CrockPot Indian Chicken Recipe

Indian Chicken slow cooker recipe. The spice combination in this recipe is spot-on! My inlaws thought it was take out!!

photo by Debbie Sheets

Day 120.

My favorite kind of take-out is Indian. I was thrilled when I came across a recipe for an Indian Masala-inspired slow cooker recipe on Michelle's What's Cooking Blog (4/16 dead link removed...)

After reading her ingredient list, I finally got up the nerve to buy my very own spice bottle of garam masala---I had put it off long enough.

I'm so glad that I did. It was well worth the $3.99, because now that I know how flavorful and how full of depth it is, I am sure I will use it often. If you'd like to not buy a bottle, you can make your own by following this mixture (scroll down to the bottom where it lists the ground spices).

The Ingredients.

There's a lot. It'll be okay.

 2 pounds or so frozen chicken pieces--enough to feed 4 grownups
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes (drained, mine had seasoning, I don't think it matters)
1/2 diced onion
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala (1/2 t to add now, 1/2 later)
1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt

The Directions.

--put your chicken pieces into the crockpot and add the can of tomatoes and all of the spices, minus 1/2t of the garam masala.

Don't add the yogurt yet.

cook on low all day. I cooked this for 8 hours, and the chicken shredded and lost it's shape, but tasted so good that it didn't matter. 

Remember that the food you cook at home in your crockpot will not look like restaurant food---but trust me that the spice combo is spot-on. Michelle did a fantastic job with this one.

30 minutes before serving, stir in the yogurt, and taste. I wanted the garam masala flavor to be pronounced, so I added another 1/2t to the mix. Add what tastes right to you.

The Verdict.

All four of us enjoyed this a lot. The kids liked the sauce a lot and dipped warmed corn tortillas into the rice and "juice" to soak up the yummy flavors.

I am interested in trying this again with pieces of lamb, and watching my chicken a little closer so it retains shape.

Very yummy. Thank you so much, Michelle!

other great Indian and Thai Take Out Fake Out Recipes:

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at April 29, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. I've been wanting to do Indian in the crockpot. This recipe looks much healthier than my recipe and I like the idea of using yogurt instead of cream.

    Have you ever tried making paneer? I love it in place of chicken or meat.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Did you use a large pot or a small one? I'm thinking of making this for my husband and me, and it just seems like not enough 'stuff' for a large pot without it getting all dried out and burny. Looks divine!

    Sorry for the delete. Forgot to check the email box.

  4. Hi La Reveuse, I did use a large crockpot--a 6qt. I threw in about 6 frozen chicken thighs, and cooked it on low for a good 8 hours. It was probably "done" at 6, but I wasn't paying too close attention. I don't have much trouble with things getting burny in my large crockpot, if I leave the food alone and don't let the condensation escape. I also choose to use frozen stuff to ensure a longer cooking time. (and I'm terrible at thawing food the day before, even if I know that's what I'm going to make...)

    If you think that your machine is cooking too fast, or too high, totally call or email Rival. I've heard a bit that some pots cook too hot, and that might be the trouble. Everytime I've contacted Rival I've been beyond impressed with their customer service.


  5. It's like you have read my mind. I was just thinking about making some Indian. I had feeling that you would lead the charge on this. I will definitely need to try this recipe. You are a true pioneer in the world of crockpotting!

  6. I made this last night - soooo good! I like things spicy so I think next time I'll throw in some chili powder for a kick.

    love your site!!

  7. Anonymous5/03/2008

    I made this last night. Good stuff. I hope we see more Indian recipes for the crockpot this year.I love Indian food too.

  8. Anonymous5/03/2008

    I tried this one yesterday and we like it a lot. Because of my husband's intolerance for dairy, I substituted coconut milk for the yogurt and it was very good. I think I'll boost the spices a bit next time to counter the sweetness of the coconut milk, though.

    In my 6-quart crock pot I did 8 frozen chicken breasts for 5.5 hours on low, then it was kept on warm (my crock pot has a warm setting) for another hour while I waited for hub to come home from work. It was cooked perfectly.

  9. Anonymous5/22/2008

    I just found your blog. I am so excited I can't breathe. I love using my crock pot but I get really bored with the recipes. Oh I will be back...

  10. Steph, Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and ideas. I cooked this last night for hubby and I. I did it exactly like you said except only used 2 large chicken breasts cut up into about 7 pieces total. It didn't turn out great and we love Indian. It didn't have the same color as yours in fact the sauce was almost clear even after the yogurt and somewhat bland. It just felt like it was missing something. Do you think the chicken amount would make that much of a difference?

    I do want to try again but I may add some tomato paste next time like the other recipe did. We did eat it all though, thanks for the recipe. Let me know if you have any thoughts.

