Chicken Indad Curry

By Published On: 17 Jul '21Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

This Chicken Indad Curry is rich, sweet, spicy and tangy all in one bowl and loved by even those who claim not to like a curry. This curry never gets old.

Indad is a traditional Mangalorean pork or chicken curry. Traditional chicken Indad is the most favourite family celebratory dinner in Mangalore, a coastal town to the south-west of India. This is one of the most indulgent Mangalorean curries and this is the curry that food dreams are made of – sauteed seasoned chicken cooked in an authentic Mangalorean homemade masala blend and simmered to perfection. A well-balanced curry like this with sweet and tangy tones is guaranteed to blow your mind. A curry like this never gets old!

As a child growing up in a Mangalorean home, it is a celebration when we eat chicken or pork Indad. Almost always, the rooster/chicken (kombo/kombi) for this recipe was home grown or if it was pork, it was almost always bought straight from a mixed business bakery next door where they used to slaughter pigs. The flavour of the home-grown country chicken cannot be beaten by any of the supermarket chickens, but we have to be happy with what we can buy! For those of you who have a copy of my cookbook, ‘Deliciously Indian’, Chicken Indad is already a personal favourite traditional Mangalorean chicken curry for many. Here it is, I am posting it on my website for those who would love to cook this Indad style curry for a family gathering or a celebration.

Is Vindaloo and Indad the same?

After I arrived in Australia, many-a-times I wondered if Indad and Vindaloo curries had any similarities in taste and flavour. They do have similar undertones however they are both very different curries. Vindaloo is a Goan pork preparation in which the meat is marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic and cooked in a spicy sauce made up of many spices such as dried red chillies, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, cumin and mustard seeds just to name a few. These days you can find poultry, mutton, fish and vegetable vindaloo versions as well on restaurant menus. Every household has their own version of Vindaloo.

Indad on the other hand, is a traditional Mangalorean way of making this deep earthy coloured velvet textured curry. It can be prepared with chicken or pork and both these preparations are unique to many Mangalorean households, be it in India or abroad. The curry is based on a thick sauce of onions and balanced with a combination of herbs and spices. Vinegar and sugar bring out the flavours perfectly while giving the curry a perfect balance of sweet, spice and tang. You must try this recipe, if you really want to know what chicken Indad tastes like.

There is a bit of work involved to cook this curry, but this glorious Indad will be a delight to all indad lovers. Full of flavour and a velvety texture, this is the most popular Mangalorean chicken curry. Serve it hot with sannas, neer dosa or appams for the ultimate curry experience you will remember for the rest of your life, just like me! and now my son! I think you will like it too!

Tips for making a velvety looking chicken curry:-

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare this curry. Have all your ingredients ready before you decide to cook this curry.

Check your spices to ensure that they are not out of date because old spices do not yield a good colour. The colour of the chilli powder you use makes a significant difference to this curry. The lighter the chilli powder, the lighter the curry. In order to get a deep colour, I buy a packet of dried Kashmiri chillies and also a packet of long red chillies from my local Indian supermarket. I soak these chillies for 4 to 5 hours in vinegar to soften them as once the chillies are softened, they yield a much brighter shade of colour which enhances the aesthetics of this special curry.

You will need a good blender to blend these chillies and other ingredients to a fine paste, failing which, this curry does not yield a velvety finish when it goes through the frying process.

It is important to fry this paste in ghee or oil for a certain amount of time to bring out the flavours and the deep authentic colour that we are looking for in an indad. Indad without this deep earthy shade will look like a normal red chilli-based chicken curry. To achieve this unique colour, my mother used to fry the ground paste for at least 30 minutes and her curries used to have that deep colour that made it enticing to have as soon as it hit the dining table. I do not have neither time nor the patience to do this, so I fry my masala for about 20 minutes at the most. But don’t panic, this comes by practise. Each time you make this Indad, you get better at it and know how much to fry to get that deep indad colour.

Taste the curry a few times during the frying and cooking process and adjust the seasoning as per your taste eg., you may add salt, vinegar and sugar as per your taste, and during the frying stage, you can also add some additional chilli powder to suit your taste. Kashmiri chilli powder is not spicy, so you can add up to a tablespoon to enhance colour without the kick.

