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Adventures in 1970s food: classic chicken curry recipe

I recently found a heap of recipe cards from the early 70s by Marguerite Patten. This is her take on the classic chicken curry.

1y ago

I recently found a heap of recipe cards from the early 70s by Marguerite Patten. This is her take on the classic chicken curry.

When I saw James' Chicken Tikka last week, I just had to show off this recipe. There is no skimping, it's calorific and most probably how your mum made it.

This is a basic scratch curry recipe that can be adjusted to taste.

1970s chicken curry

A classic recipe from Marguerite Patten, the queen of weird cookery.

MealMain/Dinner Party


  • 1 jointed chicken
  • 2oz/50g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • Half oz/15g flour
  • 1 teaspoon of curry paste
  • 1 pint/generous half litre chicken stock
  • 1 or 2 chillis, optional
  • Good pinch of powdered ginger
  • Good pinch of powdered turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of chutney
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Seasoning
  • 2oz/50g desiccated coconut
  • 1oz/25g sultanas
  • To garnish:
  • Thin rings of lightly fried onion, green pepper, lemon rind, sprig of bay leaves


  1. Fry jointed chicken in hot butter. Once done, lift out.
  2. Fry chopped onion and apple for a few minutes, then add curry powder, flour and curry paste. Fry onion for garnish too.
  3. Cook 2-3 minutes then carefully blend in most of the stock.
  4. Bring to the boil and cook until a thin sauce.
  5. Add spices, chutney, lemon juice, seasoning and the pieces of chicken.
  6. Pour over the rest of the stock over the coconut and allow this to stand for a while, then add strained liquid to the curry. Fresh coconut or coconut milk can be used. Add sultanas. Simmer gently for 2 - 3 hours.
  7. Garnish with onion etc.

Recipe Notes

The instructions come straight from the recipe card. If you don't have a jointed chicken, breasts would do just fine, just be careful not to overcook the chicken too much at the beginning as it could go dry as it will be sat in a pot for hours. It goes without saying that you need rice too...(Captain Obvious)

Recipe by

Marguerite Patten

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Comments (8)

  • Great recipe πŸ˜ƒ Thanks for sharing.

      1 year ago
  • Where’s the boiled egg?

      1 year ago
    • No egg included in the recipe - maybe the idea of eggs and curry was a bit too, um, outlandish? Although they were insisting on putting sultanas in - which is just not right.

        1 year ago
  • Seems simple. I don't believe in the sultanas though - I hated it when my mum added them to curries.

      1 year ago
    • I am with you on that. The great thing is that you don't have to include them, and you wouldn't lose too much from the end result. I wouldn't personally add them!

        1 year ago
  • We had those cards. Remember mum had them in a special plastic box. That takes me back πŸ€“

      1 year ago