This is one of my favourite chicken recipes, the flavours from it are just outstanding. Two teaspoons of the Achari Masala is all it takes to turn the ingredients in the pan into a bittersweet broth (find the recipe for the masala in the top of the Spice Box in the menu).

I use chicken on the bone, but feel free to use boneless if you wish.

Ingredients – Serves 4

1 whole chicken skinned, washed and cut into small pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you if it’s easier)

1 tbsp of oil

2 inch piece of cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

2 bayleaves

2 large onions – finely diced

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

3 green chillies – finely chopped (or to taste)

1 heaped tsp turmeric

1 x 300g tin tomatoes – pureed

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp kashmiri chilli

2 tsp dried fenugreek (methi)

2 tsp achari masala

1-2 tsp salt (to taste)

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the cinnamon and cardamom
  • Add the cumin and mustard seeds and bay leaves, and as soon as the seeds begin to splutter add the diced onion
  • Sauté the onions until they begin to turn brown in colour
  • Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook until the raw disappears
  • Now add the turmeric, and sauté for a minute or so
  • Pour the pureed tomatoes into the pan and also add the green chillies if using them
  • Cook the tomatoes on a medium heat until they lose their watery edge. Now you can add the coriander powder, garam masala, kashmiri chilli and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Take the fenugreek leaves on one palm and rub between both palms to release their flavour and add to the pan along with the achari masala and the salt
  • Cook on a medium heat for another 5-6 mins until the oil rises to the surface
  • Lower the heat and add the washed chicken pieces
  • Coat them with the ingredients in the pan ensuring all the pieces are covered, then cover the pan and lower the heat
  • Let cook on a low heat for at least 30-40 minutes – depending on the size of the chicken pieces, stirring occasionally
  • If you prefer a slightly runnier sauce, add a cup of water at this stage and turn the heat up a little, bringing it to a simmer for 2 minutes
  • Your chicken is ready! Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve with crispy parathe, roti, naan or rice

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