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Super Simple Chicken Curry

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Adjust Servings:
500g Chicken Thighs Chopped
2 Onion Sliced
2 Garlic Finely Chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger We used a jar of pregrated fresh ginger!
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
to taste Salt
to taste Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
1 can Coconut Milk
400ml Chicken Stock
1 Pack Fresh Spinach Or less if fussy
1 Tbsp Corn Flour Made into a paste with 2 tbsp of water
Optional Chilli Flakes

Super Simple Chicken Curry

An easy, from scratch Chicken Curry cooked by Scouts on a Campfire


    A thick, creamy curry which Barry said might be the best curry he's ever had cooked on a campfire

    • 60
    • Serves 6
    • Medium




    There are certain meals that you can almost guarantee will appear on most standing camp menus, Chicken Curry, Spaghetti Bolognese and maybe even a Stew. They come up time and time again because they are tasty and enjoyed by most and because they are easy to make for a crowd. Bolognese and even chilli are simple to make from scratch but a lot of people don’t ever attempt to cook a curry from scratch on camp. They worry that the spices are hard to balance or that it’ll need to cook for hours to thicken. There is a little truth in these concern but they are easily addressed.

    Getting some good colour on the chicken and onions.

    Flavour Base

    When cooking the onions, give them plenty of time to go soft, translucent and maybe even caramelise a little. This is a great base for your flavour.

    Scouts need a lesson on presentation and plating up…

    The Chicken

    For the chicken, use thigh meat. Yes, it’s a little bit grosser looking than breast but it tastes sooooo much better. Add it to the pan with the onions and DO NOT TOUCH it. The more you move the chicken, the more juice will come out. You’ll end up boiling the chicken instead of frying. Move only once or twice. It doesn’t need to be cooked through at this stage, you’re just adding colour. It’ll finish cooking in the sauce. If you do end up with a very wet pan, drain some of the juice off.

    Chicken Thigh is definitely the right meat for this curry.

    The Spices

    The spices for this Chicken Curry couldn’t be easier. But before you add them, have all of the wet ingredients ready. The spices will burn quickly so add them, stir them through for 30-60 seconds and then immediately add the wet ingredients. I usually let those who want it spicy to add their own chilli flakes to their own plate. It’s important everyone eats and being too spicy may put some off.

    The Veg

    When adding the spinach, your Scouts may panic. It looks like a lot! But it wilts down to nothing. They will barely even notice it’s there when it comes to eating it. Don’t let them leave it out, they can pick it off their plate once they’ve tried it. Encouraging children to eat a healthy diet and to try new things is an important part of Scout Camp.

    It wilts down, you’ll barely know it’s there!

    How to make your Simple Chicken Curry thick and creamy in less time

    We’re using coconut milk which goes a long way to creating that creamy texture we’re after. The cornflour is optional, it creates a slightly thicker sauce. This is a time saver! You could let your curry simmer away to thicken up, but this isn’t always conducive to an evening Scout meeting. Simply add a tablespoon of cornflour to a glass with 2 tablespoons of water and stir until it becomes a thick paste. When it’s smooth, you can add this to the curry. It can have a slightly delayed affect. Don’t just keep adding cornflour!

    The Recipe

    Here is a little insight into what the Scouts in my Section see when we’re cooking like this. The recipe, and any shared ingredients(spices, oil, etc.), stay on a central table for them to use. A leader talks the PL and a Designated Cook through the recipe and answers any questions. They then go off to cook their meal. The ingredients list and simplified recipe stay on the table so that anyone can check or consult it at any time. 

    Ingredients and recipe scrawled on notebook for Scouts to follow

    This is a tasty Simple Chicken Curry which your Scouts can cook completely from scratch. Served it up with naans and fluffy white rice.

    Best Curry Ever? Maybe.

    Experienced Scouter Barry was heard to say, “That is the best Chicken Curry I have ever had… from a campfire.” I am taking that as a massive endorsement!


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    Fry chicken for around 5 minutes, do not move too much.


    Add the onion and cook for another 2-3 minutes until soft.


    Add garlic, ginger, spices and a little salt and pepper. Stir through for 30-60 seconds.


    Add the puree, tinned tomatoes, chicken stock, coconut milk and cornflour paste. Stir it all together. Let it cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. This is the time to cook your rice. We used boil in the bag rice this time for simplicity.


    When rice is ready and curry is at a good thickness, add the spinach. Serve immediately with rice, bread and extra chilli flakes for those who need them.

    Mark T

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