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The recipe for Murgh Musallam Chicken Curry

The recipe for Murgh Musallam originally featured a whole chicken served in a creamy sauce, cooked in a specific spice mix; this is why in this curry's name, Musallam can be translated to "whole" in english, and we already know well the word Murgh or chicken by now. This recipe is for an indian chicken dish, part of the traditional Indian Awadhi cuisine, that is not too spicy and that is usually served accompanied by white rice, pulao or even rotis. In this recipe's ingredient list we chose chicken parts instead of the traditional whole chicken, for convenience, as it is frequently done nowadays; I hope you enjoy this traditional curry recipe!

Ingredients (for four guests):

* 2 and 1/2 lb. Chicken pieces with bones
* 3 Onions, chopped
* 2 ripe Tomatoes, liquified to a sauce
* 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
* Red chili powder
* 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
* Salt
* Peanut Oil
* Fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped, use as garnish when serving
* 20 Almonds (previously soaked in hot water)
* 2 Bayleaves
* 1 teaspoon Black Cumin seeds

For the spices paste:
* 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
* 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
* 1/2 Cinnamon stick
* 2 Cloves
* 1 Cardamom pod

The chicken rub:
* 1 cup plain Yogurt
* 2 teaspoons Ginger garlic paste
* 4 finely chopped green chillies
* 2 teaspoons Coriander powder
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* Salt


1) Clean the chicken parts, remove and discard the fat deposits and skin. Combine the ingredients for the chicken rub by mixing them in a large bowl then rub this marinade over the chicken parts. Make the chicken marinate, covered, thirty minutes or more, in the refrigerator.

2) Meanwhile, grind the almonds with a bit of water until you get an almond paste. Reserve separately. In a skillet, fry the spices listed under 'For the spices paste' over low heat setting and no oil, until fragrant. Pour in your coffee grinder and again grind everything to a fine powder, and once more reserve separately.

3) Heat up two tablespoons oil in a saucepan, add the minced garlic, chopped onions, and turmeric powder. Fry the onions on medium heat setting for about 8 minutes until they become tender and are starting to brown. Pour the onions, garlic and turmeric to the bowl of your blender and blend to a smooth paste.

4) Pour two more tablespoons oil in the saucepan, put the marinated chicken pieces in, without the marinade (do not throw the marinade out!). Fry over high heat setting for approximately five minutes, so that the chicken pieces become slightly browned on all sides. Reserve the chicken.

5) Pour a drizzle of oil in a different saucepan, and fry the bayleaves with the Black Cumin seeds for two minutes, then pour in the onion paste we did before, one cup water, the tomatoes, the red chili powder, and cook over medium heat setting for 5 more minutes. Mix in the chicken pieces, also the marinade we used before with the almond paste then mix these ingredients. Finally reduce heat setting, pour in a little water and simmer, covered, until the chicken parts are thoroughly cooked and that the curry sauce has reduced thus giving it a nice consistency.

Serve this Murgh Musallam, sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro leaves on each plate, with white indian rice, pulao or it is also great with rotis as side.