Malai Chicken Curry Recipe by Chef Santosh Thomas at 3 Leaves Blackrock

Malai Chicken Curry Recipe

This Malai Chicken Curry recipe from Chef Santosh Thomas at 3 Leaves in Blackrock is a fantastic accompaniment to rice or roti and will bring a taste of Indian cuisine into your home.


– 500g of deboned, skinless, chicken thighs

For marination

– 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
– 2 tbsp sunflower oil
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– Salt and black pepper to taste

To grind

– 5 cloves
– 4 green cardamom
– 1 inch cinnamon stick
– 1 black cardamom
– 1 bay leaf

For gravy

– 20g cashew nuts grinded into a paste
– 3 green chillies
– 1 inch ginger
– 2 tbsp sunflower oil
– 4 white onion puree
– ¾ cups of low salt chicken stock
– 1 pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp of warm milk
– Salt to taste
– 2 tbsp of fresh cream.
– 1 small pinch of grounded green cardamom
– Green coriander for garnish


1. Marinate the chicken thighs with the ingredients for marination as above and let it sit for 30 minutes.
2. Finely grind up the spices.
3. Bring a thick bottomed pan to medium heat. Pour the oil, add the onion puree, ginger, green chillies and sauté it on medium flame until the oil is separated from the mix.
4. Add the ground spices and cook for 1-2 minutes (keep stirring the paste as it can burn easily).
5. Add the cashew nut paste and half of the chicken stock and keep stirring until the paste gets thick and the oil separates from the sides.
6. Add the chicken and the rest of the stock, as well as the saffron with milk. Mix well, close the pan with a lid and cook on a low flame until done.
7. Adjust the amount and thickness of gravy by adding warm water or chicken stock to your liking. Adjust seasoning as needed.
8. Finish with cream mixed into the curry and a pinch of green cardamom. Add some fresh coriander for garnish.


3 Leaves is a unique Indian casual dining room, situated in the heart of Blackrock Market in south county Dublin. This friendly restaurant is run by passionate husband and wife team, Chef Santosh and Milie. The name 3 Leaves originated from the three herbs commonly used in Indian cuisine – Mint, Coriander and Curry Leaves.

They serve exciting and mouth-watering Indian Street Food and regional curries using seasonal ingredients, from different states of the vast and incredible India. Their menu changes frequently and features a taster menu where you can experience most of Chef Santosh’s distinctive curries.

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