This curry tastes better if left to mature for a day or two. I also find a tablespoon of ghee gives a great flavour if you add it towards the end of cooking.

It is well worth knowing that every household has their own version of indad and let me tell you, every indad tastes delicious as each household will tweak it a little bit to suit their own tastebuds.

This is a recipe that is inspired by many many family gatherings growing up in India and is dedicated to my mum. My mother would prepare this chicken or pork Indad each time I visited India and no holiday would be complete without this curry. This Indad makes me nostalgic and reminds me of my time together with my mother, father and my 2 siblings who had not left the nest. This is the curry that filled me with joy and made me feel that I was really at home sharing the food that felt like home. She knew it was my most favourite curry and always saved a home grown rooster for this special curry. Appams (a type of fermented rice bread) and Indad were a much-loved combo then and now. Now each time I make indad, it takes me straight back to my dining table at home in India, those family gatherings and a tear or two. My mum would have loved to taste this Indad and make recommendations if any improvements were needed.

Don’t be surprised when you see the ingredients that make the base for this Indad. All spices that you might already have in your pantry.

So, now that you know what is involved in making this Mangalorean style indad, please give it a try and let me know how it turned out. If you remember to take a photo, I would be delighted to see a photo too! I am a very visual person!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please be sure to rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below. If you want to see more recipe inspirations, you can follow me on instagram @lavina_mendonsa.

Chicken Indad Curry

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
Indad is a traditional Mangalorean curry, made with chicken or pork, often served alongside Indian rice breads – Sannas, neer dosa or appams.  Served during Christmas season or special family celebrations, this luxurious chicken curry is the most indulgent of chicken curries.  It is rich, sweet, spicy and tangy all in one bowl, and is loved by even those who claim not to like a curry.  It’s a dish that never gets old and a dish that you can never buy anywhere!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time (optional) 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Mangalorean
Servings 6 people


  • kg skinless chicken thigh fillets cut into 3½cm pieces or 1 skinless chicken with bone cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes cut into ½cm rounds
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. sugar or to taste
  • Oil for frying potatoes

For the Masala

  • 4 green chillies sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic sliced
  • 3 tbsp. mint leaves roughly chopped and 1 tbsp. extra for garnishing
  • 5 medium onions roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. red chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. cumin powder
  • 12 black pepper corns
  • 10 cloves
  • 4 cm cinnamon stick cut into bits or ½ tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp. sultanas soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
  • ½ tsp. tamarind concentrate
  • 150 mL white vinegar


  • Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. turmeric for 30 minutes (optional).
  • Heat oil in a heavy based non-stick frying pan and fry the potatoes until golden. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
  • Heat a heavy based saucepan on medium and add half cup oil in which the potatoes were fried. Sauté the chicken in three batches for about 4 minutes on each side on medium or low fire. Complete all batches and set aside.
  • Blend all the ingredients under the heading “For the Masala” into a fine paste. Wash the blender with 250mL water and reserve the water. Using the same saucepan add 5 tbsp. extra oil and fry the sliced onion for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Add the ground masala and stir to combine. Fry this masala for 15-20 minutes stirring constantly noting this masala spits during frying. Please wear gloves to protect your hands. Add 2 tbsp. masala water from time to time if the mixture sticks to the bottom of pan.
  • Add the sautéed chicken pieces, reserved blender water, sugar and mix well. Add another 600mL to 700mL water. Mix well and season to taste with salt, vinegar and sugar bearing in mind that the marinated chicken has salt in it. Adjust the consistency of the gravy. The gravy should be not too thick or too runny and should taste mildly sweet and sour. Close the lid and cook for 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If there is too much gravy, open the lid and simmer for 5 minutes until gravy thickens.
  • Dish out the chicken and garnish with fried potatoes and serve with rice, pulao, or any variety of Indian breads such as sannas, panpoley (neer dosa) or appams.


  1. You may add 1 tbsp. ghee at the end of Step 5 to enhance the taste of this curry.
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Indad Curry, Indad Curry, Mangalorean Chicken Curry, Mangalorean festive Chicken Curry, Poultry
Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!

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