7 Popular Desi Chicken Dishes you Must Try

Chicken is a very popular meat, especially when cooked with fragrant spices from South Asia. Here are some popular Desi chicken dishes.

The marinated chicken is then roasted in a tandoor oven.

There are many popular Desi chicken dishes, all rich and full of flavour.

More South Asian people eat chicken than other meats like lamb due to a number of cultural, economic and practical factors.

As a result, there is a wider variety of dishes, each with their flavour profile.

Chicken dishes are typically enjoyed for their diverse flavours, especially when accompanied by fresh roti or naan.

There are a number of tasty Desi chicken dishes boasting multitudes of flavours to try at home.

Butter Chicken

7 Popular Desi Chicken Dishes you Must Try - butter

Butter chicken is a classic when it comes to Indian cuisine.

The dish is made by marinating boneless chicken pieces in a mixture of yoghurt and spices, such as ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala, before cooking them in a tandoor oven or on a grill.

The cooked chicken is then simmered in a rich and creamy tomato-based sauce that is flavoured with butter, cream, and a range of aromatic spices such as fenugreek leaves and cardamom.

The sauce is usually made by cooking onions, garlic and ginger in butter until they are caramelised, then adding pureed tomatoes and spices to create a thick and flavorful sauce.

Butter chicken is typically served with naan bread or rice and is often garnished with fresh coriander or cream.

It has a mild, yet complex flavour that combines the sweetness of the tomato sauce, the richness of the cream and butter, and the warm and earthy spices used in the marinade and sauce.

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is made by marinating chicken in a blend of yoghurt and spices, including ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper.

The marinated chicken is then roasted in a tandoor oven.

This cooking method gives the chicken a distinctive smoky and charred flavour, and the yoghurt in the marinade helps to tenderise the meat and keep it moist.

Tandoori chicken is often served with naan, rice and a variety of chutneys.

It is a popular dish in many Indian restaurants and can be found in many different variations, including bone-in and boneless, spicy or mild and with or without skin.

Chicken Biryani

7 Popular Desi Chicken Dishes you Must Try - biryani

Biryani is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent but has since become a popular dish in many countries around the world.

Biryani is typically made by cooking long-grain basmati rice with a variety of aromatic spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and bay leaves.

Some of the most popular variations are made with chicken, which is marinated and cooked separately from the rice.

The cooked rice and filling are then layered in a large pot or baking dish, with the rice forming the bottom layer and the chicken filling forming the top layer.

The dish is then typically covered and cooked on low heat or in an oven until the flavours have combined and the rice is cooked through.

Biryani is often garnished with fried onions, fresh herbs and sometimes nuts or raisins. It is usually served with a side of raita or chutney.

Chicken Korma

This mild Desi chicken curry is known for its rich, creamy and luxurious texture.

The word ‘Korma’ is derived from the Urdu language and means “braising” or “cooking slowly”.

Chicken pieces are first marinated in yoghurt, which helps to tenderise the meat and infuse it with flavour. Often, a mixture of spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and sometimes garam masala is added to the marinade.

The cooking process begins by sautéing onions until they become soft and golden brown. This step forms the base of the Korma sauce and adds sweetness and depth to the dish.

After the onions are cooked, a blend of aromatic spices is added to the pan. These include ground coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves.

Once the spices are well integrated, the marinated chicken is added to the pan and cooked with the spice mixture.

Cream is then added to the dish, giving it its characteristic creamy texture. Some recipes also call for ground nuts like almonds or cashews, which are added to further thicken the sauce and provide a rich, nutty flavour.

The chicken is allowed to simmer gently in the creamy sauce, allowing the flavours to meld together and the chicken to cook thoroughly. The slow cooking process also allows the sauce to thicken and develop a luscious texture.

Chicken Do Pyaza

7 Popular Desi Chicken Dishes you Must Try - do pyaza

A popular Desi chicken dish, Chicken Do Pyaza is known for its generous use of onions.

The dish begins with marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of yoghurt and spices.

Common marinade ingredients include ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. The chicken is left to marinate for a while, allowing the flavours to permeate the meat.

The name ‘Do Pyaza’ translates to “two onions”. These are sliced or chopped and used in two different stages of the cooking process.

First, a portion of the onions is sautéed in oil until they turn translucent and develop a slightly sweet flavour. These sautéed onions will form the base of the curry.

After the sautéed onions are cooked, spices such as cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves are added to the pan. Sometimes, green chillies or red chilli powder are used to add heat to the dish.

Tomatoes are also added to provide a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the onions.

Once the spices are well combined, the marinated chicken is added to the pan and cooked with the onion and spice mixture. The chicken absorbs the flavours of the spices and becomes tender and succulent.

The second part of the onions comes into play at this stage. They are added to the curry along with some water or stock. These onions retain their texture and provide a delightful crunch to the dish, giving it a distinct texture and flavour contrast.

The chicken simmers on low heat until it is fully cooked.

Chicken Saag

Also known as Chicken Palak, this nutritious dish combines pieces of chicken with a spinach-based gravy.

The chicken is marinated in yoghurt and a mix of spices.

At the same time, the spinach is quickly blanched in boiling water.

The base of the gravy contains onions. Meanwhile, the blanched spinach is pureed to form a smooth and vibrant green paste. This spinach paste gives the dish its characteristic colour and imparts a rich, earthy flavour.

After spices are added, the marinated chicken is added to the spiced onion mixture and everything is cooked together until the chicken is partially cooked.

The pureed spinach is then added to the partially cooked chicken, and the dish is simmered until the chicken is fully cooked.

The spinach not only contributes to the flavour but also provides a thick and creamy texture to the gravy.

Chicken Chettinad

This Desi chicken dish originated from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu.

The key to Chicken Chettinad’s distinct flavour lies in the freshly ground spice blend.

A mixture of spices, including black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and dried red chillies, is dry roasted in a pan.

This process enhances the aroma and releases the essential oils, making the spices more fragrant and flavorful.

After dry roasting, the spices are ground into a fine paste, often with the addition of grated coconut or grated onions, which adds richness to the masala.

Meanwhile, chicken is marinated in yoghurt and the spice paste.

To begin cooking the curry, chopped onions, garlic, and ginger are sautéed in a pan until they turn golden brown. This forms the base of the curry and adds sweetness and depth to the dish.

Chettinad Chicken is known for its rich and creamy gravy. Coconut milk is added to the curry to achieve the desired consistency and impart a delectable coconut flavour.

To balance the rich and robust flavours, tamarind pulp or tamarind water is often added. The tanginess from the tamarind complements the spiciness of the dish.

Curry leaves are a typical ingredient in Chettinad cuisine and are added to the curry for their distinctive aroma and taste.

The curry is allowed to simmer until the flavours have fully combined.

The sauce thickens during this process, creating a luscious and hearty gravy.

These delicious Desi chicken dishes boast a variety of flavours, meaning there is something for everyone.

Some of these dishes have become so popular, they are enjoyed all over the world, not just in their country of origin.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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