12 Popular Indian Chicken Recipes

Indian chicken korma recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Due to religious reasons, a lot of people in India do not eat beef or pork, making chicken the most common meat in Indian cuisine. Some of India's most famous dishes use chicken, including many that are enjoyed worldwide at Indian restaurants. You can enjoy the authentic taste of your favorite spiced chicken dishes at home with these recipes.

  • 01 of 12

    Murg Makhani: Indian Butter Chicken

    Authentic Murg Makhani (Butter Chicken)

    The Spruce

    Butter chicken is an iconic Indian dish. It's also known as murg makhani and tastes great with basmati rice or naan (leavened tandoor-baked Indian flatbread). The chicken is marinated a couple of times for optimal flavor and tenderness before being cooked with ginger, garlic, tomato, chicken stock, and spices.

  • 02 of 12

    Tandoori Chicken

    Tandoori Chicken
    Elaine Lemm

    Among the most famous Indian foods, tandoori chicken is loved by people the world over. The nice thing about this dish is that it's really easy to make. It gets its name from the way it is cooked—in a tandoor, or clay oven. After the chicken is marinated in a spiced yogurt mixture, the pieces are threaded onto skewers and then placed in the tandoor to cook. Don't worry if you don't have a tandoor—this recipe calls for cooking the chicken in the traditional oven.

  • 03 of 12

    Chicken Tikka Masala

    Chiken Tikka Masala
    Yogi Studio/ Getty Images

    Chicken tikka masala is a delicious dish of marinated pieces of chicken that are grilled and then added to a thick, creamy gravy. Plan ahead so the chicken can marinate overnight in yogurt and spices before cooking with onion, tomatoes, and cream.​ This dish can also be made in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot.

  • 04 of 12

    Mughlai Chicken With Gravy

    Mughlai chicken recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    The thick, creamy gravy of Mughlai chicken is inspired by the food of Central Asia. It is an ideal dish for special occasions because it is so rich and decadent tasting thanks to lots of spices, ghee, homemade almond paste, and a touch of cream. Surprisingly, it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.

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  • 05 of 12

    Mughlai Biryani

    Mughlai Biryani Recipe

    The Spruce 

    A regal dish, Mughlai biryani is fit for a king (and was probably eaten by many of them). This recipe makes the perfect one-dish meal to cook up when you have company. Consisting of chicken (or lamb), rice, yogurt, and many spices, it is a filling and flavorful layered dish.

  • 06 of 12

    Instant Pot Butter Chicken

    Instant Pot butter chicken in a dish with rice.

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Butter chicken is a popular Indian dish that originated in the 1950s in a Delhi restaurant. The complex flavors arise from a combination of butter, cream, spices, and tomato, and cooking it in an Instant Pot shaves a lot of time off the traditional recipe.

  • 07 of 12

    Badami Murgh Korma (Indian Chicken Korma)

    Indian chicken korma recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Yogurt and ground almonds give chicken korma its body, while a long list of tasty spices adds layers of flavor. Adjust the level of heat to suit your palate, reducing or increasing the chili powder or even swapping it for fresh, minced chili pepper.

  • 08 of 12

    Chettinad Chicken Curry

    Chettinad chicken curry recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

    This South Indian curry is quite fiery, but you can reduce the chiles to suit your own palate. Typical of many Indian recipes, the whole spices are toasted and then ground before being mixed with ginger and garlic to create a spice paste. Combined with curry leaves and tomatoes, the chicken simmers until tender to create a delicious and spicy Chettinad chicken curry.

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  • 09 of 12

    Chicken Dhansak Parsi

    Chicken Dhansak

    Aparna Balasubramaniam / Getty Images

    A great make-ahead dish, chicken dhansak parsi tastes even better the next day. You can make it with chicken, lamb, or goat and it's always delicious. It is a Persian and Gujarati (western India) recipe combining lentils, vegetables, meat, and fragrant spices. Don't be deterred by the number of ingredients—most are dried spices.

  • 10 of 12

    Chicken Saagwala

    Indian food
    steauarosie / Getty Images

    A light curry dish common in northern India, chicken saagwala consists of pan-fried chicken combined with spinach and a flavorful sauce. It is one of the healthier choices on Indian menus. Pair it with rice and you have a complete meal the whole family will love.

  • 11 of 12

    Bombay Biryani Rice and Chicken

    Biryani rice with chicken

    PhotoStock-Israel / Getty Images

    A fragrant rice dish with a few different moving parts, make this Bombay biryani for a big family meal. Luckily it's a one-dish meal, with chicken, potatoes, eggs, dried plums, tomatoes, and more. Serve with raita for a hint of creaminess that will balance out the heat.

  • 12 of 12

    Basic Chicken Curry

    Basic Chicken Curry

     Mariha Kitchen/Getty Images

    This basic chicken recipe is also one of the tastiest. Although many chicken curries include yogurt or cream, this recipe creates a thickening agent by processing the fried onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger into a paste. Serve chicken curry with hot chapatis (Indian flatbread) or white rice.