Chicken Recipes | Creamy, rich, family chicken with Indian spices

Chicken recipes

Chicken Recipes : the pumpkin with its chicken filling about to go into the oven for an hour

Two of the charming characteristics which endeared my father to many people were: one, he was an unshakeable patriot and as I write this it is Independence Day in St. Lucia, and two, he believed in the sanctity of family and did all he could to celebrate and support it. Any chance he got, he’d invite everyone over and just casually wave a hand at my mother and hey presto expect a lovely meal. Usually she complied. This meal was about exactly that. Celebrating family that is, not “hey presto”. I hadn’t had my whole family over to see our new home and what better way to do that than to share a meal. That’s why the proportions are so big.

I chose this opportunity to use the gigantic pumpkin that “Nick the bushman” had given me before Christmas. It sat on the kitchen step in the old house and made the big move with us, all the while waiting for Rosie to declare it ready to eat. Despite my worries that I would cut it open and find the middle rotten, she was right. It was perfect so I used it as the “bowl” to serve this delicious creamy meal, getting everyone to scoop a bit off the sides when helping themselves to the chicken. It worked a charm.

You may think because of the length of this post and the number of ingredients that this is a complicated dish. It really isn’t. It is in fact technically very simple so please give it a whirl as it is truly delicious. There were zero left overs for Mark and I the next day.


Cardamom pods and the other spices ready

1. Before starting to cook, assemble the various elements of this meal. So, prepare the spices, chop the onions and chicken, blend the coriander, ginger and garlic, have ready both sorts of tomatoes, measure out the cream and yog.

2. Heat 1 tbsp each of the coconut oil and the olive oil and soften the onions. Add the coriander mixture and then the spices. Make sure it is all well mixed. Tip this redolent mixture into a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining oil and in batches lightly brown the chicken pieces. Try to do this on the highest heat as you don’t want to over cook the chicken at this point. Remove the chicken to another bowl.

4. Add the spiced onion mixture back to the saucepan. Add both sorts of tomatoes and the water and let simmer gently for 40 minutes. Keep an eye as you really wouldn’t want your labour of love to stick and burn. Add water if you feel its necessary.

5. Stir in the cream and yog and add salt and pepper.

6. Add the chicken to the sauce and let cook for another 10 or 15 minutes.

This Chicken Recipe Serves 14 people

2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) boneless chicken thighs (about 20 depending on size) cut into bite size pieces

1 tsp cinnamon

2 large onions finely chopped

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

In the UK it is possible to buy chicken thighs already boned. Not so in St. Lucia. There really isn’t a technique that I have discovered to do this job apart from using common sense, a very sharp knife and extreme caution where your fingers are concerned. You could of course leave the meat on the bone, but I think special-ness is worth it so I boned mine.

The spices

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin seeds 

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp cardamom seeds (about 15 pods)

Roast together the cumin seeds, fenugreek and cardamom seeds in a dry frying pan and grind together in a spice mill or pestle and mortar.


Blending the onion mix and preparing the spices

large bunch fresh coriander

large grated thumb ginger

4 cloves garlic

4 green chillies

Blend all together until as smooth as possible


The onion mix with the spices added

1  can tomatoes (400 g, 14 oz)

3 or 4 large fresh tomatoes roughly chopped

350 ml, (1.5 c, 12 oz) water

200 ml (7 oz, scant cup) double cream

250 ml (8.5 oz, heaping cup) plain yogurt


simmer the sauce at this stage for 40 mins


Chicken Recipes : the sauce with the cream, yog and chicken added


The chicken and pumpkin all loved up fresh out of the oven

It took an hour in the oven at 180ºC  (350ºF) to cook the pumpkin. You do not need to do this step unless you too have a gigantic pumpkin that you want to use as a bowl.



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  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Looks truly yummy!! Love the idea of cooking it IN the pumpkin!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      Try it Christine!! and then let me know how it went

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