Out of the many Indian Chicken Recipes, this Punjabi Dhaba Style Chicken Curry Recipe is one of our favourites. Juicy morsels of chicken simmered in a smoky onion tomato gravy are perfect to pair with some Tandoori Roti, Laccha Paratha or Jeera Rice. Here is how to make it.
Dhabas are popular roadside food joints that are prominent along the highways in Northern India where it’s a common sight to see people flocked to enjoy some wholesome and flavourful Indian khana.
As you move from different dhabas across North India, you’ll notice that every region has its own unique flavour, but one dish that has been a hot favourite is the Chicken curry served at these dhabas.
What makes dhaba style food stand out is the use of simple ingredients to create something phenomenal.
And also the coal method of cooking makes it even better and gives it a different smoky flavour.
Just like any other Dhaba specialities like Dal Makhani, Palak Paneer, Naan etc, this Dhaba Chicken Curry is also a killer dish and should be definitely made at the comfort of home and with just simple everyday ingredients.
I used to love relishing on this curry whenever we used to travel from the road in the North and making it home, always takes me back to those beautiful memories with the family.
I still stop at the dhabas to relish this dish, whenever I get a chance.
But until next time, let’s make it at home and enjoy it at the comfort of our home.
What is Dhaba Style Chicken Curry?
A simple Chicken Curry, which is served in almost all the roadside non-veg highway dhabas of North India.
This chicken curry has the simplest of ingredients such as whole spices, ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes and curd.
You can even make it for your everyday meals, to give a break to your regular veg everyday meals.
I also love to make this Chicken Curry for my family get-togethers and house parties, and it is always a hit.
To make this curry in true Dhaba Style, we are using mustard oil for that slight pungency.
Once the oil is heated, spices like cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, black cardamom and dry red chillies are added and they are allowed to crackle for a few seconds.
Crushing the whole spices before adding them in the oil brings out their flavour much better.
Next chopped onions are added and allowed to brown, followed by the addition of chopped ginger and garlic.
The marinated chicken along with its marinade is added and allowed to cook with the spices for a few minutes.
Next tomato is added and cooked, followed by the addition of curd.
Curd is to be whisked with some maida or besan that lends a lovely thick and creamy texture to the chicken curry and also prevents it from separating.
Now the spices like coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder are added and the chicken is allowed to cook till tender.
Finally, garam masala and kasuri methi are added. This chicken curry can be mopped up with hot tandoori rotis or Jeera Rice.
To make it even more flavourful, you can give it a second tempering of cumin seeds, dry red chilli and garlic in ghee.
I like to serve some rice or jeera rice along too. It goes very well with the spicy curry.
You might also like these chicken curries, which are apt to make for your weekend meals:
Step by Step Recipe
Mix chicken with the ingredients for marination and let it marinate for 2-3 hours.
For the curry, heat oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add crushed cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, black cardamom and dry red chillies and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry until slightly browned.
Add ginger and garlic and fry until onion is nicely browned.
Now add chicken along with the marinade and cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add tomato and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add curd and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder and salt to taste and cover and cook until chicken is done.
Add garam masala powder and kasuri methi and cook for another minute. Serve hot with tandoori roti.
Dhaba Style Chicken Curry Recipe
- 1 kg Chicken (Curry Cut)
- 1 tsp Ginger Paste
- 1 tsp Garlic Paste
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
For the curry
- 4 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 2-3 Cloves (Crushed)
- 5-6 Black peppercorns (Crushed)
- 1 inch Cinnamon (Crushed)
- 3-4 Dry Red Chillies
- 2 cups Onion (Grated)
- 1 tsp Ginger (Chopped)
- 1 tsp Garlic (Chopped)
- 1 cup Tomato (Grated)
- 1 cup Curd (Whisked with 2 tsp Maida)
- 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Kasuri Methi
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala Powder
- Mix chicken with the ingredients for marination and let it marinate for 2-3 hours.
- For the curry, heat oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add crushed cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, black cardamom and dry red chillies and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until slightly browned.
- Add ginger and garlic and fry until onion is nicely browned.
- Now add chicken along with the marinade and cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add tomato and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add curd and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and salt to taste and cover and cook until chicken is done.
- Add garam masala powder and kasuti methi and cook for another minute.
- Serve hot with tandoori roti.
- For the smoky flavour that is a characteristic of Dhaba food, heat a piece of coal over direct flame until red hot.
- Keep a metal bowl over the curry.
- Keep the hot piece of coal in this bowl and pour some oil on top.
- Immediately close the lid of the pan and let the smoke get infused in the curry for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and remove the bowl with the coal.
- Your smoky Dhaba style chicken curry is ready to serve.