Bold, spicy, and full of flavors, Chicken Masala is a delicious Indian Chicken curry, where marinated chicken is cooked in tomato-onion gravy. Serve it with Chapati and Kachumber Salad for a hearty meal. Here is how to make it.
You can also try some of my other favorite Indian Chicken Curries, that can be enjoyed for an everyday meal – Achari Chicken, Coriander Chicken, Coconut Curry Chicken, Fresh Methi Chicken, and Ginger Chicken Curry.
About This Recipe
Chicken Masala is an Indian Chicken curry where chicken is marinated first and then cooked in a delicious onion-tomato based gravy. Spicy and full of flavor, this curry is a huge hit at all my house parties and get-togethers.
Chicken is marinated with lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, and red chili powder and set aside for about an hour, so that chicken soaks up all the flavors nicely. This marinated chicken is then cooked along with onions, tomatoes, and everyday spices to make a spicy and flavourful curry.
Fennel powder is used in this curry, which gives it a unique taste and aroma.
I would recommend making this Chicken Masala in mustard oil, or as we call it sarson ka tel as it brings out the best flavor in this curry. But if you don’t have mustard oil, you can make it any vegetable oil of your choice. You can even use ghee if you like your curry to be rich.
This one is a super easy Chicken Curry, that can also be prepared for your weekday treats, and the best part it is prepared with everyday ingredients.
This Chicken Masala is also a popular recipe, that can be found in most of the North Indian Non-Veg Restaurants and if you want that same restaurant-style taste, do make this recipe at home.
So give your usual Chicken Curry a break, and try my Chicken Masala recipe and I assure you won’t be disappointed.
This Chicken Masala is,
- Protein Rich
- Easy to make
- Perfect for house parties
Chicken – High in protein, you must try to include chicken in your everyday meals if you are a non-vegetarian. I have used bone-in chicken to make this curry as it gives it a delicious flavor but you can use boneless chicken too.
Mustard Oil – I love the taste mustard oil brings to non-veg curries and therefore I mostly use this oil only. Make sure you heat the mustard oil until it is smoking hot, and then cool down a bit before you add whole spices.
If you do not heat it properly, it might give a raw mustard taste to your curry.
But if you don’t have mustard oil, you can use any vegetable oil or ghee to make this curry.
Marination Ingredients – In this recipe, chicken is marinated with a set of ingredients such as lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, and red chili powder. At least keep for an hour, so that the chicken soaks up the flavor nicely.
You can adjust the amount of red chili powder according to your taste.
Onions, Green Chillies, and Tomato – The base of this curry is made with a spicy tomato onion masala, in which marinated chicken is added later to make a delicious curry.
Green Chilies are added to add more spicy flavor to the curry. If you like it to be less spicy, you can avoid adding green chilies, as we have marinated the chicken in red chili powder.
Whole Spices and Spice Powders – For whole spices, I have used cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, and dry red chilies and for spice powders, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and fennel powder are required.
When the whole spices are added to the hot oil, they release a delicious aroma along with making the curry flavourful. Crushing the spices slightly before adding in the oil is best to release their flavors.
Step By Step Recipe
Wash the chicken and transfer it in a bowl. Add lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and red chilli powder in the chicken and mix well.
Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate for 1 hour.
Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker.
Once the oil is hot, add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, and dry red chilies and fry them for a few seconds. Slightly crush the whole spices in a mortar for best flavor.
Add onion and fry until it turns golden brown.
Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and fennel powder and fry until oil starts to separate from the sides.
Now add the marinated chicken and fry on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add tomato, green chilli and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of water and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Pressure cook the chicken for one whistle on high heat. Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.
Open the lid of the cooker. If the liquid is too much for your liking, cook the curry until it thickens. Add garam masala powder and fresh coriander and mix well. Serve hot with Naan or Phulka.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Chicken Masala, Chicken is marinated with limited ingredients and then cooked in a tomato-onion masala curry, whereas in Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken is marinated and grilled to make Tikkas and then added to the Curry.
While Chicken Masala is a one-pot dish recipe and has a homely touch to it, Chicken Tikka Masala is more of a restaurant-style curry.
Amritsari version is very similar to the classic recipe, the only difference is the use of curd in the marination. It is also slightly sweet in taste because of the addition of a little sugar in it.
Yes, you can even use Mutton instead of Chicken in this recipe, but it has more fat and takes more time to cook too.
So if you are making this recipe using Mutton, make sure that your mutton is properly cooked.
Marinating it for an hour is enough, but if you have time on your hands you can marinate for about 2-3 hours too.
It also tastes great along with Steamed Rice or Jeera Rice.
You can store this Chicken Masala in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 2 days.
You can also freeze it for later use. Once the chicken curry is ready, let it cool down completely. Next, place it into an airtight container, plastic zip-lock bags, or freezable glass meal prep bowls.
Place the containers to the freezer and it stays good for about 2 months.
You can either reheat it in the pan or in the microwave. Place the frozen or refrigerated chicken in the pan, add a little water, and heat it for about 5 to 8 minutes. Make sure that you stir it occasionally in between.
In the microwave, place the curry in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 3 minutes. Take it out, stir it using a spoon, and place it back in the microwave. Heat it again for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is heated properly.
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Chicken Masala Recipe
- Pressure Cooker
- 500 g Chicken
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 3 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 3-4 Cloves
- 5-6 Black Peppercorns
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 2-3 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 cup Onion (chopped)
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Powder
- 1 cup Tomato (grated)
- 2-3 Green Chillies (slit in half)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander (chopped)
- Wash the chicken and transfer it in a bowl.
- Add lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and red chilli powder in the chicken and mix well.
- Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate for 1 hour.
- Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker.
- Once the oil is hot, add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and dry red chillies and fry them for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until it turns golden brown.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and fennel powder and fry until oil starts to separate from the sides.
- Now add the marinated chicken and fry on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add tomato, green chilli and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Pressure cook the chicken for two whistle on high heat. Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid of the cooker. If the liquid is too much for your liking, cook the curry until it thickens.
- Add garam masala powder and fresh coriander and mix well. Serve hot with Naan or Phulka.