Indian Spiced Chicken Stew

Indian Spiced Stew with Chicken and Potatoes in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

A delicious Indian Spiced Chicken Stew, with potatoes, tomatoes and a blend of Indian spices slow cooked for a complete and comforting meal.

If you’re a fan of dishes like Tikka Masala or Butter chicken, you will love this one! I spied this Indian Spiced Chicken Stew in the latest Bon Apetit and immediately slotted it in for an upcoming meal. We enjoyed it for dinner last night and it was a big hit. It’s flavourful, hearty, warming and spicy and a great “throw everything in a pot and let it cook all afternoon” kind of dish. The spicy tomato and cream sauce was delicious and plentiful, great for sopping up with the naan bread. I also loved the addition of potatoes to this dish (and I wasn’t sure I would). All in all … everyone agreed it’s a keeper!

This stew has a great combination of spices that work beautifully together. Don’t be intimidated by the long list. They are pretty common spices, so if you’re spice rack is fairly well-stocked, you’ll be good. The cayenne pepper provides some nice warming heat in this dish. You may want to use the lesser amount of cayenne or leave out altogether if you’re not a fan of heat or if you’re feeding small kids.

Cook’s Notes for Indian-spiced Chicken Stew

Serve this stew with a big dollop of plain yogurt, some naan bread and a generous sprinkling of fresh mint (most traditional), cilantro or parsley. Alternately, this would be lovely spooned over warm basmati rice.

I made this dish on the stove-top in my Dutch oven, but you could very easily do it in your slow-cooker. I used a couple of bone-in/skin on chicken breasts and thighs and took the chicken off the bone before adding the potatoes.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs would also work. You’d save the step of taking the chicken off the bone, but I do think the bone and skin probably add nice flavour to this one.

I served this stew up in my cast iron fajita pans. It’s just a fun way to enjoy a meal and they’re also great for fajitas, too :)

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Indian Spiced Stew with Chicken and Potatoes in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Indian Spiced Chicken Stew

Indian Spiced Stew with Chicken and Potatoes

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken stew recipes, Indian chicken recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Energy: 529 kcal
Author: Jennifer
You can make this dish ahead and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Perfect for entertaining. Simply re-heat in your Dutch oven, thinning with a bit of chicken broth, if necessary. A wonderfully hearty and Indian-spiced stew with chicken and potatoes in a tomato cream sauce. A perfect cold-weather dish for a lazy weekend meal or make it ahead (up to 3 days ahead!) for entertaining.


  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 large skin-on/bone-in chicken breasts (or can use boneless)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp cayennne pepper (depending on how spicy like it or you can omit)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (plus a bit more thinning, if necessary)
  • 3/4 cup tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can use a lighter cream)
  • 1/2 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes,sliced 1/4" thick (or small fingerlings, sliced in half lengthwise)


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place skin side down in to the pan. Cook until golden brown without turning, about 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  2. To the same pot, add onion, garlic, and ginger to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, about 8–10 minutes. Add tomato paste, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is beginning to darken, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add chicken pieces, chicken broth, tomato purée, and cream to pot. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is almost falling off the bone and liquid is slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 hours. If using bone-in chicken, remove chicken to a plate and carefully remove chicken from the bone and discard skin and bones. Cut or pull chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken pieces to the pot.
  4. Add potatoes to the pot and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender and sauce is thickened, 30-45 minutes. *Check and stir every so often to ensure the sauce hasn't thickened to much and potatoes aren't sticking to the bottom of the pot. If sauce is too thick, thin with a bit more chicken stock.
  5. To serve, spoon stew into a shallow bowl and place a large dollop of yogurt on one side. Sprinkle with some fresh chopped mint, cilantro or parsley and serve with naan bread on the side. Alternately, spoon stew over some warm basmati rice.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!

Adapted from Bon Apetit February 2014


  • This looks amazing – going to try it tonight! Just a quick question- do you have any tips for how to convert the recipe for a slow cooker? Thanks!

    • Hi Tristan, I’ve never tried it, but I would brown the chicken and veg separately and then put it all in to the slow cooker and allow to simmer away in there. Hope that helps!

        • Hi Bozena. I have never actually cooked this recipe in the slow cooker, but if I had to guess, I would suggest whatever setting maintains a steady simmer and then cook it for 2-3 hours. I’m afraid I’m not really slow-cooker savvy. To my way of thinking, it’s just as easy to simmer it on the stovetop :)

  • Not listed in the ingredients, but listed in the directions is TOMATO PURÉE. I didn’t have any so I used Crushed Tomatoes. The dish was still good, though I used too much Crushed Tomatoes, Jennifer, could you please clarify?

    • Hi Laura. Just checked the recipe. Sorry. It was there, just a formatting error, so it was tacked on to the end of the chicken broth line. I’ve fixed it to display on it’s own line now, as it should. Thanks for the heads up.

  • I’ve been meaning to make this too – glad you beat me to it! Perfect comfort food for the last of the frigid winter days – we are headed for record breaking cold this weekend. Eeep!

      • Hi Sherri, I suppose this dish could be made in a slow cooker. I would probably still brown the chicken and spices separately, then add it all into the slow cooker for the simmer part. Not sure what you mean by “all the dishes”. I’m not sure all dishes are suited for a slow cooker. It’s just a different method of cooking, that really only suits dishes that are meant for a covered, low and slow cook and of course, not all are.

    • Sorry Wendy. Fixed that. I thought I used half butter/half oil, so I wrote that in the instructions. Should be just veg oil, though, as that’s what I used. I’ve fixed the instructions.

    • Hi Rosemarie, I think carrots would be nice in this. I’d just add when the potatoes are added. If you wanted more, maybe stir a bit of spinach in right at the end.

    • It was very good. Had the leftovers tonight and just as nice 2nd day. Don’t know if you saw my comment to Sophie, but if you make from the magazine, I suggest a lot less broth than as printed. I used only 3 cups and it was perfect.

  • Wow, this looks so delicious! I absolutely love Indian food and was looking for more recipes to make in my new Dutch oven and this seems perfect. I’m just wondering – when the cream cooks for that long (nearly 2 hours total), it doesn’t get all.. “grainy”? I often (in Indian recipes), add the cream towards the very end. Will it stay smooth and not turn icky cooking for so long?

    • Hi Julia. I wondered the same thing as I poured it in knowing it was going to bubble away for several hours. Surprisingly, not icky and not grainy at the end of the cooking. Not sure why, but it was all good in the end.

  • Ah I bookmarked this one in the magazine, too! So glad to hear it got rave reviews in your house! Love all the flavors from such simple ingredients. Your naan looks amazing, too!

    • Thanks Sophie. Yes, highly recommend. My version has a lot less broth than the magazine version. Adjusted downward based on comments on the recipe on the BA website. Worked out perfectly. Also, I didn’t use the cardamom. I’m not a fan.

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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