Five Must-Try Indian Chicken Recipes

Published on Friday, July 19, 2019 | Category: Recipes


From among the many reasons we Sri Lankans love Indian cuisine, one is the use of aromatic spices that make Indian dishes an absolute treat to the taste buds. That’s one of the reasons why we islanders have so many Indian varieties in our Sri Lankan food recipes. With its wonderful melange of herbs and spices, it’s hard to resist the myriad of curries and stir-fries that grace Indian cuisine. And if chicken happens to be your favourite meat, then there are a dizzying number of indulgent Indian chicken recipes to fall in love with. Here are five must-try Indian chicken recipes that will sure to be a hit with everyone:

1. Chana Aur Khatte Pyaaz Ka Murgh

Chicken morsels cooked with pickled onions in a luscious gravy made with chickpeas, this exotic chicken dish is the perfect accompaniment for parathas and is full of unique flavours that is sure to be a favourite with everyone in the family.

Serves: 5
Total cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes


● 500g chicken
● 10 tbsp ginger garlic paste
● Salt to taste
● 2 lemons, juiced
● 1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
● 1 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
● 1 tbsp red chilli powder
● 1 tbsp chaat masala
● 1 tbsp anardana powder
● 1 tbsp garam masala powder
● 1 tbsp yellow chilli powder
● 1 cup chickpeas
● 1 tbsp turmeric powder
● 1 cup ghee
● 1/2 cup oil
● 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
● 200g onions, chopped
● 1 1/2 tbsp whole garam masala
● 150g tomatoes
● 4 tbsp ginger, chopped
● 6-8 green chillies
● 3/4 cup yoghurt
● 1 bunch mint
● 1/2 cup fresh cream
● Bay leaves

For garnishing

● Fresh coriander
● 4 tbsp pickled onions


● Start off by marinating the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste as required, salt, lemon juice and dry spices.
● Boil the chickpeas with bay leaf and turmeric powder. Once the chickpeas are done, cool it in a bowl and set aside.
● In a pan, heat some ghee and add the marinated chicken and cook it for some time until it is golden brown.
● In a separate pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds, onions and garam masala. Once the onions are golden brown, add the remaining ginger garlic paste.
● Next, add the tomatoes and cook for a while. Now add the boiled chickpeas and cook for about 10 minutes.
● Once it’s done, grind the onion and tomato masala with ginger and green chillies into a
paste and pass through a sieve.
● To this, add some yoghurt, mint and cook again for a while. Finally, add the cooked chicken and cream and mix well.
● Garnish with coriander and sliced pickled onions. Serve hot with parathas.

2. Masaledar Chicken Lollipop

Spicy and chock full of desi flavours, the famous oriental chicken lollipops gets a fiery Indian twist. Juicy chicken smothered in beautiful spices and fried to perfection, this chicken recipe is the perfect party starter to impress guests.

Serves: 4
Total cook time: 50 minutes


For the masala

● 8 Guntur chillies
● 6-7 boriya mirch chillies
● 1-inch ginger knob, finely chopped
● 5-6 garlic cloves
● 2 green chillies
● 2 tsp cumin
● 1 tsp fennel
● 5-6 peppercorns
● 1 cinnamon stick
● 4 cloves
● 15 Curry leaves
● 1 tsp coriander seeds
● 1 tsp turmeric
● 1-2 tsp oil
● A pinch of sea salt
● A handful of coriander leaves
● A pinch of white pepper

For the chicken

● 8-10 Chicken lollipops, with the skin
● 1 tsp turmeric
● 2 tsp red chilli powder
● 2 tbsp oil
● A pinch of sugar
● Salt to taste

For the base

● 2-3 tsp oil
● 2 tsp mustard seeds
● 7-8 Curry leaves
● 1/2 onion, julienned
● 1 1/2 tbsp masala
● 3 tsp tamarind paste
● 1 tsp jaggery powder
● 1/2 lemon, juiced
● Coriander leaves for garnishing


● To prepare the masala, dry roast all the ingredients together in a pan for a minute. Then, in a mortar and pestle, pound together all the ingredients and then transfer this to a
grinder and make a fine paste. Set aside.
● To prepare the chicken, begin by marinating the chicken lollipops with turmeric, salt, red
chilli powder and about 2 teaspoons of oil.
● In a pan, heat a little oil and sear the lollipops on all sides until they are half cooked. Add sugar and cook some more.
● To prepare the base, add oil into a pan and once heated, add the mustard seeds, a few curry leaves and the chopped onion. Cook them well together.
● Add in the masala and chicken lollipops into this and saute them well. Then, add the tamarind extract, jaggery and water and mix well.
● Squeeze some lemon juice and toss everything together. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is well done.
● Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with your choice of roti or parathas.

3. Butter Chicken

One of the more popular Indian chicken recipes that is much loved across the globe, butter chicken has been a massive hit over the years. Straight from the Punjabi kitchen, this perfect dinner party dish is made with roasted chicken smothered in cream, butter, tomato puree and a blend of mouthwatering masalas. One of North India’s most popular dishes, Butter chicken can be enjoyed with rice, breads or rotis and is guaranteed to be a firm favourite with everyone.