    I have health issues that prevent me from working and sometimes cooking. The CP is perfect for me, just add a few things and wait. I never knew what to cook though so your site, comments and recipes are perfect. I have several more planned for the next few weeks. Thanks again, Love Stacy

  11. Yum. This one is a keeper.

  12. Anonymous11/17/2008

    I just made this, but I didn't have time for chicken so I tried it with was FANTASTIC. My husband and I both loved it. I sauteed the onions and garlic on the stove and threw them in with the ingredients, including 1# of peeled/deveined/defrosted shrimp. Cooked for about 1 to 1.5 hours on high. Yum.

  13. Anonymous3/04/2009

    It's been years since I've used a slow cooker,(crockpot) since my family dynamic has changed, children grown, etc.
    As an avid fan of Indian food, (and just recently I purchased a crockpot from QVC) I decided to give this recipe a try.
    It's cooking away as I write this.
    Thanks for sharing an wonderful ethnic recipe for an American kitchen tool!

  14. Anonymous3/16/2009

    I've made this twice now and both times were delicious!

    The first time, I followed the recipe almost exactly. The only change was using fresh chicken instead of frozen. Because my crockpot likes to cook things extra fast, the chicken was too dry (entirely my fault). The sauce was still divine.

    The second time, I doubled the ingredients for the sauce, used the same amount of chicken, and reduced the cooking time substantially. After it was done, I removed the chicken and cut it up into chunks before putting it back in the sauce. It came out much better this time; the chicken was moist and the extra sauce helped spread the meal out more.

    The next time I make this dish, I'll be adding one more step. I like a smoother sauce, so a quick blend with my boomstick* should help with that as well as mix the yogurt in a bit better.

    Overall, a fantastic recipe! Thanks as always!

    * Immersion blender

  15. I used the recipe except for the yogurt and kicked it up a notch with a pinch of red pepper flakes using about 8 pieces of chicken tenders frozen and only 1/2 t of the geram masala. I then used a small rice cooker and put 8oz of frozen spinach and combined~~1/4 cup butter~~3/4 of a can of coconut milk (the thick kind)~~1/2 t coriander~~pinch of red pepper flakes~~1/4 t cayenne pepper and 1/2 t geram masala and cooked them on low for the same amount of time. After about 6 hours, I then poured the contents of the rice cooker into the crockpot and had a spicy coconut spinach chicken, It was great!! I got the idea from someone who used coconut milk instead of yogurt but said it wasn't spicy enough. This is only for those who crave spicy like I do.

  16. I'm making this right now, after searching high and low for the garam masala! I added a sweet potato chunked. I'm also using fresh chicken, and have it on high (i'm thinking six hours but maybe this is too long). I'd rather have it done sooner and set the machine on warm.

    It smells great!

  17. I have this cooking now - it smells fantastic! I just stirred in the yogurt, and added in about half a cup of fresh peas from my garden. Thank you for the recipe!

  18. I cooked this with an entire can of coconut milk and used 1/2 of a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes plus some leftover sliced grape tomatoes. Also used frozen chx cutlets, and as they thawed during cooking I took them out, diced them, and put them back in so as to retain their shape. b/c of the extra coconut milk, I def had to add more garam masala, but in the end was a very tasty experiment! Not a true review of the actual recipe, but just putting out there that this can be modified well with what you have!

  19. Anonymous11/30/2010

    Awesome! We served it with naan and basmati rice and couldn't stop eating it!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  20. I think my husband and I must have made this incorrectly. We didn't get any sauce at all, and what sauce we did have was bland. The chicken was also very dry. Any advice? (We used the recipe in the book, which is called "Chicken Masala" there, not Indian Chicken.)

  21. Melinda1/19/2011

    I found this really bland also. Really tomatoeeeeee. I added lots of Garahm Marsala.. But no go. Is it normal for crockpots to bland the spices. Sigh!!

  22. Anonymous1/24/2011

    Yum! It was sooo good, and so easy! This is a keeper!

    So glad to have found this site and am looking forward to trying the other recipes.

    Thanks a bunch!

  23. I've made a number of recipes from this site with some problems (burnt lemon chicken, for one) and I have some very picky eaters in my house. This is an amazing recipe. I just made it for the first time and it's fantasic. Nice and spicy, I didn't have any coriander, (I thought I did and I was midway through putting everything into my slow cooker when I realized it--lesson learned!). Anyway, I can't wait to make it again with all the ingredients. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks!

  24. Could I use bone -in chicken pieces instead of boneless skinless and then take them out and debone before serving? Would this increase the cook time. What adjustments to recipes do you sugest when subbing in bone-in meat? Thanks in advance


  25. im gonna try this tonight hopefully missing the coriander wont matter to much but that mess was high. lol so i skipped it maybe it will still be good

  26. Stephanie you could try chicken thighs they dont fall apart as bad.

  27. Maybe some were bland because they didn't add salt? (I think the recipe author forgot to list it)