A Delicious Low-Carb Indian Dish

Keto Punjabi chicken curry is a flavorful and aromatic Indian dish that combines tender chicken pieces in a rich, creamy curry sauce. This version has been adapted to be keto-friendly by omitting sugar and using full-fat coconut milk. With only 5g net carbs per serving, this curry can be enjoyed guilt-free on a ketogenic diet.

Introduction to Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

Punjabi chicken curry gets its signature taste from a blend of traditional Indian spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and garlic. When combined, these spices give the curry its vibrant yellow color and complex, aromatic flavor.

The chicken is first marinated in yogurt and spices, then sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and more spices to make a flavorful curry sauce. Full-fat coconut milk is stirred in at the end which gives the sauce a rich, silky texture.

By omitting sugar and using coconut milk rather than cream, this recipe has been adapted to be low in carbohydrates while still retaining all the delicious authentic Punjabi flavors. It’s an easy weeknight keto meal the whole family will love!

Why Make Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry?

Here are some of the benefits of making this keto-friendly version of the classic Indian curry:

  • Low in carbs – With only 5g net carbs per serving, it fits into a keto diet.
  • High in fat – Coconut milk adds healthy fats to keep you satisfied.
  • Packed with flavor – All the aromatic spices make this curry bursting with flavor.
  • Protein-rich – Chicken provides a good source of protein on keto.
  • Gluten-free – It’s naturally gluten-free which is keto-friendly.
  • Dairy-free option – For a dairy-free option, skip the yogurt.

So if you’re looking for a delicious keto curry that’s easy to make, give this Punjabi chicken curry a try! The incredible flavors will have you coming back for more.

Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry Ingredients

To make this low-carb curry, you’ll need:

For the marinade:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – Using dark meat like thighs results in juicier chicken.
  • Plain Greek yogurt – Adds a tangy flavor and tenderizes the chicken.
  • Ginger-garlic paste – For an aromatic flavor base.
  • Garam masala – This spice mix adds an earthy depth.
  • Turmeric – Gives the chicken a beautiful golden color.
  • Paprika – Adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Salt – To season the chicken.

For the curry:

  • Olive oil – For sautéing the aromatics.
  • Onion – Sliced onions add sweetness.
  • Tomatoes – Provides tangy tomato flavor.
  • Tomato paste – Thickens and enriches the sauce.
  • Full-fat coconut milk – For creamy texture and healthy fats.
  • Spices – Coriander, cumin, garam masala, etc.
  • Fresh cilantro – Bright, fresh garnish.

That’s it! Just a handful of simple ingredients transforms into this rich, complex curry.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

Making this low-carb curry at home is easy. Follow these simple steps:

Marinate the Chicken Thighs to Infuse Flavor

  • Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl, combine the chicken with yogurtgarlic-ginger pastegaram masalaturmericpaprika and salt.
  • Mix thoroughly so the chicken is fully coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins to overnight.

Prep the Aromatic Ingredients for the Curry

  • Dice 1 onion. Mince 4 cloves garlic and 1-inch ginger.
  • Chop the cilantro leaves and stems.
  • Drain excess liquid from the canned diced tomatoes. Open the can of coconut milk.

Brown the Chicken to Build Flavor

  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces in batches. Brown the chicken on both sides.
  • Remove the browned chicken from the pan and set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics to Add Depth

  • To the same pan, add more oil and sauté onions until soft and browned.
  • Add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.

Simmer the Sauce to Let Flavors Develop

  • Add the spices – cumincorianderturmericgaram masala. Cook for 30 secs.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 mins.
  • Add 1 cup water and simmer the sauce for 10 mins until slightly thickened.

Finish the Curry and Enjoy

  • Add the coconut milk and browned chicken pieces.
  • Simmer for 5 mins until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Finish with the chopped cilantro.

There you go! Enjoy your flavorful keto-friendly Punjabi chicken curry.

Pro Tip:

For best flavor, marinate the chicken for several hours or overnight before cooking. This allows the chicken to fully absorb the aromatic spices.

Customize Your Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

One of the great things about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can easily customize it to your tastes and what you have on hand:

  • Use chicken breasts for an even lower fat option.
  • Add veggies like cauliflower, spinach, or bell peppers.
  • Use coconut cream for an ultra creamy texture.
  • For more heat, add sliced chili peppers or cayenne.
  • Play with the spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, etc.
  • Garnish with cilantro, crunchy nuts or coconut flakes.
  • Serve with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles or keto naan.

