Spice Up Your Dinner with Hariyali Chicken Delight

Written by: Najma A.



Time to read 6 min


When it comes to Indian cuisine, the options are virtually limitless. From rich and creamy curries to fiery vindaloos, each dish carries its unique blend of flavors and spices. Today, we will explore a dish that stands out for its vibrant green color and refreshing taste - Hariyali Chicken. Hariyali Chicken is a delightful and aromatic Indian dish that combines succulent chicken pieces with a lush green marinade made from fresh herbs and spices. Its name, "Hariyali," is derived from the Hindi word "Hari," which means green. This dish embodies the essence of greenery through its ingredients, making it a visual and culinary treat. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the world of Hariyali Chicken, exploring its origins, the key ingredients that make it so unique, and of course, a step-by-step guide on preparing this delicious delight in your kitchen.

The Origins of Hariyali Chicken

Hariyali Chicken, a vibrant and aromatic Indian dish, has its roots deeply intertwined with the rich tapestry of Indian culinary traditions. Its name, "Hariyali," is derived from the Hindi word "Hari," which translates to "green." This name perfectly encapsulates the dish's essence, as it is celebrated for its lush green appearance and fresh, herbaceous flavors.

The origins of Hariyali Chicken can be traced back to North Indian cuisine, particularly the culinary traditions of Punjab and the influence of Mughlai cuisine. The Mughals, who ruled India from the 16th to the 19th century, significantly impacted the development of Indian cuisine. They were known for their extravagant feasts and a penchant for combining aromatic herbs and spices with succulent meats.

One key aspect of Mughal cuisine was the art of marination. The Mughals introduced the practice of marinating meats in fragrant spice blends and yogurt, a technique that greatly influenced dishes like Hariyali Chicken. This method tenderized the meat and infused it with various delightful flavors.

The green marinade that characterizes Hariyali Chicken is a testament to the Mughals' affinity for fresh herbs. Mint, cilantro (coriander leaves), and sometimes fenugreek (methi) are essential to this verdant concoction. These herbs contribute to the dish's distinctive green color and impart a refreshing aroma and taste that set Hariyali Chicken apart from other Indian chicken preparations.

Furthermore, the spice blend used in the Hariyali Chicken marinade adds complexity and depth to the dish. Common spices include cumin, coriander, garam masala, and green chilies, which infuse the chicken with a mild yet flavorful heat.

As the centuries passed, regional variations of Hariyali Chicken emerged across India, with each region adding its unique touch to the dish. While it may have originated as a royal Mughlai specialty, it eventually found its way into the homes of ordinary people, becoming a beloved part of North Indian and Punjabi cuisine.

In summary, Hariyali Chicken's origins are deeply rooted in the culinary heritage of India, shaped by the Mughals' love for marination and the use of fresh herbs and spices. Today, it stands as a testament to the cultural blending and evolution of Indian cuisine, offering a delicious and visually striking option for those seeking to explore the diverse flavors of this remarkable country.

Origins of Hariyali Chicken

The Star Ingredients

Hariyali Chicken, known for its vibrant green marinade and aromatic flavors, owes its unique taste and appearance to a combination of star ingredients. These components work in harmony to create a delightful culinary experience. Here's a closer look at the star ingredients that define Hariyali Chicken:

  1. Fresh Herbs: The foundation of Hariyali Chicken's vibrant green marinade is an assortment of fresh herbs. The primary herbs are Mint, cilantro (coriander), and sometimes fenugreek leaves (methi). These greens contribute to the dish's lush green color and infuse it with a refreshing and earthy aroma. Combining these herbs imparts a unique and invigorating flavor profile that sets Hariyali Chicken apart from other Indian dishes.
  2. Spices: The marriage of herbs and spices is a hallmark of Indian cuisine, and Hariyali Chicken is no exception. Common spices used in the marinade include cumin, coriander, garam masala, and green chilies. These spices are ground into a paste along with the fresh herbs, creating a harmonious blend that delivers a subtle yet flavorful heat. The spices enhance the taste and complement the freshness of the herbs, resulting in a balanced and aromatic marinade.
  3. Yogurt: Yogurt is a crucial ingredient in Hariyali Chicken, serving multiple purposes. Firstly, it is a tenderizer for the chicken, making it succulent and juicy. Secondly, it adds a creamy texture to the chicken hariyali, complementing the vibrant green marinade. The yogurt's tangy and cooling properties also help balance the heat from the spices, creating a harmonious and well-rounded flavor profile.
  4. Lemon Juice: A splash of lemon juice is a key component of Hariyali Chicken. It provides a bright and citrusy note to the dish, enhancing the overall taste. The acidity of the lemon juice adds depth and cuts through the richness of the yogurt and spices, making each bite refreshing and zesty.
  5. Garlic and Ginger: The combination of garlic and ginger is a classic duo in Indian cooking. In Hariyali Chicken, these two ingredients create a paste that infuses the marinade with depth and aroma. Their presence ensures that the dish carries a complex and aromatic flavor profile.
  6. Chicken: Of course, the show's star is the chicken itself. Whether you choose boneless chicken pieces or chicken on the bone, the marinade works its magic on the poultry, infusing it with all the vibrant flavors. The chicken becomes the canvas on which the herbs, spices, yogurt, and lemon juice paint their delicious masterpiece.

In conclusion, the star ingredients of Hariyali Chicken, from the fresh herbs to the aromatic spices, yogurt, lemon juice, and the chicken itself, come together to create a visually appealing dish bursting with flavors. This harmonious combination of ingredients reflects the essence of Indian cuisine—rich, diverse, and full of tantalizing tastes.

Star Ingredients of Hariyali Chicken

Hariyali Chicken Recipe: Step by Step

Now that we've covered the origins and critical ingredients let's dive into the process of preparing Hariyali Chicken:


  • 500 grams of boneless chicken pieces
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 2-3 green chilies (adjust to your spice level)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
    Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Marinade Preparation:

  1. Wash and clean the chicken pieces thoroughly. Pat them dry with a paper towel and set them aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the mint leaves, cilantro, green chilies, garlic, ginger, yogurt, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Blend the ingredients into a smooth paste. It would help to have a vibrant green marinade that's both fragrant and visually appealing.
  4. Transfer the marinade to a bowl, add the chicken pieces, and mix well to ensure every piece is coated with the green goodness. Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. For the best results, marinate overnight.

Cooking Hariyali Chicken:

  1. Heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken pieces.
  2. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until it's cooked through and has a slightly charred appearance. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  3. You can also cook the chicken on a grill for a smoky flavor and grill marks. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat and grill the chicken for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, please remove it from the heat and rest for a few minutes.
  5. Serve your Hariyali Chicken hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and lemon wedges. It pairs wonderfully with naan, rice, or a simple salad.
Hariyali Chicken Recipe

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Hariyali Chicken is a delightful dish that adds color and flavor to your dinner table. Its green marinade, made from fresh herbs and spices, elevates the humble chicken into a culinary masterpiece. You can create this delicious and aromatic dish in your kitchen with some preparation and patience. So, spice up your dinner with Hariyali Chicken delight and enjoy the vibrant tastes of India.

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