Vij Family’s Chicken Curry

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2018 Mar/Apr

This go-to chicken curry comes from the family of Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij. Add the spices in the order specified when building your masala base. Adapted from Vij’s Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine by Vikram Vij & Meeru Dhalwala


  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 T. finely chopped garlic
  • 2 T. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large chopped tomatoes
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1 T. each, ground cumin, ground coriander and garam masala
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. cayenne
  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs, bone in
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro (including stems)


Set a large, heavy skillet or braising dish over medium-high heat and add the oil; heat for a minute or two before adding the onions and cinnamon stick; sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne. Cook the masala for 5 minutes, or until the oil separates from the masala.

Remove and discard the chicken skin and add the bone-in thighs to the masala. Stir to coat them well and cook for 10 minutes, until the chicken looks cooked on the outside. Add the sour cream and 1 c. water and stir well. Bring the curry to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the cinnamon stick and cool the curry for at least half an hour.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, peel the meat off the bones, discard the bones and stir the chicken back into the curry. Refrigerate or reheat right away, stirring in the cilantro just before serving.

Serves 6.