The possibilities are endless! Add your own touch to make this curry your own.

Top Tips for the Best Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

Here are some helpful tips for ensuring your homemade Punjabi chicken curry turns out perfectly flavorful every time:

  • Marinate the chicken – Letting the chicken marinate for at least 30 mins, or up to overnight, allows the flavors to permeate. Don’t skip this step!
  • Brown the chicken well – Take the time to properly brown the chicken pieces for enhanced flavor. Don’t rush this step.
  • Bloom the spices – Blooming the spices briefly in oil helps intensify their flavors. It makes a difference!
  • Simmer the sauce – Let the sauce simmer to allow the flavors to meld and the tomatoes to soften. Don’t skimp on simmer time.
  • Finish with cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds brightness and is essential. Sprinkle it on at the end.
  • Adjust spices to taste – Spices vary in intensity and freshness. Taste and adjust spice amounts to your preferences.

Follow these tips and you’ll have a flavorful keto curry that’s even better than takeout!

Frequently Asked Questions About Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

What spices are used in Punjabi chicken curry?

Some of the key spices used include cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, paprika, and cayenne or chili powder. This unique blend of spices gives Punjabi curries their signature flavor.

What should I serve with keto Punjabi chicken curry?

Cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, keto naan and roasted vegetables all pair well as lower carb side options. For dessert, a few bites of keto-friendly gulab jamun or rasmalai are perfect Indian-inspired treats.

How long will the curry last in the fridge?

The curry should last 3-4 days refrigerated in an airtight container. The flavors may deepen over time. You can also freeze it for longer term storage.

Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The curry will have a leaner taste. Keep an eye on the cooking time as breasts often cook faster.

Is yogurt essential for the marinade?

While not 100% necessary, the yogurt does help tenderize the chicken and impart flavor. For a dairy-free option, use unsweetened coconut yogurt or some lime juice instead.

What’s the difference between garam masala and curry powder?

Garam masala is a spice blend native to India, while curry powder is a Westernized spice blend. Garam masala has a warmer flavor profile perfect for this curry.

The Health Benefits of Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

One of the great things about this curry is it delivers a variety of health benefits:

  • High in protein – Chicken provides a good source of satiating protein.
  • Low carb – Under 5g net carbs per serving, so keto-friendly.
  • Nutritious spices – Spices like turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon are antioxidants.
  • Anti-inflammatory – Ginger and turmeric contain compounds that reduce inflammation.
  • Heart healthy fats – Coconut milk provides MCTs that support heart health.

By combining nutritious ingredients like chicken, spices, and coconut milk, this curry promotes overall health. It keeps you feeling full and energized while providing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits – all for under 5g net carbs!

How to Store Leftover Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

Like many curries, the flavors of this Punjabi chicken curry improve over time. Follow these tips for storing leftovers:

  • Let the curry cool completely before storing it.
  • Transfer to an airtight container or jar. Leave some headspace at the top.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • You can also freeze it for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
  • When reheating, add a splash of water to thin the sauce if needed.
  • Gently reheat on the stovetop or microwave until hot.
  • Add fresh cilantro before serving to revive the brightness.

With proper storage, you can enjoy this flavorful curry all week long! The spices will continue to meld together yielding even bolder flavor over time.

Pro Tip:

Store the curry in individual portions so you can easily grab and reheat a serving whenever you need a quick keto meal.


Keto Punjabi chicken curry is an aromatic, flavorful dish that proves you don’t have to give up rich, comforting curries on a low-carb diet. With its delicious blend of spices, protein-packed chicken, and creamy coconut milk, this curry will satisfy any curry craving.

The clever use of keto-friendly ingredients allows you to enjoy the signature flavors of India while still keeping carbs low. So treat yourself and make this easy recipe at home. Your kitchen will fill with the intoxicating aromas of cumin, coriander, turmeric and more as you cook up this tasty keto meal. One bite will transport your taste buds to India!

Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

Keto Punjabi Chicken Curry

A delicious keto-friendly Punjabi chicken curry that's easy to make and full of authentic Indian flavors. It's perfect for a weeknight dinner or meal prep.

  • Large skillet
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter or coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add chicken pieces and sprinkle with garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is lightly browned.
  3. Pour in coconut milk and water. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.
  4. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro. Serve over cauliflower rice or with naan for a complete meal. Enjoy!
  • Ghee can be substituted for coconut oil for an authentic flavor.
Main Course

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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