Mughlai Chicken Recipe

Mughals may have ruled major part of India for centuries, but they have also left many good things behind before leaving this soil. For instance, their architecture techniques and food recipes have easily become a part of our own culture.

Today, I’m going to share the Mughlai Chicken recipe, which has managed to get a respectable place in the menu books of top-notch restaurants of US & UK.

Isn’t it amazing how food cultures travel across all the countries without any passport or visa? Yeah, that’s why I love food!

Coming back to the recipe, it is not much difficult to make at home. It does need a few fancy ingredients, which you may not use on regular basis. Try to get them from local grocery store.

Mughlai Chicken goes well with almost all kinds of Indian bread, though I like it more with Punjabi naan or kulcha, prepared in hot Tandoors.

Preparation Tips

For this recipe, you will need to have a few things in advance. Here’s how to prepare them –

Marinated Chicken –

Chicken marination is very important for this recipe, as it brings out amazing flavors in the end.

In order to start with this process, you will need to dip the chicken pieces into one cup of saffron milk. And, let it rest for at least 2 hours on room temperature. This will help chicken absorb saffron flavor and will make it more juicier.

Note: Do not throw away the remaining marinated milk juice. We will use it in the following recipe steps.

Chicken Masala Powder –

Here’s how you can make instant chicken masala powder –

Roast the 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds & fennel seeds, 2-3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf and a couple of dried chillies in a pan for 2-3 minutes. Grind these ingredients in a mixer to fine powder and use 2 teaspoons of masala while frying the onions.

You may store the excess masala powder in any air-tight container for future use.

So, let’s jump into the cooking part now.

Total Time – 30 minutes cooking & preparation time + 2 hours for marination

Serves – 4 people


  • Chicken – 500 gm, cut into small pieces
  • Onion – 1-1/2, medium sized, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
  • Red Chilli Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Chicken Masala Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Yogurt – 2 tablespoon
  • Fresh Cream – 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Green Chilli – 1, slit into half
  • Coriander Leaves – 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew Nuts – 5-6 nos.
  • Almonds – 5-6 nos.
  • Ghee/Oil – 2-3 tablespoon
  • Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste


For gravy base:

In a mixer, grind the tomato pieces, yogurt, cashew nuts & 2-3 almonds and some water. Make really fine paste out of it.

For main recipe:

1. Heat ghee in a wok on medium flame and let it melt down completely.

2. In melted ghee, add ginger-garlic paste and green chilli. Fry them for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the chopped onions & salt, and cook them on low-medium flame till they get caramelized in ghee.

4. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and chicken masala powder in fried onions. Stir well for a minute or two.

5. Increase the flame and add all the marinated chicken pieces and gravy paste (as prepared above) in it. Mix well and cover it with lid.

6. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes and then add the remaining juice in curry along with garam masala powder & dry mango powder.

7. Reduce the flame again. Cook it for another 15 minutes so that the chicken cooks thoroughly.

8. Check the taste and consistency. Add water if needed.

9. Sprinkle sugar and mix it well.

10. Garnish with fresh cream, chopped coriander leaves and some sliced almonds. Serve it with Tandoori roti or naan.

Variations for Mughlai Chicken

Here’s what you can do with fresh/leftover Mughlai Chicken –

Mughlai Chicken Biryani –

Recently, I came across a new food concept called ‘Biryani Toppers‘, which is nothing but some lip smacking gravies cooked separately to pour on top of flavored basmati rice. That’s how some food chains are serving our traditional biryani these days!

Well, I don’t know how long this concept will last, but you can certainly give it a try with this gravy.

If you have some Mughlai Chicken left (I know it won’t happen, but still…), add it on the top of nearly cooked steamed rice and put it on dum for few minutes.

That’s it! You’ve just made a delicious biryani in no time. Serve it with chilled cucumber raita.

Mix Vegetables with Chicken –

Yep, try this interesting twist in authentic Mughlai recipe!

Add some veggies like fried capsicum and baby corns into this rich curry. It will add more colors to your dish and will also become more nutritional.

So, what do you think of these variations and whole recipe? Let me know in the comment section below.

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