How many calories does chicken curry and rice have?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in chicken curry and rice can vary greatly depending on the ingredients and preparations methods used. However, on average, a serving of chicken curry with rice contains around 500-800 calories. The chicken curry itself provides around 200-400 calories per serving, while the rice adds an additional 300-400 calories. So a typical plate with around 1 cup of rice and 1-2 cups of curry sauce with chicken will supply roughly 500-800 calories. The calories come mainly from fat in the curry sauce and carbohydrates in the rice. Using lean cuts of chicken, lowering the fat content in the curry, and reducing rice portion sizes can lower the calorie count of this meal.

Calories in Chicken Curry

Chicken curry refers to a wide range of dishes that combine chicken, curry spices, and a sauce or gravy. The calorie content can range quite a bit based on the specific ingredients used:

  • Chicken – A 3 ounce serving of cooked chicken breast contains around 110-170 calories depending on whether the skin is included.
  • Curry paste – Curry pastes are made from blending ingredients like chilies, spices, garlic, shallots, lemongrass. They provide around 20-60 calories per tablespoon.
  • Coconut milk – Light coconut milk has around 40 calories per 1/4 cup. Full fat coconut milk has about 130 calories.
  • Oils – The type of oil used to fry aromatics or make the curry sauce adds 120-130 calories per tablespoon.
  • Nuts – Cashews, almonds and other nuts may be used to thicken and add flavor to curries. They contain 160-180 calories per ounce.
  • Cream – Some curries use cream or coconut cream to add richness. These add about 100 calories per tablespoon.

So in summary, a typical chicken curry containing 3 ounces of chicken, 2 tablespoons of curry paste, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of oil, and some nuts or cream can add up to around 300-500 calories per serving. Using leaner ingredients like chicken breast, light coconut milk, reducing oils, and limiting nuts/cream can create lighter curries in the 200-300 calorie range.

Calories in Rice

Plain boiled white rice supplies around 130 calories per 1/2 cup cooked. So rice can add a significant amount of calories to a chicken curry meal. Here are the calorie counts for common rice varieties:

  • White rice – 130 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Brown rice – 110 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Jasmine rice – 160 calories per 1/2 cup
  • Basmati rice – 170 calories per 1/2 cup

The calorie content of rice is mainly determined by its carbohydrate content. So pay attention to portion sizes, and reduce rice servings to help lower overall calorie intake when pairing with curry dishes.

Chicken Curry and Rice Calorie Totals

Combining a chicken curry with rice can create a meal with anywhere from 500-800 calories depending on the preparations. Here are some estimates:

  • 1 cup white rice + 1 cup low calorie chicken curry = 530 calories
  • 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup high calorie chicken curry = 700 calories
  • 2 cups white rice + 2 cups medium calorie chicken curry = 860 calories

As a general guideline, here are the calorie totals for chicken curry and rice based on typical serving sizes:

  • 1 cup rice + 1 cup curry = 500-600 calories
  • 1 cup rice + 2 cups curry = 600-800 calories
  • 2 cups rice + 1 cup curry = 600-700 calories
  • 2 cups rice + 2 cups curry = 800-900 calories

To make a lower calorie chicken curry and rice meal, reduce the portion sizes of rice to 1/2 cup, use lean chicken cuts, limit fat and oils in the curry, and load up on non-starchy vegetables to add volume and nutrients.

How to Reduce Calories in Chicken Curry and Rice

Here are some tips for lightening up this classic dish:

  • Use lean cuts of chicken or skinless chicken breast – Saves 50-100 calories per serving compared to chicken thighs or drumsticks.
  • Cook with minimal oil – Limit oil to 1-2 teaspoons. Choose healthier oils like olive or avocado oil.
  • Lower the fat content in curry – Use light coconut milk. Avoid adding extra nuts, cream or coconut cream.
  • Increase vegetables – Add extra veggies like cauliflower, eggplant or okra to the curry.
  • Reduce rice portions – Stick to 1/2 cup cooked rice per serving.
  • Cook brown rice instead of white – Saves around 20 calories per 1/2 cup.
  • Flavor rice with spices – Cook rice in broth and spices instead of oil.
  • Load up on salad or non-starchy veg on the side – Fill up on nutrient-dense, low cal veggies.

Making these simple modifications can easily reduce the calorie count by 200-300 calories per serving, while still delivering full flavor.

Low Calorie Chicken Curry and Rice Recipes

Here are some tasty, lighter recipes for chicken curry and rice:

Cauliflower Rice Chicken Curry Bowl

  • 1 cup cauliflower rice – 30 calories
  • 1 cup shredded chicken breast – 110 calories
  • 1 cup light curry sauce – 150 calories
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables – 30 calories
  • TOTAL = 320 calories

Chicken and Vegetable Coconut Curry

  • 3 ounces chicken breast – 150 calories
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables – 80 calories
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk – 60 calories
  • Spices and aromatics – 50 calories
  • 1/2 cup brown rice – 110 calories
  • TOTAL = 450 calories

Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower Rice

  • 3 ounces chicken breast – 150 calories
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice – 30 calories
  • 1/2 cup tomato tikka masala sauce – 90 calories
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt – 40 calories
  • TOTAL = 310 calories

So you can still enjoy flavorful Indian-inspired chicken curries over rice while controlling calories by altering the ingredients and being mindful of portions.

Nutritional Benefits of Chicken Curry and Rice

Despite the calorie content, chicken curry and rice can be a nutritious meal when prepared properly. Here are some of the nutritional benefits:

  • Lean protein – Chicken breast provides high quality protein to support muscle growth and satiety.
  • Complex carbs – The rice offers starchy carbs for energy.
  • Spices – Curry powder provides antioxidants from spices like turmeric, coriander and cumin.
  • Phytonutrients – Onions, garlic, ginger and chilies in the curry provide phytochemicals.
  • Probiotics – Yogurt-based curries supply gut-healthy probiotics.
  • Fiber – Brown rice, vegetables, nuts supply fiber for digestion.

When keeping portions in check and using lean ingredients, chicken curry and rice can be an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants and phytonutrients as part of a healthy diet.


Chicken curry with rice can range from 500-800 calories per serving depending on the exact ingredients and portions. The chicken curry on its own contributes around 200-400 calories, while the rice provides an additional 300-400 calories. Some ways to lighten up this dish include using lean chicken, minimizing oils, reducing fat content in the curry, and controlling rice portions. With smart substitutions and recipe tweaks, you can still enjoy the classic flavors of chicken curry over rice in a lighter, healthier way. A serving made with light ingredients contains around 500-600 calories and provides high quality nutrition including protein, fiber, antioxidants and probiotics. Overall, it can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation and made with wholesome ingredients.

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