Spicy Hyderabadi Chicken Curry with tangy pickling spices
Okay guys, so this curry is truly a GEM and an Ankitha Gadag original recipe. I promise you, reactions will be nothing short of jaws-dropping if you decide to put in the work to give this a try!
For one, this recipe has taken a few weeks to perfect. I was first inspired to re-create this curry after tasting the most amazing Achari Chicken Curry at a local Hyderabadi restaurant. It was unlike anything I ever tried before – it was tangy, it was spicy, truly tantalizing your taste buds in every way. Of course I had to dig further and put my skills to the test.
Turns out Achari (Pickle) Murgh (Chicken) Curry actually originated in the Northern region of India (Punjab). Pickling of mangoes, limes and other vegetables would require a variety of spices all batched together for pickling. So, what do you do with the leftover spices? Make curry, of course!
This curry has now been modified to fit South Indian taste buds (a.k.a – made spicier). Don’t fear, the heat is so well balanced with the unique flavors from the kalonji (onion seeds), fenugreek, and yogurt 🙂
On to the recipe!
You will need:
- 1 cup curry leaves
- 4 lbs chicken thighs
- 10 thai chillies
- 3-4 dried red chillies
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 onions chopped
- Ginger-garlic paste (4 tbsp)
- Kalonji (onion seeds)- 1 tbsp
- Methi (fenugreek) seeds- 1 tbsp
- Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1 tbsp
- Saunf (fennel) seeds- 1/2 tbsp
- Tomatoes- 2 (finely chopped)
- Yogurt- 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice- 2tbsp
- Turmeric powder- 1tsp
- Red chilli powder- 1 tbsp
- Mustard seed oil – 1/4th cup
- Pickling spices – (you can get a pre-packaged packet of this) – 4 tbsp
- Mango Pickles – (1 tbsp)
Phew, that’s a handful, yea?
- Start by marinating the chicken, you can marinate as long as 12 hrs or as short as 2. Add lemon juice, chillies, half of curry leaves, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, half of pickling spices, salt, yogurt, and mustard seed oil to the chicken. Mix and set aside.
- In some oil (about half cup), add the onions and fry until they are translucent. Add in curry leaves, dried red chilies, bay leaves, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, kalonji, and ginger garlic paste.
- Add in the tomatoes and any remaining spices. Mix into the spices until soft.
- Add in the marinated chicken and cover on low-medium heat for about 30 mins
- The water from the chicken and yogurt should have formed a gravy. At this point add in the mango pickle.
- Stir and cover for an additional 30 mins
- Warm up some hot naan or some basmati rice and Serve!!
Thanks for checking out my recipe. Let me know how you liked it!
I first became obsessed with Chicken Biryani when I first visited Hyderabad in the summer of 2014.
The spices, the aroma, the flavors… were incomparable to anything I expected or tasted in the US. I vividly remember my first thoughts being – if I were to be trapped on a deserted island for the rest of my life, I might be okay if I had an endless supply of this delicious biryani.
After that out of the world experience, I did everything in my power to recreate the taste at home. After visiting endless biryani restaurants including: Paradise Biryani, Biryani Pot, Asiana’s, etc, and after countless trial and errors with various recipes; I believe I have mastered the art of biryani.
Now, to the recipe…
- 2 Onions
- 10-20 Chillies (thai chillies work best)
- Shan – Ginger Garlic Paste – 26 oz (use about 1/4th of bottle)
- 1-2 Tomatoes
- Basmati Rice (Long grain) (4 cups)
- Chicken (I prefer dark meat, bone-in) (3 lbs)
- Shan, Mix Seasoning Biryani Masala, 1.75-Ounce (Pack of 4) (Use 1/2 of 1 box)
- cloves (5)
- cardomom (3-4)
- bay leaf (1-2)
- anise (1-2)
- black cardomom (3)
- mase (1 tbsp)
- red chilli powder (4-5 tbsp)
- garam masala (4-5 tbsp)
- saffron (7-8 strands)
- shah jeera (1 tbsp)
- cumin seeds (1tbsp)
- cinnamon sticks (3)
* You will also need a large tray for baking the biryani
- Marinate chicken overnight with yogurt, salt, lemon, and red chilli powder
- Slice onions thin and length-wise. Fry in oil until brown and crispy. Remove and set aside by soaking in paper towels
- Use the remainder oil to add the following spices: (cloves, cardomom, bay leaf, anise, black cardomom, mase, shah jeera, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks)
- Once fragrant, add in the tomatoes, chillies and girnger/garlic paste
- Now, add in the garam masala
- After stirring a few mins, add in the marinated chicken
- Now, add in the Shan Biryani Masala
- Stir and cover with a lid over medium-low heat. This will need to cook for an hr or so. The longer it cooks, the more tender the meat will be
- Soak the basmati rice in cool water after flushing about 3-4 times
- Boil around 6 cups of water for the 4 cups of rice, Add in the rice. Heat uncovered until the first boil appears within the first 10-15 mins.
- Use the tray and line the first layer with gravy and chicken from earlier. Now add a layer on top with the semi- cooked rice. Top with garnish of mint and the fried onion from earlier
- Continue with step 11 until the tray is full
- Soak the saffron layers in warm milk for a couple mins. Garnish this dilution over the top of the biryani
- Cover the tray with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.
I know what you’re thinking. This is a lot of work. BUT trust me when I say it is WORTH IT!!!
Andddd, it will last you atleast a week (assuming you can stop inhaling this delicious goodness :P)