was surrounded by some of the  best cooks ever! Maya was one of them. Everything she made tasted like magic melting in your mouth. This particular chicken curry she used to make  was my younger brother’s favorite. She used wings and other odd parts of the chicken that she would laboriously save over days. Well, he’s visiting this week and so Im trying to recreate that same recipe.

I’ve tried to make this dish with regular chicken thighs but it just doesn’t taste as good so Im using chicken wings for the curry. This recipe is a little involved but so worth it. You will need a few ingredients from your local Indian grocery store ( In NY there are many Patel Brothers stores).  My favorite part of this dish is the curry part – it is so tasty and I’m always tempted to make it with more curry but it just doesn’t taste as good. This dish does well as a slightly drier chicken curry.

Maya's Chhant Chicken Curry

Maya’s Chhant Chicken Curry


Maya’s “Chhant” Chicken Curry

1 packet of chicken wings (about 2 pounds)

3 small onions finely chopped

3 & 1/2 medium tomatoes pureed or you can use a can of tomato paste

Roast in a pan for 2-3 minutes:

2 tablespoons of whole fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek/methi seeds

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

3-4 cloves

3 green cardamoms,

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

3 teaspoon coriander powder

2-3 bay leaves

Grind with the above roasted spices with about 3/4 cup of water:

1 whole big garlic

1 & 1/2″ ginger



  •  Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil on medium heat
  •  Add 2-3 bay leaves
  •  Add 1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds and cook till you see them popping
  •  Add the chopped onion
  • Cover and cook it till the onion browns nicely (about 10-15 minutes)
  • Add the brown ground spices (masala) and cook very well ( about 15 minutes)
  • Add 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • Add  cayenne pepper to taste ( I usually add 2 teaspoons)
  • Let this cook for a few minutes
  • Add tomato puree, cover and cook it very well till everything combines together ( about 25- 30 minutes)
  • Add chicken wings and mix it well with the gravy
  • Cover and cook it on medium for about 20 minutes till the wings are well cooked and have given off some of the its fat into the gravy
  • If it is too dry you can add a little water
  • Add salt to taste
  • Cook till chicken is tender

This dish tastes best eaten with white Basmati Rice!!

I doubled this entire recipe as food doesn’t last very long in this house – especially when my brother is in town! This dish will freeze very well too so you can always freeze any leftovers. Enjoy and do let me know what you think! 

Whole spices being roasted

Whole spices being roasted

Ground roasted spices with garlic and ginger

Ground roasted spices with garlic and ginger


Maya's Chhant Chicken Curry

Maya’s Chhant Chicken Curry

6 thoughts on “Winging the Chicken Curry

  1. Malini:

    This is really a professional looking recipe with the pictures. I made the curry with skinned chicken thighs and it was fabulous. I have a few questions: 1. What do you use to grind the spices. My food processor did not work. 2. Do the 2-3 bay leaves also go into the grinded spices, and then again into the browned onion mixture (same for the cumin seed)? 3. And “one whole big garlic” is a clove or the whole bulb? Sorry for the questions, this is the problem with giving recipes to cooks without your skills. And some day I need to learn how to make good rice – mine is always awful. Thanks again.

    • Hi susan
      Im so glad u tried it.
      I use my blender to grind the spices – it works better than the food processor – actually if you have a small coffee grinder that works great too.
      Yes the bay leaves & cumin seeds go into the ground spices too and the browned onions
      As for garlic – Im lazy – i just buy the peeled garlic cloves at the Asian stores but i never use the bottled stuff
      ask as many questions as you need too – I love getting feedback
      I will post a really nice rice recipe soon

  2. Hi Malini
    Need some really simple chicken & fish recipies ( indian ) preferred and some simple one dish stuff . having guests over the next month ….. love urmila

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