Mughlai Chicken is a dish hailing from the India's North. A supremely delicious, perfectly balanced sauce, rich and creamy with a tamed spice surrounding meltingly soft chicken. As with many Mughal dishes, this curry originated from Central Asia and Iran (Persia) and uses techniques common to those cuisines - the use of nuts, for example. In Iran, like in this recipe, the ground nuts help thicken sauces and give a lux texture, without feeling heavy.
Tips to getting the best Mughlai Chicken Curry
In my recipe, instead of whole almonds, I use almond flour. This helps create a wonderfully creamy sauce.
(you can use fresh nuts like almonds or cashews - just soak in water for 1 hour, then drain before you blitz them to get a good texture)
For the best flavour, I suggest using bone in chicken thighs or legs. The bone is nothing but flavour. That said, boneless thighs are fine too.
Blending the onion first helps give a creamier texture - but, just be sure that when you sauté them that most of the steam has evaporated and they are a golden brown before moving on. Watery onions will mean a watery curry.
Dry fry the nuts until lightly golden. For a more decadent finish, add a combination of raw almonds, cashews and pistachio and fry them in a little ghee until lightly golden. Drain and cool to let them get crunchy. You can also drizzle the ghee over the final curry if you're feeling like throwing caution to the wind.
What to serve with Mughlai Chicken Curry
As it's a Northern Curry, typically bread is king, so this curry is spectacular served with Naan, Chapati or Paratha but it's also super delicious over a bed of fluffy Basmati Rice.
As curries go, Mughlai Chicken is a big hit of flavour and a bigger hit with guests whenever I cook it. It's a worthy inclusion as one of my 10 Best Chicken Curry Recipes. It freezes superbly and here comes another tip... if you can bear the wait, pop it in the fridge for 24 hours and reheat. The flavours are noticeably improved.
More delicious North Indian Curry Recipes
If, like me, you love the rich, intense flavours of Northern India and Pakistan - you can't help but fall in love with some of my other North Indian curry recipes.
Using a stick blender or food processor, blend the onion into a puree.
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the onion puree and fry gently for 10 minutes until brown.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the cardamom, Kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala and cinnamon stick.
Cook, stirring over a lower heat for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken, turn up the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes until cooked on the outside. If it begins to stick, pour in a little water.
Add the water and salt and stir well. Partially cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the almond powder and cream and bring back to a simmer. The sauce will thicken. Remove from the heat and check for seasoning, adding a little salt if it needs it.
To serve, sprinkle over the fresh coriander and toasted almonds (To toast them, fry in a dry frying pan for 2-3 mines until browned. Leave to cool.)
Serve with Indian breads or Basmati rice.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 445Calories from Fat 206
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8.3g52%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.