Nigerian Chicken Curry

I came up with this Nigerian Chicken Curry recipe as a result of a reader’s email:

I live in Kebbi, and it has been really hard to follow your recipes. I wanted to make one of your chicken curry recipes and I found out I don’t have many of the spices you mention…”

Nigerian Chicken Curry

Nigerian Chicken Curry

I realize not everyone lives in places that have shops which readily stock things like cumin and cardamom, and I apologize for not suggesting alternatives. That’s why I developed this recipe. You are sure to find all the ingredients in any open market in Nigeria.

I actually went over the top the first time I made this recipe. Instead of using cornstarch to thicken the sauce, I milled dry Abacha (tapioca shreds) and used that as a thickener. Then I realized cornstarch might even be more readily available than Abacha, so I used cornstarch the next time.

This is a really warming dish. I mean, I could even eat it with a spoon-it is that good. The spicy curry really hits the spot with just the right amount of pepper.

If you leave out the thickener, you would have a lovely bowl of chicken pepper soup.

Nigerian Chicken Curry Recipe

Nigerian Chicken Curry


  • 1 medium chicken, cut into parts
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of uziza seeds/ashanti pepper
  • 2 Ehuru pods/calabash nutmeg
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch


Toast the uziza seeds, bay leaves and ehuru in a dry pan till the uziza seeds start “dancing” in the pan, about 2 minutes on high heat.

Grind the uziza, ehuru, and bay leaves till fine. If you can’t get it too fine, sift it.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, and brown on each side for 1 minute each. Remove from pan.

To the same pan, add the minced onion. Stir, and add the ground uziza mixture. Stir continously for 2 minutes.

Add 4 cups of water, salt and stock cubes. Bring to a boil, and add chicken. Lower the heat, and cover the pot for 15 minutes.

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water. Add to the chicken. Simmer for 1 minute, and take off the heat.



Hi, my name is Chidinma. I’ve been happily married for 4+ years (actually almost 6 years now), and my husband and I have been trying to have our own children for almost all the time we’ve been married, with no success…yet. We haven’t lost hope (far from it), and we believe it will happen very soon.

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