Indian Spiced Chicken

Murgh musallam

Zohaib Hussain/Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
958 Calories
73g Fat
20g Carbs
64g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 958
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 73g 93%
Saturated Fat 13g 67%
Cholesterol 322mg 107%
Sodium 1205mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 64g
Vitamin C 26mg 131%
Calcium 179mg 14%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 1061mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Mughlai recipe will become your go-to, impress-your-friends-and-relatives Indian dish. Mughlai (moog-lie) is a variety of Indian cuisine that was a result of the Mughal rule in India from 1426 to 1857. During that time, the food was rich and cooked with aromatic spices, nuts, and dried fruits. 

The marinated chicken recipe may look like a lot of work but the end result is so worth it. Serve this chicken with naan bread and a salad or on a bed of jeera rice.


  • 1 1/2 kilograms (3 pounds) chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 medium green chiles

  • 20 cloves garlic

  • 2 (3-inch) pieces fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder

  • 6 large black cardamom pods

  • 10 whole cloves

  • 1 medium stick cinnamon

  • 10 whole black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds

  • 15 whole blanched almonds

  • 12 to 15 tablespoons oil

  • 3 large onions, very thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Steps to Make It

  1. Put the chicken into a large, deep, non-metallic mixing bowl.

  2. Grind the green chiles, half the garlic cloves, and 1 of the pieces of ginger into a smooth paste in a food processor.

  3. Mix this paste with the garam masala powder, 3/4 tsp. of salt, turmeric powder, yogurt, and half of the red chili powder. Mix well to make the marinade for the chicken.​

  4. Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix well to coat the pieces completely. Keep aside for later.

  5. While the chicken is marinating, heat a shallow pan or griddle on medium heat and when hot, roast the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, badi elaichi, blanched almonds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds on it. Stir frequently until the spices begin to turn slightly darker in color. Take off from heat and allow to cool.

  6. Now heat 4 tablespoons of the vegetable cooking oil in a deep pan, on medium heat. When hot, add the sliced onions and the remaining half of the garlic to it. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are pale golden in color. Use a slotted spoon to drain the onions and garlic and remove them from the oil. We will use this remaining oil and pan again a little later.

  7. Put the fried onions and garlic into a food processor along with the above-roasted spices and the remaining piece of ginger. Grind to a thick, smooth paste, only adding water as required to facilitate the grinding.

  8. Now (using the same pan you used to fry the onions), add 4 tablespoons of cooking oil to the pan and set up on medium heat. Brown only the pieces of chicken (in batches), reserving the marinade for later use. When this is done, keep the chicken aside. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons more of the cooking oil and when it is hot, add the ground paste you made above.

  9. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the marinade, chicken pieces, tomato pureé, remaining red chili powder, and salt to taste. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and stir well.

  10. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is tender—most of the liquid will have dried up.

  11. Garnish your chicken with chopped, fresh coriander leaves and serve with jeera rice and a salad! Naan bread also goes brilliantly to soak up the tasty sauce.