On TV Tonight

  • 20:00 - The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo - Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking With Rachel Khoo, 1
  • 20:30 - The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo - Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking With Rachel Khoo, 2
  • 21:00 - The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo - Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking With Rachel Khoo, 3

This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.65 / 5 (513 votes)

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
1 hr

Helen Tse shares her grandmother's recipe for Chinese chicken curry


1. For the sauce: Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy-based pan or wok over a high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until starting to soften but not brown. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and continue stir-frying for 30 seconds, then reduced the heat to very low and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened but nothing browns.

2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and curry powder and continue cooking very gently for a further 5 minutes. Don’t burn the spices or the sauce will taste acrid; sprinkle on a few drops of water if you’re worried. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool a little.

3. Put the water in a food processor or blender and add the contents of the pan. Blend until everything is very smooth, then add both the flours and blend again. Put the puréed mixture back into the pan and simmer for 20–30 minutes (the longer the better) over a very low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little hot water if it starts to catch, but the idea is to gently ‘fry’ the sauce so that it darkens in colour to an orangey brown. Once you have a thick paste, gradually stir in the stock and simmer until the curry sauce has reduced.

4. For the chicken: season the cornflour with salt and pepper to taste, and toss the chicken strips in this to coat them. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until they turn white. Add the onion and peas and stir-fry for a further few minutes, then stir in the curry sauce and heat until everything is piping hot. Serve immediately.


For the sauce

  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee, (clarified butter)
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 mild fleshy red chillies, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 125 ml water
  • 2 1/2 tsp plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp self-raising flour
  • 400 - 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock

For the chicken

Comments & Ratings

Rate this recipe by clicking on the stars.

You need to be logged in to comment on this recipe

Forgotten your password?
Resend activation

Login Register

Latest Comment


Very nice. I've been looking for a Chinese curry recipe for a while, and this one really hit the spot. I added a little 5 spice and seasoning, and also button mushrooms and a few veg. Thanks!

DaveB78916 DaveB78916  Posted 14 Oct 2012 6:09 PM

Great recipe!! I made a few changes, took note of the level of spice that was mentioned, so like someone else said, I only used 1/2 tsp chilli powder and then only used 3 tsps plain flour but I also added a sprinkling of chinese 5 spice, a splash of lemon juice and 3 tsps light brown sugar. Perfect and very very close to our local take away curry. Thanks for sharing!

ClaireP1847 ClaireP1847  Posted 21 Sep 2012 4:37 PM

The curry was very nice, I added a few more vegetables some beans and carrot to fill it out a bit more. My husband and I thought the hotness was perfect, and I kept the chilli seeds in. It did need a bit of salt and pepper added after cooking.

LaurenB53324 LaurenB53324  Posted 28 Feb 2012 6:59 AM

I have making this curry for a while now and never get fed up of it. It is so flavoursome. To cut down on the preparation time I buy the frozen portions of ginger, garlic and green chilli from Taj foods in the freezer section at Asda. Replace 4 garlic cloves for 1 portion of frozen garlic, 4cm piece of ginger for 1 portion of frozen ginger and the red chillies for 1 portion of the Taj green frozen ones (or 2 if you prefer it a little hotter like meSmile This will cut down prep time dramatically and makes it so much easierSmile

Deelight Deelight Posted 06 Jul 2011 4:57 PM

Will try this when I have more time. Can someone please tell me the importance of using plain and self-raising flour in the sauce please? Just wondering!

MatthewD57495 MatthewD57495 Posted 31 May 2011 4:41 PM

Beautiful meal.It's the nearest I have been able to get in recreating the chinese takeaway curries I used to enjoy staggering home with in my distant mis-spent youth.I followed the recipe exactly.Thank you.

davidS60441 davidS60441 Posted 23 Feb 2011 9:01 AM

Excellent recipe I used frying steak instead of chicken & didn't blend the ingredients as I like a " chunky " curry I will use less flour next time only 2 tbsp plain flour no SR flour & also add a couple of hot chillies & some star anise,thanks to Lily Kwok for a very tasty authentic recipe *****

RobertR25851 RobertR25851 Posted 08 Feb 2011 7:51 AM


kevinJ57892 kevinJ57892 Posted 27 Jan 2011 4:22 PM

This has become one of my all time favourite curry recipes! I have to say, I only use one type of flour though - not both, and it always turns out fine.

Raych71 Raych71 Posted 29 Dec 2010 11:05 PM

I love this recipe and I didn't find it too hot and I am certainly not one for too hot. It has the same texture as this place I use to go to when I was about 10 when one day they closed up and we never got to ask for the recipe or if they were going to open up somewhere else. I have been searching for the same for 20 years and this is the closest. I will just change my brand of curry powder and perhaps use thigh (even though breast does work) on my next turn of making this to get the perfect flavour. 5 Stars!

GregH6597 GregH6597 Posted 03 Oct 2010 6:44 AM

I have made this loads. I don't put the fresh chillies in and just 1 tsp of chilli powder and it is perfect for me.

rachealt rachealt Posted 03 May 2010 11:49 AM

Too hot for me, I think next time I will use 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder instead of 1/2 tbsp (tablespoon)

NettyL77728 NettyL77728 Posted 13 Apr 2010 7:35 PM

Brilliant recipe - all the family love it.

PATRICIAC22145 PATRICIAC22145 Posted 29 Mar 2010 2:03 PM

I cooked this for my our saturday night curry, the only thing I changed was 3 chillis instead of 4 and when it came to the flour I just used 3 tsp of plain. Absoloutley delicious and really authentic chinese style curry, will definitely cook this again!

elaineT36187 elaineT36187 Posted 28 Mar 2010 4:22 PM

Ok I guess, the guests seemed to like it and the cornflour really brings it down, I added 2 chilis only and that was enough! Otherwise it would have been all heat and no flavour!

Scottydog Scottydog Posted 28 Feb 2010 8:34 PM

Ok I guess, the guests seemed to like it and the cornlour really brings it down, I added 2 chilis only and that was enough! Otherwise it would have been all heat and no flavour!

Scottydog Scottydog Posted 28 Feb 2010 8:34 PM

Really enjoyed making this and eating it, nice and hot too.

IanM34453 IanM34453 Posted 12 Jan 2010 8:32 AM

really really nice. tastes just like a chinese takeaway curry really easy to make but next time i will use maybe less chillies so its not as spicy

louiseM52824 louiseM52824 Posted 29 Nov 2009 5:13 PM

I make double the recipe for the sauce and freeze half.

J.T. J.T. Posted 22 Oct 2009 10:16 AM

Great recipe and the quantities are prefectly correct! Only thing I changed the second time I made it was the amount of garlic (used just 2 cloves).

LeO_K LeO_K Posted 11 Nov 2008 5:52 PM

I made this and served it using squirrel instead of chicken .It was scrumptious!!!

pipM15040 pipM15040 Posted 07 Nov 2008 7:16 PM

I remember this recipie from the peoples cookbook and have made it many times what i do is make up a large batch of the sauce and freeze in portions so i can make up a quick curry anytime it is truly delish for chicken prawns or beef

misty8 misty8 Posted 20 May 2008 9:49 PM


BRENNY2 BRENNY2 Posted 14 Apr 2008 7:59 PM