Even today, visiting home is accompanied by a trip to the local dhaba. Since I’ve moved to Bangalore, food from dhaba’s is something I miss a lot. And I’ve been trying very hard to replicate the dhaba style chicken curry I remember. It took some time, but this recipe comes pretty close to the real thing.
Unlike my other recipes, this one’s slightly time consuming because masala is ground and cooked till it’s color changes. This is characteristic of most Indian curries, and the slow cooking process is what lends dishes a unique flavor.Print
The best dhaba style chicken curry recipe! Spicy, hot, fragrant curry made with ground spices, onions and tomatoes, and perfect for family lunch or dinner.
- 1 kg chicken (Skinless , cleaned and cut into medium sized pieces)
For the marinade:
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic (Paste)
- 1 lemon (Juice of)
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the curry:
- 4 Onions (medium sized , chopped)
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1½ inchs ginger (piece of)
- 3 – 4 Chilies (Green (Adjust the spice as required))
- 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cinnamon (Stick)
- 4 – 5 Cardamoms
- 8 – 10 Peppercorns
- 4 – 5 Cloves
- 4 Tomatoes (medium sized , chopped)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (Powder)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (Red (optional; adjust the spice as required))
- 2 tablespoons coriander (Powder)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (Powder)
- to taste salt
- 1 tablespoon ghee (heaping or clarified butter)
- 2 Chilies (Green , slit lengthwise)
- ½ inch ginger (piece , julienned)
- coriander (for garnishing)
- Marinate the chicken pieces with ginger garlic paste, lime juice and salt. Cover and set aside for 30 mins.
- Grind onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies to a fine paste. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker or a large heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Roughly pound all the whole spices (bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and cloves) and add to the oil. Once they start to splutter, add the onion paste. Cook the onion paste on a low flame, stirring occasionally, till it is reduced to a golden, brown paste and the oil starts to surface.
- Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder (if using) and coriander powder. Cook till the tomatoes start melting, and almost form a paste.
- Add the chicken, garam masala and ½ cup water.
- Pressure Cooker:
- At this stage, if you are using a pressure cooker, place the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Switch off the flame and let the steam escape before opening the cooker.
- Simmer for 5-10 mins on high flame, if required, to thicken the curry (Chicken leaves a lot of water). I didn’t need to do this.
- Pan Method:
- If you are using a heavy bottomed pan, bring the curry to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Uncover the pan, and cook for another 15-20 minutes till the water evaporates and the curry starts to thicken.
- Once the curry is ready, switch off the flame.
- In another small pan, heat ghee and add green chilies and ginger. Once they start to splutter and become slightly crisp, switch off the flame and mix the tadka (or tempering) into the curry. Top with coriander.
- Let the curry sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Tastes best with rotis or rice.
More Dhaba Style Recipes