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Recipe Video: Chidambaram Chicken

An easy, one-pot meal that's low effort with big flavor

Hi Substackers!!

Hope everyone had a restful MLK Jr. Day weekend!

I wanted to share a recipe with you today that is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve been making this dish since college and it’s named after my uncle!

Chidambaram Chicken is an easy one-pot meal that comes together quickly. The only specialty ingredient you’ll need is Garam Masala, an Indian spice blend. While it isn’t vegetarian, you can substitute meaty mushrooms like hen of the woods or pressed firm tofu so it easily can be.

Hope you all like this recipe! Please let me know what you think of it and videos like this on Substack in the comments!

Chidambaram Chicken

Based on the recipe from my very first cookbook ‘Easy Exotic’


2 whole bonesless, skinless chicken thighs (you can also use breasts) halved and cut into 1-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, diced

2 red bell peppers, diced

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon Garam Masala

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried red chile pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)

1 cup water, or as needed

1 cup plain yogurt (I like this Indian-style yogurt from DAH!)

½ cup fresh mint minced, or to taste

Basmati rice, to serve


  1. In a big bowl, add chicken, seasoning with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and a pinch of Garam Masala. Set aside.

  2. Add oil to a big skillet or non-stick pan set over medium heat. Sweat the onions for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and bell pepper to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes more. Turn the heat down to low if the vegetables are catching.

  3. Add the Garam Masala, stirring for another minute or two. Stir in chile flakes (if using) and then add the chicken. Toss to coat chicken evenly, then add 1 cup of water, cover the pan and let simmer. 

  4. Stir in the yogurt and taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Turn down the heat, simmering until the chicken is just cooked through. 

  5. Sprinkle the mint overtop and turn off the heat. Stir everything together and serve with warm Basmati rice.

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Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi