Murgh Methi Malai Recipe

Getty Images / Nora Carol Photography

  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Murgh Methi Malai is a creamy and flavorful chicken dish. Though fairly easy to make, it tastes like something special you would order in a good Indian restaurant!

When I cook Murgh Methi Malai at my place, I usually do so when I am entertaining. The house is filled with a delicious fragrance… a fitting welcome to hungry guests as they walk in. 

The beautiful fragrance has to do with how the ghee used in the cooking acts as a solvent for the essential oils in the spices. The fenugreek leaves called for in the recipe lend an incredible, earthy taste to this recipe, which goes really well with freshly prepared Naan or Chapatis.


  • 1 kg of chicken pieces, skin removed and marinated with…
  • For the marinade: 12-15 cloves of garlic
  • 3” piece of fresh ginger
  • 8 whole dry red chillies
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper powder
  • For spice masala powder: 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 3 tsps black pepper corns
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 X 1” sticks of cinnamon
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 3 black cardamoms
  • 12 cloves
  • A big pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsps coriander seeds
  • 5 bay leaves
  • Other: 3 large onions, to be made into a coarse paste
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil/ ghee
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups of skimmed milk
  • 5 tbsps heavy cream
  • 3 tbsps of dried Kasoori methi (or a cup of fresh fenugreek leaves chopped coarsely)
  • Salt to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Use a food processor to make a fine paste of the ginger, garlic and the dry red chillies. When the paste is ready, add the salt and pepper. Mix it into the chicken pieces and keep aside in the fridge to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

  3. Now to make the dry masala powder: Roast the coriander seeds and the bay leaves lightly and grind to powder.

  4. Make a powder of the remaining spices without roasting and keep aside.

  5. Heat a non-stick flat bottomed pan on medium heat. When hot, pour in the onion paste to roast it lightly, adding a bit of salt gets the onion to cook sooner and it gets caramelized easily.

  6. When the onion paste gets a little browned, add in the marinade and chicken, stir and cook on medium heat till the chicken and masala paste mixture starts releasing its own fat.

  7. Now add the ghee/ vegetable/ canola/ sunflower oil. Stir to mix well. 

  8. Next, add the powdered spices and keep sautéing for 3-5 more minutes.

  9. Reduce heat a little, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or till the chicken is done.

  10. Next, pour in the milk, adjust the seasoning according to taste and bring the pot to a  boil.

  11. Next, pour in the cream and follow with crushed kasoori methi. 

  12. Mix well, cover and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes till the aroma of the fenugreek is absorbed into the gravy.

  13. Serve hot with freshly made Naan or Chapatis.

Some tips: 

  • You may add as much of the fenugreek leaves as you wish, but take care that the gravy does not turn bitter. 

  • You can adjust seasoning by adding a bit of lime juice or even yogurt. 

  • A little more cream will make the dish even more flavorful.

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