Methi Chicken

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Methi Chicken

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2.5-cm piece of cassia bark
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 clove
  • 1 Indian bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1kg boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 5-6-cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 200 g full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasur methi)
  • 1 tsp each salt and chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tsp sugar


Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until golden brown and caramelised. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions, leaving as much of the oil in the pan as possible, and place on a plate to drain. Spread the onions across the plate so they crisp as they cool.

Add the cassia bark, cardamoms, clove, bay leaf and red chillies to the pan, then add the chicken and cook over a medium-high heat until golden brown all over.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the ginger and garlic and stir for about 2 minutes until the garlic no longer smells raw. Add the turmeric and ground coriander and stir for a minute, then add the yoghurt, followed by the fenugreek leaves.

Do not let the yoghurt boil – you should not need to add any water, as the yoghurt will prevent the spices from sticking to the base of the pan. Add the caramelised onions, salt, chilli powder and tomato purée and stir gently. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir in the sugar until it has dissolved, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir, uncovered, until the oil comes to the surface. Serve hot, garnished with cream and coriander, if using.

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