Chicken Shahjahani

4 from 4 votes
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Chicken Shahjahani is a rich and creamy chicken recipe cooked in a rich masala made with nuts, onions, and spices. Here is a simple recipe to make it.

Here are some more of my favorite chicken curry recipes: Dahi Chicken, Methi Chicken, Chicken Rogan Josh, Malai Chicken, and Dhaba Chicken Curry.

Chicken shahjahani served in a bowl.
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About Chicken Shahjahani

Shahjahan means Emperor of the world. This Chicken Shahjahani is a rich and exquisite curry fit for the shahjahan. It is believed to have been created during the Mughal era. The khansamas (chefs) in the royal kitchen created many dishes to impress the kings. They used exquisite ingredients like saffron, nuts, kewra essence, etc., to make the dishes truly royal.

I got this Chicken Shawarma recipe from a newspaper cutting many years ago. I improvised it to suit our palate. This curry is not your everyday chicken curry. Make it for special occasions, festivals, or get-togethers. I can assure you that everyone who eats it will fall in love with it.

Ingredients

Ghee and Oil – To make this curry, use ghee and oil. Ghee will give it a rich flavor, and oil will balance the heaviness.

Whole Spices – You will need cloves (laung), black cardamoms (badi elaichi), and green cardamoms (hari elaichi).

Nuts and Seeds – This curry uses white poppy seeds, melon seeds, and cashew nuts. If poppy seeds are unavailable, you can skip using them in the recipe.

Spice Powders – You will need turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and garam masala powder.

Chicken – Try to use skinless bone-in chicken pieces for the best flavor.

Others – You will also need red onions, ginger garlic paste, plain yogurt (dahi, curd), salt, heavy cream, and kewra essence.

Garnish the curry with chopped cilantro and halved hard-boiled eggs.

How To Make Murgh Shahjahani

Make The Masala Paste

Soak 2 teaspoon white poppy seeds, 2 teaspoon melon seeds, and 10-12 cashew nuts in ¼ cup of warm water for 30 minutes.

Poppy seeds, melon seeds and cashew nuts soaked in water.

Heat 3 tablespoon ghee and 2 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add 3-4 cloves, 2 black cardamoms, and 2 green cardamoms, and fry for 4-5 seconds.

Whole spices added to hot oil in a pan.

Add 1 and ½ cups chopped red onions and cook until translucent, stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pan.

Add 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and cook until onions turn light brown.

Ginger garlic paste added to the pan.

Remove the pan from heat and let the onion mixture cool for 10 minutes.

Once cooled, add to a blender with soaked nuts and ¼ cup water and blend to make a fine paste.

Fried onions, soaked nuts and water added to a blender.
Fine masala paste.

Make The Curry

Transfer the paste back to the pan. Add ¼ cup water and mix well.

Masala paste and water added to a pan.

Cook for a minute.

Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Spice powders added to the pan.

Add 1 kg skinless bone-in chicken (cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces) and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Chicken added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Add 4 tablespoon plain yogurt (whisked) and ½ cup of water and mix well. Cover the pan and cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring a few times.

Yogurt and water added to the pan.
Pan covered with a lid.

Add 2 tablespoon heavy cream and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Heavy cream added to the pan.

Now add 3-4 drops kewra essence and mix well.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro. Arrange 3-4 halved hard-boiled eggs on top and serve hot.

Ready chicken shahjahani garnished with boiled eggs and cilantro.

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Chicken Shahjahani is a rich and creamy chicken recipe cooked in a rich masala made with nuts, onions, and spices. Here is a simple recipe to make it.
4 from 4 votes

Chicken Shahjahani Recipe

Chicken Shahjahani is a rich and creamy chicken recipe cooked in a rich masala made with nuts, onions, and spices. Here is a simple recipe to make it.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For The Masala Paste

  • 2 teaspoons white poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons melon seeds
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3-4 cloves (laung)
  • 2 black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
  • 2 green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 1 and ½ cups chopped red onions
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste

For The Curry

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 kilogram skinless bone-in chicken (cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces)
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt (dahi, curd) (whisked)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3-4 drops kewra essence
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
  • 3-4 hard-boiled eggs (cut into halves)
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Instructions 

Make The Masala Paste

  • Soak poppy seeds, musk melon seeds, and cashew nuts in ¼ cup of warm water for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add cloves, black cardamoms, and green cardamoms and fry for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add onions and cook until translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook until onions turn light brown.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let the onion mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, add to a blender with soaked nuts and ¼ cup water and blend to make a fine paste.

Make The Curry

  • Transfer the paste back to the pan.
  • Add ¼ cup water and mix well.
  • Cook for a minute.
  • Add turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add yogurt and ½ cup of water and mix well. Cover the pan and cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring a few times.
  • Add cream and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Now, add kewra essence and mix well.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. Arrange the halved hard-boiled eggs on top and serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 502kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 322mg, Sodium: 795mg, Potassium: 637mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 662IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 115mg, Iron: 3mg
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