Mughlai chicken

Mughlai dishes are for special occasions because it is rich and decadent tasting. The chicken’s mild, thick, creamy gravy is inspired by the food of Mughal dynasty. However, when we hear of mughal dishes, what comes to our mind is long hours of kitchen. But, the recipe I present here can be completed in less than an hour, if planned properly.

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Indian

Cook time: 45 mins

Wait time: 1 hour

Servings: 5


  • 1 Kg chicken
  • 15 almonds soaked in water and skin removed
  • ½ tablespoon of poppy seed soaked in water
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 pods of cardamom
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ tablespoon cumin powder
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ tablespoon red chili powder
  • 200mL curd/yogurt
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 1 teaspoon of whole cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of Kewra water(optional)


  1. Make a powder of cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, bay leaf and cloves.
  2. Marinade the chicken with yogurt, the spice mix (step 1), cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, ginger paste, garlic paste for 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Take a pan and heat it. Once hot add the ghee.
  4. To the ghee add the chopped onions. Fry the onions until they are translucent or golden color.
  5. Let the fried onions cool and then make a paste of the onions.
  6. Add the onion paste to the marinated chicken.
  7. Heat the same pan and add ghee to it. Add the whole cumin and let it splutter.
  8. Now add the marinated chicken and cook the chicken.
  9. Make a smooth paste of soaked almonds and poppy seeds. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the paste.
  10. Cook it till you see oil leaving the sides of the pan.
  11.  Now add the almond and poppy paste to the chicken. Add water if required.
  12. Now let the gravy simmer on mid low flame till you achieve the desired consistency.
  13. Add Kewra water to get a beautiful aroma of Mughlai food.
  14. Serve hot with rice or kulcha naan(Indian flatbread)


  1. Many recipes say that marination is not required but I prefer my chicken marinated. Marination of chicken allows all the spices to be infused in the chicken.
  2. You can also cook the dish with oil if you are health conscious. However, ghee gives a wonderful aroma to the dish.
  3. You can also use cashew nuts instead of almonds.

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