A rich and hearty slow-cooked chicken curry from the land of nawabs, this Hyderabadi dum ka murgh is perfect for a leisurely meal.
I know it’s been a while since I shared a traditional Indian curry dish on the blog. Summer meals at our home are more of a leisurely affair. I prefer to spend time with the kiddo or outdoors instead of planning elaborate meals. But, there are exceptions to every rule!
I just realized that even though I have a ton of chicken recipes on the blog, I have not shared a simple, everyday chicken curry with you guys. I always experiment with the way I make it, sometimes with the ingredients or the method. For me, that’s part of the fun of cooking!
Today’s recipe is not an everyday chicken curry (I’m working on it!), but a special one from Hyderabad, the land of nizams and nawabs. The Hyderabadi dum ka murgh or slow-cooked chicken curry is made with spice-marinated whole chicken which is slow cooked with bhuna masala (sautéed onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes), fried onions (birista) and cashew nuts to make a rich and thick curry.
It is not a complicated process as such and there are tricks you can follow to speed up the process. But do not skimp on sautéing and frying the onions, they are essential to make that thick and delicious gravy that coats the chicken pieces. The ground cashew nuts add richness and creaminess to the dish. You can also make this slow-cooked chicken curry with bone-in thighs and drumsticks instead of a whole cut-up chicken.
This red chicken curry can be paired with a variety of rice and breads. You can serve a mild ghee pulao for a truly rich meal. Or serve it up with naan or rotis to mop up all that luscious gravy. I have kept it simple here with homemade phulka rotis to let the curry shine.
Be prepared to amaze your family and friends with this delicious red chicken curry. The aroma as it slowly simmers away is simply magical. And there will be several grumbling tummies and impatient hungry faces to contend with!
Here’s the recipe for slow-cooked Hyderabadi dum ka murgh.
- Chicken - 3 - 3.5 lbs (see Notes)
- Yogurt - ½ cup
- Red chili powder - 1 tbsp
- Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder - 2 tsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
- Onions - 3, large, divided
- Ginger - a 2" knob
- Garlic - 8-10 cloves, large
- Green chilies - 1-2 (as per heat)
- Oil - ½ cup, divided
- Bay leaves - 2
- Cinnamon - 1" stick
- Green cardamom - 3
- Cloves - 3
- Mace - a small piece
- Tomato paste - 2 tbsp (see Notes)
- Cashew nuts - 15, powdered (see Notes)
- Water - 1 cup
- Salt - to taste
- Cilantro leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped
- Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
- Mix together ingredients for marinade and coat the chicken pieces liberally. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, if you have time.
- Make a paste with 2 large onions or chop them very finely. Set aside.
- Similarly, make a fine paste with ginger, garlic and green chilies. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the remaining onion and fry it in 3-4 tbsp oil till golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Heat rest of the oil in a large thick-bottomed pan. Add whole spices like bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and mace. Allow to crackle and become fragrant.
- Now add the onion paste and sauté on medium heat till thick and light golden, 15-20 minutes.
- Then add ginger-garlic-chili paste and sauté for a couple of minutes till the raw smell is gone.
- Then add the fried onion slices (reserving 2 tbsp for later) and tomato paste. Mix well, stir and cook till you see the oil starting to separate at the sides.
- Now add the marinated chicken and any leftover marinade juices. Toss with the masala and cook on medium-high for a few minutes to seal the meat juices.
- Add the powdered nuts and stir well to combine. Add a cup of water and check seasoning.
- Cover and cook on low till chicken is tender, around 30 minutes.
- Open lid and reduce gravy further if desired. Ideally, the curry should be very thick.
- Sprinkle the reserved fried onions, chopped cilantro and lemon juice on top. Remove from heat and keep covered till serving.
2. You can make this recipe with onions ground to a paste or chopped finely. Doing so will make sure that you have a thick and smooth gravy.
3. I have used tomato paste here to cut the cooking time slightly. Instead, you can use a pureed tomato and cook it till it is reduced and very thick and the oil starts to separate.
4. I use a small spice grinder to powder the cashew nuts. You can also blanch them in hot water and grind to a smooth paste.
Enjoy this spicy chicken curry with rice or rotis and a side of sliced onion salad.
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What is your favorite chicken curry? Do try this Hyderabadi chicken curry and let me know how you like it. It makes a great dish to serve at dinner parties.
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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.