The Traditional Punjabi Chicken Curry (Made with oodles of love, among other things)

This is the all-time favorite comfort chicken dish relished by one and all in our homes. The recipe found its origins in my grandmother’s kitchen from where it has traveled to come to us. And going by how much everyone loves it, it is sure to travel to the future generations. It is one of the first few dishes that I learnt.

Things to keep in mind –

When we cook this, we never buy a full chicken, as we have realized that everyone just wants the same pieces (leg and breast), and the poor others are ignored. So, therefore, we buy only the leg and breast pieces for this. And the most important thing is the size of the pieces. The standard size in our homes is 1/3. This size is neither too big nor too small. It is just the right size which can absorb the flavors of all the ingredients very well.

And now for the recipe –

Ingredients (For 3-4 people)

  1. Chicken 1 kg
  2. Curd (well beaten) 1/2 cup
  3. Onions (ground to a paste) 3-4 ( large)
  4. Tomatoes (puréed) 2
  5. Ginger (ground to a paste) 1 1/2 inch piece
  6. Garlic (ground to a paste) 10-12 flakes
  7. Oil 6-7 tbsp
  8. Bay leaf 1
  9. Cloves 2-3
  10. Cinnamon 1 inch stick
  11. Black cardamom 2
  12. Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
  13. Coriander powder 2 tsp
  14. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  15. Garam Masala 1 tsp
  16. Salt 1 1/4 tsp or to taste
  17. Cumin ( roasted and ground to a powder) 3/4 tsp
  18. Chopped Coriander 2 tbsp

Method –

  1. Wash the chicken by keeping it in water to which 1 tbsp of vinegar has been added for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the chicken.
  3. Marinate it by adding curd that has been beaten well and salt. Keep it for at least half an hour.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed kadhai. Add the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and black cardamom to it. Wait for a few seconds till they start to sizzle.
  5. Add the onion paste. Stir fry on medium heat till well browned.
  6. Reduce heat. Add the red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala.
  7. Now add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir for a minute.
  8. Add the freshly puréed tomatoes and cook till the oil separates and the tomatoes blend well with the onions.
  9. Now add the chicken pieces leaving the marinade aside.
  10. Cook well till the water evaporates and the chicken turns dry and glossy.
  11. Reduce heat and add the marinade.
  12. Cook for 6-8 minutes till the curd dries completely and the oil separates.
  13. Add about 2 1/2 cups of water. Let it boil.
  14. Now cover and cook the chicken till it turns tender.
  15. Add the roasted cumin powder and mix.
  16. Garnish with the coriander leaves.
  17. Serve hot with rice/ roti. 


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  1. Priya Saxena January 9, 2020 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    What a great idea Sangeeta. And not surprising as you are a brilliant cook your self.
    Love this section too!

    • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!!! This is so encouraging!!

  2. Basundhara Roye January 9, 2020 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Great idea! Love this section.

    • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you!!

    • Aabha January 9, 2020 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Way to go SANGEETA!! Thanks for deciding to share your treasure with all of us out here … looking forward to the next one already …

      • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 8:43 pm - Reply

        Thank you my dear!!

  3. Swaminathan Iyer January 9, 2020 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Which is tastier Sangeeta? Whether leg or breast? Size also matters that way!!! Anyway Punjabi dishes are hot and spicy, I know.

    • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      This is not very spicy!

  4. Kavita January 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Wow! That’s a delicately made chicken curry! Love the little details! Thanks for sharing! Now to try… though your magic is hard to recreate my dear!

    • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      That’s very sweet of you my dear!!

  5. Gurbina Kaur January 9, 2020 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Wow sangeeta!! Awesome 👏👏👏

    • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!!

  6. Nandini January 9, 2020 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Great Sangeeta. Looking forward to your awesome recipes and the blogs.

    • Sangeeta Relan January 9, 2020 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      Thank you my dear!!

  7. vani kalra January 10, 2020 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Wow thanks for sharing will try and make it and give you feedback!!

    • Sangeeta Relan January 10, 2020 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I will wait for that!!

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Hello! I’m Sangeeta Relan. Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years, I have been a corporate wife and a mother to two boys who have now flown the nest. I love cooking, singing, travelling and exploring new places.

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