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Chicken Masala


Veg oil or ghee - 3 tbsp
Onion(small) - 1 no(finely chopped)
Cinnamon(Karugapatta) - 1 1/2" piece
Green cardamom - 2 nos
Cloves(grambu) - 4 nos
Fennel seeds(Perinjeerakam) - 1 tsp
Fresh ginger - 1" piece (very finely chopped)
Garlic pods - 2 nos(very finely chopped)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds(ground) - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 3/4 tsp
Greek-style full cream yoghurt (3/4 of a 150 gm tub) - 5 tbsp
Concentrated tomato purée - 1 tsp or more
Salt - As reqd
Chicken breasts - 2 nos (skinned and cut into 1 inch pieces)
Block of creamed coconut(chopped up pieces) - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves for garnishing


1)Heat oil in a large heavy pan.

2)Add onion and stir for a few mins on a high flame.

3)Add cinnamon, cardamons, cloves and fennel seeds and stir a little.

4)Lower the heat and cook for 10 mins.

5)Add ginger and garlic, stir and cook for another 10 mins on a low heat.

:- Stir continuously to make sure nothing browns or burns.

6)Add turmeric, coriander and chilly powder and fry gently for a minute.

7)Add 1 tbsp of yoghurt, stir round and turn the heat up so the yoghurt sizzles in the oil.

:- It won`t split if you`ve used full cream yoghurt.

8)When the yoghurt has lost a lot of it`s moisture, add another tbsp of it and stir fry as before.

9)Repeat, until all the yoghurt is incorporated.

:- The last tablespoons won`t sizzle but it doesn`t matter.

10)Add the tomato purée and stir in.

:- The colour of the dish should now be similar to the background colour of the recipe list page - a rich orangy yellow with red flecks if you`ve turned the graphics off.

11)Stir in lots of hot water enough to make the mixture very fluid.

12)Bring to boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 mins.

13)Add salt.

14)Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan.

15)Stir-fry the chicken pieces over a moderate heat, until they are sealed and have turned white.

16)Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer gently for another 20 - 30 mins, until the chicken is cooked.

17)Stir from time to time.

:- If the sauce gets too dry, add a little hot water.

18)10 mins from the end, add the creamed coconut pieces and stir to melt them.

:- Adjust the consistency of the sauce with some hot water as the creamed coconut will thicken the sauce.
:- At the end of the cooking you should have a fairly thick, creamy sauce with little patches of oil appearing at the top.
:- Remove the cinnamon and cardamoms, if you can find them! Don`t worry about the cloves.

19)Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

:- Serve hot.