Dhaba Style Chicken Curry

4.52 from 29 votes

Simple and easy to make, this Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is the most flavorful curry you can make. Bring back the memories of the road trip eateries right on your dining table with this easy recipe.

Dhaba style chicken curry served in a bowl.
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About Dhaba Chicken Curry

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is a simple recipe served on almost all the dhabas on North Indian highways. It is spicy, flavorful, and comes together quickly using basic ingredients.

Dhabas are roadside eateries, very common on the highways across north India. It is a place for travelers to stop, have a meal, and relax.

The food served at the dhaba is wholesome, simple food made using basic ingredients, and you get to eat it sitting on a charpai (wooden cots with rope weave) with a wooden plank serving as a table.

This Dhaba-style chicken curry will remind you of the one you ate in one of these dhabas during your road trips. Juicy and succulent marinated chicken pieces are cooked in a simple, spicy tomato onion curry flavored with whole spices, ginger, garlic, and yogurt. 

Due to its simplicity, I love to make this chicken curry for my family get-togethers and house parties, and it is always a hit. To make the entire experience very authentic, serve this curry with dal tadka and tandoori roti, and vinegar onions are a must, too.

If you love good chicken curry, try some of my other favorites.

Ingredients

For Marination – Bone-in skinless chicken pieces are marinated to soak the flavors nicely. You will need ginger garlic paste, lime juice, salt, Kashmiri red chili powder, and garam masala powder to marinate.

Kashmiri red chili powder gives a nice red color to the curry without making it too spicy. Lime juice makes the chicken nice and tender.

Oil – I prefer to make this Dhaba chicken curry in mustard oil as it lends that authentic flavor. If you do not prefer mustard oil, you can prepare the curry in any cooking oil or ghee.

Plain Yogurt (Dahi, Curd) – It is added to settle down the spices in the curry and add some creaminess and rich texture. Use full-fat yogurt for the best result.

Adding all-purpose flour to the yogurt prevents it from splitting while cooking.

Spice Powders – This recipe requires basic spice powders such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, and garam masala powder.

Whole Spices – This recipe also uses whole spices such as cloves (laung), black peppercorns (kali mirch), cinnamon (dalchini), and dry red chilies.

Others – You will also need red onions, fresh ginger, garlic, fresh tomatoes, Kasuri methi, and salt.

How To Make Dhaba Chicken Curry

Marinate The Chicken

Add

  • 1 lbs (500 g) bone-in skinless chicken (cut into 1 and ½-inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder

to a large mixing bowl. Mix everything well using a large spoon or your hands.

Keep it aside while we make the curry.

Marinated chicken.

Make The Curry

To make the curry, crush

  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick

lightly in a mortar and pestle and set aside.

Crushed whole spices.

Heat 4 tablespoon mustard oil in a large pan on high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the crushed spices and 2-3 dry red chilies and let them crackle for 2-3 seconds.

Crushed spices and dry chilies aded to hot oil.

Add 1 cup of grated red onions and cook on medium-high heat until they turn slightly brown (5-6 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pan.

Add 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic and cook until onions are nicely browned (5-6 minutes).

Ginger and garlic added to the pan.

Now, add the marinated chicken to the pan along with the marinade and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Marinated chicken added to the pan.

Add ½ cup grated fresh tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Grated tomatoes added to the pan.

Add 1 cup of plain yogurt whisked with 2 teaspoon of all-purpose flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Yogurt added to the pan.

Now add

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

and mix well.

Spice powders added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Add ½ cup of water and mix well.

Water added to the pan.

Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat until the chicken is tender (35-40 minutes). Stir a few times while cooking.

Pan covered with a lid.

Add

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed Kasuri methi

and cook for another minute.

Garam masala powder and Kasuri methi added to the ready curry.

Add some water if the curry is too thick, and bring it to a boil.

Check for salt and add more if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Ready dhaba style chicken curry garnished with cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

When you go to a Dhaba, you typically order this chicken curry with Punjabi Yellow Dal Tadka and Tandoori Roti. Sirka Pyaz or Lachha Onion comes along complimentary.

You can also serve any Indian bread like Phulka, Plain Naan, Lachha Paratha, or Missi Roti with this curry. I like to serve some boiled rice or Jeera Rice along, too.

Storage Suggestions

This curry will last in the fridge for 2-3 days when stored in an air-tight container.

Reheat it in a pan or microwave until it is nice and warm.

Add water and adjust the consistency if the curry has become thick.

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Simple and easy to make, this Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is the most flavorful curry you can make. Bring back the memories of the road trip eateries right on your dining table with this easy recipe.
4.52 from 29 votes

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry Recipe

Simple and easy to make, this Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is the most flavorful curry you can make. Bring back the memories of the road trip eateries right on your dining table with this easy recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For The Marination

  • 1 pound bone-in skinless chicken (500 g, cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder

For The Curry

  • 4 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies (stalk removed)
  • 1 cup grated red onions
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup grated tomatoes
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (dahi, curd) (whisked with 2 teaspoon all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kasuri methi
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
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Instructions 

Marinate The Chicken

  • Add chicken, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, salt, red chili powder, and garam masala powder to a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix everything well using a large spoon or your hands.
  • Keep it aside while we make the curry.

Make The Curry

  • Lightly crush cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
  • Heat mustard oil in a large pan on high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the crushed spices and dry red chilies and let them crackle for 2-3 seconds.
  • Add red onions and cook on medium-high heat until they turn slightly brown (5-6 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Add ginger and garlic and cook until onions are nicely browned (5-6 minutes).
  • Now, add the marinated chicken to the pan along with the marinade and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add yogurt and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, and salt, and mix well.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add ½ cup of water and mix well.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat until the chicken is tender (35-40 minutes). Stir a few times while cooking.
  • Add garam masala powder and Kasuri methi and cook for another minute.
  • Add some water if the curry is too thick, and bring it to a boil.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Notes

You can also give this curry a second tempering of cumin seeds, dry red chilies, and garlic. Do it once you are ready to serve the curry.
It’s best to make this curry a few hours in advance for all the flavors to come along. 

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 968mg, Potassium: 349mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 575IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 1mg
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4.52 from 29 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




29 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Neha,
    Firstly, thank you for sharing such amazing recipes. Whenever I’m looking for a recipe and come across WhiskAffair, my search ends there. With your recipes, I’m always confident they will turn out delicious and healthy. Yesterday, I tried your dhaba-style chicken recipe, and my parents loved it. Thank you so much for offering healthier versions of your recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe, thank you for sharing. Healthy and so packed with flavor. I used olive oil rather than mustard oil as the only variation.