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Paleo Chicken Achari

The Achari is one of my all time favourite curries – it has such a great depth and abundance of complex flavours.  An achari is essentially what you call a ‘pickle’ dish containing all of the spices used in a pickle, so it’s a bit sour but in a pleasant, clean sort of way.  It’s not as much as a well known curry as others so I hope people will try out this recipe because it delicious!

This recipe doesn’t require you to make a masala gravy like other curries so it is easy peasy to make and jam packed full of flavour! Don’t let the stuffed chillies fool you this dish is relatively mild, so if you like it hotter feel free to leave those seeds in and add even more chilli powder!

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes


1.5 tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp nigella seeds
1.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1 large lemon
4 green chillies (halved & de-seeded)
6 cloves of garlic
3″ piece of ginger root (peeled & diced)
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 large tomatoes (diced)
2 medium onions (diced)
500g chicken breast pieces (For a Vegan substitution try 250g cauliflower & 250g aubergine)
250g / 1 cup of coconut yogurt
Large bunch of fresh coriander (roughly chopped)


  1. In a non-stick pan dry fry (do not use oil) the cumin, nigella, fenugreek and mustard seeds until roasted and slightly brown.  Remove 2 teaspoons of the mix and place aside for later.
  2. With the rest of the roasted mix place into a pestle and mortar and grind into a fine powder. Pour into a cup and add 1/4 tsp of tumeric.  Reserve the remaining 1/4 tsp of the tumeric for the ginger and garlic paste.
  3. Add the lemon juice and make into a thick paste.
  4. Slice a few small slits into the chill halves and then stuff with the spice paste.  Set aside for later and hold on to any remaining paste too.
  5. In a pestle and mortar grind up the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, remaining 1/4 tsp tumeric and salt into a paste.
  6. Place a large pan or wok on a low heat and melt your coconut oil.  Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add your onions and chopped tomatoes and cook until softened.
  8. Add your chicken, any remaining roasted seed paste and coconut yogurt. Cover and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes.
  9.  Sprinkle over your roasted spice seeds and add your stuffed chillies, gently burying them into the curry – do not stir. Cover and cook until the chicken is done.
  10. Add the fresh roughly chopped coriander and serve with sweet potatoes or cauli rice!


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  • Reply
    25th September 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I used to make “Achari Murgh” from Pat Chapman’s “New Curry Bible” in my pre-Paleo days, but hadn’t thought about it again until now – pickle=sugar=no-no…

    I’ll definitely give this version a try…thanks for the idea…

    • Reply
      25th September 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Hi paleovirtus, nice to see another Paleo curry lover! Yes sugar is a definite no-no… I actually don’t think that traditional Achari has any sugar in the recipe, they tend to do that to cater to the Western world! Let me know what you think if you make it 🙂

  • Reply
    50 Paleo Indian recipes
    14th May 2015 at 3:47 am

    […] 34.] Paleo Chicken Achari […]

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