Murgh Methi Malai Recipe

Getty Images / Nora Carol Photography

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
539 Calories
28g Fat
22g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 539
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 214mg 71%
Sodium 969mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 51g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 193mg 15%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 840mg 18%
*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.)

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.


For the Chicken and Marinade:

  • 12 to 15 garlic cloves

  • 3 pieces fresh ginger

  • 8 whole dry red chile peppers

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kilogram) chicken pieces, skin removed

For the Spice Masala Powder:

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 2 pod star anise

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 6 green cardamom pods

  • 3 black cardamom pods

  • 12 whole cloves

  • Large pinch grated nutmeg

For the Chicken:

  • 3 large onions

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, canola oil, or ghee

  • 1 cup skim milk

  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons dried kasoori methi, or fenugreek leaves

  • 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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