Mughlai Chicken Curry

Preparation time: 10 minutes |Cooking time: 45 minutes |Serves: 6

Mughlai Chicken Curry

Creamy chicken curry with dark brown onion gravy:

The Mughlai chicken curry is a blend of heavy gravy that keeps you feeling full. Try out this recipe to experience the magic of onions, creamy cashews, and simple Indian spices can offer to a dish.

Earlier, Mughal to me meant spending a long time in kitchen grinding and sautéing ingredients and basically living inside the kitchen to make a dish. But I have done my part of research thoroughly to make this Mughlai chicken curry ready in one hour and give you the immense satisfaction of creating something extraordinary at home. 

Mughlai Cuisine:

The preparation of Mughlai food is popular for its time-consuming process and involved with the usage of butter based and flavored sauces. Most restaurants interpret Mughlai style as mild to medium hot cream based gravies commonly served with rice or Indian bread (chapattis, nans, paratha). Some of the popular Mughlai dishes are Mughlai chicken, Resham kebab, Murg tandoor, and has their own line of desserts like Kalakand, Shani Tukra, Barfi, Bread pudding, etc. While most Mughlai dishes are rich and creamy, there are some light versions too. You can also lighten up these dishes by using fresh and healthy ingredients.

Indian cuisine is predominately known for its large variety of dishes and taste. Out of all dishes, the Mughlai cuisine is unique in preparation and cooking style. The Mughlai cuisine originated from the Mughal Empire and having significant influence in Indian cooking with its popularity in Northern parts of India. The Mughlai dishes are generally exquisitely rich with the perfect balance of spices.

Getting into the recipe:

The chicken recipe from the most renowned Mughlai cuisines cannot get easily. This recipe uses very few ingredients and that too, with the ingredients readily available in your pantry. If you want to make Mughlai chicken out of scratch, you need not run to a grocery store to get all the things. A majority of the ingredients and spices will always be available at a home who cook Indian meals.

Traditional Mughlai chicken curry is generally prepared with lots of nuts and adding yogurt along with it that adds more creaminess to the dish. Mughlai food is popular for its liberal usage of spices and nuts. Some recipe also uses dried fruits like raisins in the dish to make it tasty.

I strongly feel that the curry taste more delicious when you use the moist and brown meat from the thigh part of the chicken but if you prefer to use boneless chicken breasts, that is a frequent reference and you can proceed with the same. Not only the recipe can be made in advance, but it can also be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days without losing the original flavors.

To make this recipe gluten free, make the garam masala at home or make sure to choose gluten-free garam masalas from the store. If you are staying in a humid climate, you canuse evaporated milk instead of cream otherwise it is easy for the cream to get spoilt soon.

Mughlai chicken is the most admired dish in the Mughal cuisine and a top item in restaurant menus, but it can be made at home with basic ingredients too. If you want to make an excellent an appetizing dish for lunch, try this out. You can make it for, and this would be an instant hit among the guests. Pair this creamy chicken curry with ghee rice, tandoori roti, phulkas, butter naan or simple rumali roti or any other Indian bread varieties.


  • Ghee or oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Cashew nuts – 10
  • Onions, chopped – 4
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped – 6
  • Ginger, chopped – 1-inch piece
  • Green chilies – 3
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon stick – 1-inch piece
  • Chicken with bone – ½ kg
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Chili powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Cream – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – To taste


  1. Start with soaking cashew nuts for 10 minutes in hot water.
  2. Clean the chicken and rub turmeric powder and salt in the chicken and set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat oil or ghee and add the onions.
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on onions so that it cooks fast.
  5. Cook the onions until it becomes golden brown.
  6. Once onions cooked well, transfer it to a blender and add garlic cloves, ginger, cashew nuts, green chilies and 2 tablespoons of water. Grind to a fine paste.
  7. Add remaining ghee to the pan and add spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. Sauté for a minute and add onion paste to it. On medium heat, cook the paste by stirring occasionally.
  8. Now add coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala powder and sauté for 2 minutes. Add salt as per your taste.
  9. Then add chicken to the pan and add around ¼ cup of water. Cook for 20 minutes or till the chicken gets cooked. Stir occasionally to avoid it getting thick to the bottom of the pan.
  10. Bring the curry to a bold and taste the curry and adjust the seasoning. Finish off by adding in cream.
  11. Now switch off the flame and serve after 10 minutes.
  12. Serve with bread or ghee rice.

Nutritional information:

Calories: 300|Fats: 16gm |Cholesterol: 83mg|Sodium: 1140mg|Protein: 27gm |Dietary fiber: 5gm


  • Adding cashew nuts to hot water will soften them, and it becomes easy to grind.
  • Make sure that you chop onions as fine as possible as it helps to brown them fast.
  • The recipe calls for chicken with bones as it adds more flavors to the curry and has less chance of being overcooked.
  • The Mughlai chicken curry tastes a lot better when it sits for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • As we add cashew nut to the curry, the curry would be generally thick. If you want thin gravy, add more water to make it light.