Garlic and Paprika Chicken Curry

Garlic and Paprika Chicken Curry

Garlic and Paprika Chicken Curry, The Curry Guy Light by Dan Toombs. Photography by Kris Kirkham.

The Curry Light by Dan Toombs

In Curry Guy Light, Dan Toombs, aka the Curry Guy, showcases over 100 recipes that are:

Lower in carbs and calories than most other Indian recipes
Lower in fat and salt without lacking flavour
Delicious and fresh-tasting

Dan has spent many years researching the food of Kerala and Goa, as well as learning the secrets of Indian restaurants. In Curry Guy Light he shows that you can make your favourite curry house meals but at the same time know that it”s really good for you—you’d never know it when the food works its magic!

He’s developed a new, lighter version of his classic base sauce, and created lower-cal versions of curry house classics, including starters like onion bhajis and spicy hot chicken wings, indulgent Goan shrimp curry, chicken tikka masala and saag paneer, your favourite sides such as tarka dhal and coconut rice, plus chutneys and snacks. All the recipes have clear, step-by-step instructions, and are guaranteed 100% delectable. It”s the curry cookbook you’ve been waiting for!

The Curry Guy Light: Over 100 lighter, fresher Indian curry classics is available at and

Garlic and Paprika Chicken Curry

This one is all about the garlic and paprika! You use a lot of both, but neither overpowers the dish, so don’t let the amount of garlic scare you because it mellows as it cooks. The paprika and tomato give the curry a beautiful deep red colour, which looks spicy hot but it’s not. Most mild curries at curry houses are quite creamy and can be a bit heavy—no need for cream here. This is one of the healthy, mild curries I used to cook for my kids a lot when they were young. Now they make it for themselves.




2 tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tbsp minced ginger
600g (1lb 5oz) chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
40 garlic cloves, peeled
21 medium onions, chopped
½ tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
1 star anise
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small piece blade mace
5 tinned (canned) anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)
½ tsp ground turmeric
250ml (1 cup) tomato purée
250ml (1 cup) unsalted chicken stock or water
5 tbsp white wine vinegar or coconut vinegar
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander(cilantro)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yoghurt with 1 tablespoon of the paprika and the ginger. Stir in the chicken pieces and make sure they are evenly coated in the marinade.

Place half the garlic in a food processor or blender with the onions and about 125ml (½ cup) of water and blend to a thick paste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok over a medium-high heat until visibly hot. Add the whole spices and let them infuse into the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining garlic and the anchovies (if using) and break up the anchovies with a spatula. Fry until the garlic is light brown but not at all burnt. Stir in the onion and garlic paste and the remaining paprika and the turmeric. Now stir in the marinated chicken and the tomato purée. Pour in the stock to cover.

Simmer for 5–10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the vinegar and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Season with salt and garnish with the coriander.


I often purchase ready-peeled garlic cloves, which is a real timesaver with this dish.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.

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