A Receipt to Curry after the Indian Manner


  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (Jane Fowles 'curree' powder or generic Madras style)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • basmati rice, to serve
  • fruit chutney or pickle, to serve


This recipe is part of Martha Lloyd's recipe collection, published in The Jane Austen cookbook (Maggie Black & Deirdre Le Faye, British Museum Press, 1995, p56). Martha was a close friend of Jane Austen's, and after a long association with the family she married Jane's brother Francis. Her cookbook also included a recipe for 'curree' powder, given to her from another family friend, Mrs Jane Fowle. It is ideal for this recipe, otherwise use a mild Madras style store-bought blend.

Cut two Chickens as for fricasseeing, wash them clean & put them in a stew pan with as much water as will cover them, with a large spoonful of salt sprinkle them & let them boil till tender covered close all the time, skim them well; when boiled enough take up the Chickens & put the liquor of them in a pan, then put half a pound of fresh butter in the pan & brown it a little, put into it two cloves of garlic, a large onion sliced & let these all fry brown often shaking the pan, then put in Chickens & sprinkle over them two or three spoonfuls of curry powder, then cover them close & let the Chickens do till brown frequently shaking the Pan, then put in the Liquor the Chickens were boiled in & let all stew till tender. If acid is agreeable squeeze the juice of a Lemon or Orange into it.



Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, trimming away any visible fat.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the chicken pieces over low heat until they start to brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Sauté the garlic and onion until softened. Sprinkle the curry powder over the onions and sauté gently, stirring until the powder is evenly distributed through the onions.
Add 1 cup of chicken stock, stirring to incorporate any brownings from the bottom of the frying pan. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan. Add the remaining stock, taste for salt and spiciness – the amount of salt will depend on the stock you have used; add cayenne if using.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally as the sauce thickens. Add a little water if the curry becomes too dry.
Add lemon juice and the curry is ready to serve.
Serve with basmati rice and fruit chutney on the side.

This recipe appeared in the post A curious “curree” – a taste of Jane Austen at Elizabeth Farm on April 05, 2013.

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