Shahi Murg Masala

Mughlai food was once prepared in the kitchens of the Mughal emperors .

Mughlai cuisine consists of dishes developed in Medieval india prepared by the people of the Mughal Empire.Mughlai food is a favourite food today in most Indian households and occupies a very prominent place in most of the Indian festivals and celebrations.

Mughlai cuisine stands apart – it lays stress on low flame cooking, otherwise known as’dum’, also the optimum use of Indian spices, ghee, unsweetened Khoa, cream and curd in most of the meat dishes as well as vegetarian preparations.

At home, when I have time on my hands, chicken at home and cream and Khoa in the fridge – it is invariably a Mughlai dish that I cook . All of us love the balance of spice, the richness of the gravy and the end result -is more than gratifying. Along with some rotis and a salad- the meal is complete. This is a recipe I noted down from the Femina -1988 . So simple and all the ingredients are available in any Indian kitchen, perhaps the exception being khoa and cream. But for Mughlai cooking, you just cannot omit these two ingredients – as simple as that!  This is an awesome chicken dish- and I often make it for social get togethers. It never fails to impress.

Hoping this recipe will be one of your favourites soon-


  • Chicken- 1 kg
  • Cardamom- 3
  • Peppercorns- 6
  • Bayleaf- 2
  • Cinnamon- 2
  • Curd- 1 and a 1/2 cups
  • Khoa -50 grams (unsweetened)
  • Cream – 1/2 a cup (100 ml)
  • Coriander leaves to garnish 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Ghee or oil

Masala to grind together:

  • Onions – 2
  • Tomatoes- 2
  • Cummin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tbsp 
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger- garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Cashewnuts -10-12 


  • Heat ghee, add the whole spices ( cardamom, peppercorns, bayleaf and cinnamon ).
  • Add the ground masala and fry well.
  • Add curd and Khoa. Mix well with a whisk. Cover with a lid and cook on a low flame for 15-20 minutes till the ghee floats on top. Add water if required. The masala should not stick to the bottom of the kadai.
  • Add water if required to thin down the gravy.
  • Add chicken pieces, cover and cook till tender (10-15 minutes).
  • Add cream and stir well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot  with Roti/Pulao of your choice.

Chefs tips :

  • Always buy chicken that weighs 1-1.2 kg.
  • Boneless chicken   is the best bet always.
  • The third step in the method is the most important- to overcome the raw flavour of ground onions and tomato.
  • This will take 15-20 minutes.
  • You can also garnish the dish with grated boiled eggs.
  • You can use any vegetable oil to cook the masala.
  • If using oil, just before serving, melt some ghee  and pour on top of the dish. Mix well.
  • This dish serves 6-8 people.

‘A good cook is like  a sorceress who dispenses happiness.’

Till my next post,



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