Chicken masala recipe with video & step by step photos – Simple home style Indian chicken masala that goes great with rice, naan or paratha. There are many many ways a masala chicken recipe is made across India. Each region has their own way of making it with locally available taste enhancers like coconut, cashews, sesame seeds, poppy seeds etc.
There are also different chicken masala recipes that are served in restaurants like Butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, chicken butter masala, malai chicken masala etc. All the restaurant style dishes do take some time to prepare and cream or yogurt is mostly used. But the recipe I am sharing today is a very simple one, needs no blending, no overnight marination, no yogurt or cream etc. Yet this tastes delicious, moderately spicy and flavorful.
If you have a good garam masala along with some basic ingredients like chili powder, onions etc then you are good to go with this recipe.
Chicken masala can be made to a dry, semi dry or a gravy dish. I have made it to a semi dry dish, if you prefer a dry dish then just evaporate all the moisture until the masala clings on to the chicken well.
If you prefer a gravy version, just add some hot water or coconut milk to the chicken after sauteing it. Also increase red chili powder and garam masala by ½ tsp. You can also add some cashew paste or coconut paste to get a rich gravy.
Do remember the 2 main steps to make a yummy and delicious chicken masala. One – slow cooking and two- add hot water if using. Slow cooking yields chicken that is flavourful, juicy and tender.
Video of chicken masala recipe
Chicken masala recipe
- ½ kg chicken cubed with bones
- ¾ tsp Ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp Salt or as needed
- ½ tsp red chili powder (mild variety like kashmiri or byadgi)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¾ tsp garam masala or chicken masala
- 2 tbsps curd/ yogurt (optional)
- Oil 2 tbps
- 1 small bay leaf
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 to 4 cloves
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- ¾ tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 to 2 green chilies chopped (milder variety)
- ½ cup tomato puree or finely chopped
- ½ tsp Salt or as needed
- ½ to ¾ tsp red chili powder (mild variety like kashmiri or byadgi) (or as needed)
- ½ to ¾ tsp garam masala or chicken masala
- Handful of mint/ pudina leaves finely chopped or curry leaves or both
- Handful of coriander leaves finely chopped
- Clean and wash chicken well. Drain completely with no excess water.
- Marinate with ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, chicken masala or garam masala.
- Cover & set aside for about 45 mins to 1 hour. It can also be left overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat oil in a pan or pot. Saute cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms and bay leaf in hot oil for a min. You can also add curry leaves if you have.
- Add green chilies and onions. Saute them until the onions turn completely golden.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.
- Add tomato puree, salt, red chili powder and garam masala.
- Saute this very well until the mixture begins to leave the pan. At this stage you can also see oil getting separated from the mixture.
- Add marinated chicken and saute for 4 to 5 mins on a medium flame.
- Turn the flame to completely low and cook covered for 5 mins.
- Flip the chicken pieces and mix everything well. Add coriander leaves or mint leaves and give a stir.
- Cover the pan again and continue to cook on a low heat until chicken is completely cooked to soft and tender. Chicken gets cooked in its own moisture, so don't need to add water.
- Add half tsp more garam masala and chilli powder while cooking the tomato puree.
- Add little hot water or coconut milk to make a gravy. Cook until the gravy turns thick.
- Serve chicken masala hot with steamed rice, roti, sliced onion wedges and lemon.
How to make chicken masala – step by step photos
1. Add chicken, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt. chicken masala or garam masala and red chili powder to a mixing bowl.
2. Marinate chicken well and set aside for about 45 mins to 1 hour. You can also refrigerate overnight.
3. Heat a pot with oil and saute the spices.
4. Add green chilies and onions.
5. Saute till onions turn completely golden. Add ginger garlic paste and fry until raw smell goes off.
6. Add tomato puree, red chili powder, garam masala and salt.
7. Saute till the mixture begins to leave oil.
8. Saute chicken with this masala for 3 to 5 mins on a medium flame.
9. Cover and cook for about 5 mins on the lowest possible flame.
10. You will see moisture from chicken begins to ooze out. Add coriander, mint leaves and mix.
11. Cover and cook again until chicken is soft and tender. Adjust salt and spice if needed at this stage. Add some more coriander leaves to finish off.
Serve chicken masala with rice, roti or paratha along with lemon wedges and onion slices.