Serves: 4
Total cook time: 50 minutes


● 400g chicken

For the Marinade

● 2 tsp red chilli powder
● 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
● 2 tsp salt
● 2 tsp lemon juice
● 1/2 tsp curd
● 1 tsp garam masala
● 1 tsp kasuri methi
● 2 tsp mustard oil

For the gravy

● 2 tsp oil
● 2 cubes of butter, to taste
● 3 gram cloves
● 1 cinnamon stick, crushed roughly
● 1 tsp mace
● 7 cardamoms
● 4 tomatoes, chopped
● 1 tsp garlic
● 1 tsp ginger
● 3 cubes of butter
● 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
● 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
● 1 tsp kasuri methi
● 2 tsp honey
● 1 green chilli
● 2 tsp cardamom powder
● 1 tbsp cream


● To prepare the marination for the chicken, add the chicken pieces to a bowl and to that add salt, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice. Mix well, making sure to coat the chicken pieces in the spices and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes.
● Now add the curd to the refrigerated marinade mix. Mix well and then add garam masala, kasuri methi and mustard oil. Mix well and refrigerate again for an hour.
● Roast the marinated chicken in an oven for about 30 minutes until it is more than half
● To prepare the chicken gravy, heat about 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan with butter.
● Add cloves, cinnamon stick, mace and cardamom. Saute well and then add chopped tomatoes, garlic and ginger. Mix well and once done, transfer to a grinder and have this mixture well ground.
● In another pan, heat another two cubes of butter, along with ginger garlic paste. Once it’s hot enough, add in the ground tomato puree and mix well. Now add red chilli powder, kasuri methi, honey and finally the roasted chicken pieces. Mix everything together, cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer.
● Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the green chillies, cardamom powder and cream. Mix well.
● Serve hot with a teaspoon of cream over with steamed rice or roti of your choice.

4. Chicken Dum Biryani

A classic Mughal dish, biriyani is a sumptuous delight loved by all. Cooked in a slow cooking method introduced by the Mughals, this chicken dum biryani is cooked with utmost precision to preserve its delicious flavours. Infused with saffron milk, a blend of amazing spices and succulent pieces of chicken, this biryani dish is delectable treat for lunch or dinner and the perfect addition to any Sri Lankan chicken recipe.

Serves: 4
Total cook time: 2 hours 15 minutes


● 500g chicken legs

For the marinade

● 1 tsp red chilli powder
● 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
● 1/2 cup yoghurt
● 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
● 1 tsp coriander powder
● 1 tsp garam masala powder
● 1 1/2 tsp salt

For the rice

● A pinch of saffron
● 1/2 cup milk
● 2 cups water
● 5 cardamoms
● 3 cloves
● 1 stick cinnamon
● 2 mace
● 2 black cardamom
● 5 black peppercorns
● 1/2 tsp salt
● 1 cup rice (long grain, washed basmati rice)

For the finishing

● 1 tbsp ghee
● 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
● 2 tbsp fried onions
● 3 almonds, chopped


● First, mix the saffron in half a cup of milk and keep aside.
● Now in a bowl, add all the marinade ingredients, mix well and coat the chicken pieces well with it. Cover and let it marinate for about four hours.
● To prepare the rice, add all the ingredients given except the saffron and milk, in warm water along with washed rice. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
● Heat some ghee in a pan and add the marinated chicken pieces and saute for a while. Next, add the cooked rice to it.
● Top with saffron milk, coriander leaves, fried onion and chopped almonds. Mix well.
● Let the biryani cook on a low heat (on dum, in its own heat) covered with foil for about 20-30 minutes till the water evaporates and chicken and rice are fully cooked.
● Once done, open the dum when cooked and mix the rice well. Drizzle with some rose water and serve hot.

5. Chicken Shami Kebab

One of India’s much loved non-vegetarian snacks to serve as appetizers at dinner parties, this easy-to-make snack is irresistible. Made with succulent minced chicken and a spicy masala filling and then fried to perfection, chicken shami kebab, served with tangy coriander or mint chutney and lemon wedges makes for the perfect comfort food.

Serves: 4
Total cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes


● 1 cup chana dhal (split chickpeas)
● 2 tsp oil
● 1 tsp cumin seeds
● 7-8 cloves
● 7-8 black peppercorns
● 2 sticks cinnamon
● 2 tsp coriander seeds
● 1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
● 3 whole red chillies
● 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
● 500g boneless chicken
● 1 tsp salt
● 1 cup water
● 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
● 2 green chillies
● 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
● 1/2 cup coriander leaves ,chopped
● 1/2 cup mint leaves ,chopped
● 2 eggs


● Start by soaking a cup of chana dhal for at least 30 minutes.
● In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add cumin seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, coriander seeds, ajwain, red chilli and chilli flakes and saute for a couple of minutes.
● Next, add the soaked chana dal and mix thoroughly.
● Add the boneless chicken and salt and bring to a simmer, adding the required quantity of water. Cook until all the water has evaporated and chicken is tender.
● Let it cool for some time and then grind all the ingredients into a thick paste.
● To this paste, add ginger, green chilli, garlic, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Mix all the ingredients to combine well. Add in the eggs and bring all the ingredients together, mixing thoroughly.
● To make the kebabs, use your palms to make any desired shape and size, that is generally flat and round.
● Dip the kebabs in egg and shallow fry on both sides until golden brown.
● Serve the kebabs hot with chutney of your choice and lemon wedges.