This Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is easy to make and packed with flavourful spices; a delicious family meal to come home to.
So many misconceptions exist with regards to what we can and can not feed our babies/children. One of these misconceptions is the use of spices, with many new parents shying away from adding flavour this way.
From when my boys were babies, I added spices to their food. With my eldest, I spiced his purees (eg cinnamon to apples, smoked paprika with sweet potato) and with my youngest, who did baby-led weaning, it was all about the spices I added to our family meals.
They have both always been big fans of curry!
A great tasting curry will always contain a good amount of spices. In this recipe, I have used a mixture of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cardamom and a cinnamon stick. If you don't already have them in your cupboards, then you should easily be able to pick them up from your local supermarket.
I have also used some curry powder. Please keep in mind that curry powders are not all created equal. They can vary in spice level (mild to hot) and can differ in the spices they use. Some varieties contain a lot of salt so always check the ingredient list before purchasing.
Currently, in my spice drawer, I have Clive of India, Authentic Curry Powder and Aldi's (Australia) own brand (both pictured below). The Aldi version contains no salt and is made with 100% spices. The Clive of India does contain salt but it is the last ingredient on the list.
I have trialled this recipe with both powders and I am happy with the result, a mild but flavoursome curry that is perfect for kids.
I use chicken breasts in this recipe. I add them whole and shred them at the end. The chicken literally falls apart and this is how my kids like it. My youngest can be funny with chunks of chicken, especially if the texture is on the drier side.
If you don't like the idea of shredded chicken, you can cut the breast into chunks before cooking. I would recommend cutting larger chunks so the meat doesn't dry out too much.
If you prefer, you can replace the breast with thigh meat.
A small quantity of red split lentils is added to this curry, mainly as a thickener. While solid to start with, during the slow cook, the lentils start to lose their shape and thicken the curry.
Slow cooking does not allow for sauces to reduce and thicken in the same way as they would on the stove top. A common complaint with slow cooker curry is that it can turn out too watery. Adding red split lentils really helps with this.
Coconut butter can be found in most health stores and some bigger supermarkets. It is creamed coconut and is not the same as coconut oil. In Australia, I buy it in jars. When I lived in the UK I bought it in blocks (although I think you can also purchase it in jars.)
Adding coconut butter, in my opinion, really completes the curry, giving it a more rounded flavour. If you can't get hold of it then you can use coconut milk. I would add half a cup (125ml) and reduce the stock by ¼ cup (60ml).
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Curry.
Many people, like me, slow cook for convenience. Having to pre cook ingredients can take away from this convenience. That being said, for many slow cooker meals, I do prefer to spend a little time developing flavours and textures before adding the ingredients to the cooker.
- Blending Onions, garlic and ginger
Blend the onion, garlic and ginger together to form a puree. If you do not have a food processor/blender then you can finely chop instead. Onions not only provide flavour but they are a good thickener, the finer they are chopped the better they are at adding thickness to the curry. (Plus it stops those picky eaters complaining about flecks of onion in their meal!)
After blending the onion, garlic and ginger together, saute over medium heat until the puree starts to dry. Add the spices, mix well and cook for approx 30 seconds to a minute. Adding the spices this way, to form an aromatic paste, really enhances the dish.
- Slow Cook
Add the paste with all the remaining ingredients (apart from the peas) to the slow cooker, stir and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Shred Chicken and Add Peas
Remove the chicken, shred it and then return to the pan with the peas. The peas go in last so they don’t go mushy and lose their colour. I just add them five minutes before serving.
Storage and Re-heating Instructions
This curry tastes even better the next day!
- Cool the curry quickly; store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Reheat on the stove top or microwave.
- Cool the curry quickly, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 4 months.
- Thaw, overnight, in a refrigerator and reheat on the stove top or microwave.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
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Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- 3 Onions
- 3 Cloves Garlic,
- 1 thumb size piece Fresh Ginger
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 3 tsp Ground Coriander
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 3 tsp Curry Powder *SEE NOTE 1
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 790g (2 large) Chicken Breasts
- 375ml (1.5 cups) Chicken Stock *SEE NOTE 2
- 400g 14oz Can of Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Coconut Butter *SEE NOTE 3
- 65g (⅓ cup) Red Split Lentils
- 1 Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper), cut into chunks
- 70g (½ cup) Frozen Peas
- 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- Blend the onion, garlic and ginger together to form a puree. *SEE NOTE 4
- Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion/garlic/ginger puree and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cardamom) and curry powder. Mix well and cook for approx thirty seconds to a minute. Transfer to the slow cooker
- Add the chicken breasts, tomatoes, coconut butter, lentils, capsicum and cinnamon stick and stock to the slow cooker. Using tongs, gently toss ingredients together to ensure evenly coated.
- Cook on Low for 7-8 hours or High for 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken breast and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker, along with the peas and lemon juice. Stir through and cook for a further 5 mins.
- Remove portions for young children and then season to taste.
- Please keep in mind that curry powders are not all created equal. They can vary in spice level (mild to hot) and can differ in the spices they use. Some varieties contain a lot of salt so always check the ingredient list before purchasing.
- If cooking for a baby / young child use homemade chicken stock or low sodium chicken stock.
- Coconut butter can be found in most health stores and some bigger supermarkets. It is creamed coconut and is not the same as coconut oil. If you can't get hold of it then you can use coconut milk. I would add half a cup (125ml) and reduce the stock by ¼ cup (60ml).
- If you do not have a blender/food processor you can finely chop.