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Recipe: (Eid) Masala Chicken


The reaction that you expect from your guests when they walk into a home where this Masala Chicken is cooking, is ‘it smells like Eid’.

For as long as I’ve known my mother-in-law, this (along with her Prawn moons, amongst other recipes) is one of her best recipes.

Instead of the usual process of adding the chicken to a pot an then adding spices, the spices are cooked to a thick marinade which gets massaged into the chicken. It’s important to cook this on low, and at the end, slightly dry it out so you’re left with a rich and fragrant coating.

Note: This is not a chicken with a wet gravy. It should be cooked just until its a thick sauce.

We serve our chicken with Creamy Vegetable and Puri.

In a pan add:

  • 1 tbl ghee
  • 2 tbl oil
  • A quarter finely chopped onion

Allow to fry until soft and slightly golden (do not allow this to brown to a dark colour)

On a sideplate, add the spice ingredients. They should be placed next to each other and not mixed together.

  • Half a tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tbl ground cumin and coriander powder
  • 1 tsp rough salt
  • Half a tbl chili powder
  • 1 and a half tbl red wet ginger and garlic masala
  • 1 tbl ground garlic
  • A small knob of ginger or half a tsp ground ginger
  • Half a tbl methi masala
  • 2 tbl tomato puree
  • 1 tbl tomato sauce
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • A few black peppercorns
  • A small cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 whole cardamom
  • Quarter tsp of white pepper


  1. Add the whole spices to the ghee and onion mix (cumin, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and cardamom)
  2. Add 2tbl of vinegar to the ‘vagaar’.
  3. Add the red masala and let it cook for a few seconds.
  4. Add the salt, cumin and coriander powder and the balance of the ingredients.
  5. Finally add a tsp of saffron water for colour and a quarter tsp of white pepper.

The mixture should be thick and saucy.

Allow it to cool slightly and smear it over your chicken pieces (they should be slit slightly so the marinade can flavour and tenderise the meat).

Add a finger width of butter in a pot.

Add the chicken and a quarter cup of water.

Add 3 whole green chilies for extra heat (optional).Adjust colour if required.

Start off on high to get the butter melted.

Reduce to medium and cool slowly. Bring back to high for the sauce to thicken and to burn slightly.

Fry potato wedges and add in 5 minutes prior to serving to steam with the juices.

1 Response
  • Farida Bakharia
    June 3, 2019

    Everything looks good thanks

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