Chicken Bhuna Masala is a North Indian recipe of Chicken cooked in a bed of roasted whole spices. Bhuna masala chicken / Murgh Bhuna is a rugged spicy dish usually prepared with scanty gravy and roasted whole spices which clearly visible on the face of the dish.
The only place for powdered spices in the gravy is in the Chicken Marination – where minute amounts are used to prep the chicken before cooking. Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic & ginger add the other taste notes along with some powdered spices and curd which are used to marinate the chicken.
The differences between Kadai Chicken and Chicken Bhuna Masala are very minute. The use of whole & roasted spices & the absence of Capsicum are the only notable differences in cooking. However, they taste very different due to the different treatment of spices. The written recipe card can be found below and click here to see Chicken Bhuna recipe video.
Chicken Bhuna Masala recipe
- 650 gram Chicken (Murgi)
- 2 Onions (Pyaz)
- 4 Tomatoes (Tamatar)
- 1 inch Ginger (Adrak)
- 15 cloves Garlic (Lehsun)
- 2 Green Chilies (Hari Mirch)
- 1 handful Coriander leaves (Dhania Patta)
- 2 Bay leaves (Tez Patta)
- 4 Green Cardamoms (Choti Elaichi)
- 4 Cloves (Long)
- 1 medium Cinnamon bark (Dalchini)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 teaspoon Coriander (whole) (Sabut Dhania)
- 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns (Sabut Kali Mirch)
- 4 Dried Red Chilies (Sabut Lal Mirch)
- 1½ teaspoons Red Chili powder (Lal Mirch powder)
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi powder)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder (Jeera powder)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder (Mixed Indian curry powder)
- 1/3 cup Curd (Dahi)
- Water as per requirement (Paani)
- Mustard oil (Sarson ka tel)
- Salt – as per taste (Namak)
- Place a frying pan & turn on the gas, put 4 green Cardamoms, 1 stick of Cinnamon, 4 Cloves, 4 Dried Red Chilies, 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns, 1 teaspoon Coriander (whole) and dry roast over low flame. Once done, keep the spices aside to cool them down
- Chop 1 inch of Ginger, then put them to a grinder jar, add Garlic cloves and grind down to a paste
- Place the Chicken pieces in a bowl, add 1/3 cup Curd, 1 teaspoon Red Chili powder, ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon Cumin powder, 1 tablespoon ginger-Garlic paste, Salt as per taste and then marinate Chicken with all the spices. Set it aside for an hour
- Chop 2 Onions & slit open 2 Green Chilies and keep aside for later
- Roughly chop down two Tomatoes and put them in a grinder to make a paste
- Place a Kadai (wok) and turn on the gas. Add Mustard oil & let it heat up. Once the oil turns hot, add 2 Bay leaves.
- Add the chopped Onions and sauté for 8 minutes. Then add the roasted spices & mix well.
- Add Ginger garlic paste, mix well till the mixture turns light brown.
- Now, add the Tomato paste and some salt and mix together.
- Cover the Kadai with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, open the lid and add ½ teaspoon Red Chili powder and Mix well.
- Now add the marinated Chicken and coat the Chicken pieces with all the spices. Cover with a lid again and cook for 10 more minutes.
- After 10 minutes, flip the Chicken pieces. Then add water for gravy (we used 1/3 cup) and cover the lid to cook for 10 more minutes.
- Then add 1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder & add the slit Green Chilies. Mix well & let it cook for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes add chopped Coriander leaves and mix a little. Chicken Bhuna Masala should now be ready.