Indian chicken … (murgi musallam)

This weekend saw Sister-In-Law-The-Younger (SILTY?) leave London for the Promised Land in the North to complete her university studies after a year’s internship. As such, she (and Mumsy) stayed over on Saturday evening. I wanted to cook something a bit nice for Sunday lunch, and a bit Indian, so that we could try out the mango chutney (recipe to be posted) which I had made earlier in the week.
I was wanting to cook ‘murgi musallam’ – as set out in the recipe here.
I think that it worked quite well – I susbtituted butter and a little olive oil for the ghee, and chopped the chicken breasts up instead of cooking them whole. I also stirred through (on the advice of The Husband) half a tsp of ground cumin and a tsp of ground coriander towards the end.
Served with leftover saffron rice (rescued from SILTY’s freezer) and plenty of fiery mango chutney. Yum!

Serves 4-6


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1 medium-size chicken

2 tbsp yoghurt

2 medium-size onions

1 tsp salt 8 raisins ½ tsp coriander, grated or powder ½ tsp ginger, grated or powder

4 cloves of garlic, grated or chopped

8 whole black peppercorns

2 cinnamon sticks, about 4in

4 cloves

2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

4 cardamoms, peeled and sliced

4 almonds, peeled and sliced

Pinch of powdered saffron


1 Marinate the chicken with the yoghurt, one onion (grated), salt, raisins and all the spices, except the cardamom , almonds and saffron. Leave for up to an hour.

2 To cook the chicken, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and about 2 tablespoons of water in a pan, add the meat, and cook covered until it is tender, removing the lid until most of the liquid has evaporated.

3 Remove all the marinade and mash to make a paste. Meanwhile, fry the chicken slowly with the other tablespoon of ghee until it is nicely browned.

4 Rub the marinade paste over the chicken and cook for a few minutes more on a low heat, adding the cardamom, almonds, saffron and one onion (fried).

5 Serve hot with pilau rice.