The Flavorful Journey of Punjabi Chicken Curry

Written by: Najma A.



Time to read 6 min

The aromatic blend of spices, the rich and creamy texture, and the heartwarming flavors – that's Punjabi Chicken Curry in a nutshell. Hailing from the vibrant state of Punjab in India, this dish is a testament to the culinary prowess of the Punjabi people. Punjabi Chicken Curry, also known as "Murgh Makhani" or "Butter Chicken," is a classic North Indian dish that has gained popularity worldwide for its irresistible taste and complexity of flavors. In this blog, we will delve into the origins, ingredients, cooking process, and cultural significance of Punjabi Chicken Curry.

Origins of Punjabi Chicken Curry

Punjabi cuisine is celebrated for its robust and aromatic dishes, and Punjabi Chicken Curry is no exception. The roots of this culinary masterpiece can be traced back to the city of Delhi during the Mughal Empire. The story goes that it was in the 1950s that Kundan Lal Gujral, a Punjabi restaurateur, transformed leftover tandoori chicken into a delectable gravy-based dish, leading to the creation of the now-famous Butter Chicken. Since then, it has become an integral part of Punjabi cuisine and a symbol of Indian culinary excellence.

Ingredients for Punjabi Chicken Curry

The key to an authentic Punjabi Chicken Curry Recipe lies in the selection and preparation of ingredients. Here is a list of the essential components that make this Punjabi chicken curry so delightful:

  1. Chicken: The star of the show, bone-in chicken pieces are typically used to impart a succulent and juicy texture.
  2. Marinade: A mixture of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, and salt marries the chicken. This not only adds flavor but also helps tenderize the meat.
  3. Onions and Tomatoes: Finely chopped onions and tomatoes are cooked to form the curry base. They provide the natural sweetness and body to the dish.
  4. Cream and Butter: These two ingredients give the curry signature a creamy texture and rich flavor. The creaminess is often attributed to heavy cream, and the buttery goodness is delivered through generous amounts of unsalted butter.
  5. Spices: A blend of spices like garam masala, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) creates the unique flavor profile of Punjabi Chicken Curry. The balance of these spices sets it apart from other Indian curries.
  6. Cashews and Almonds: Ground nuts often thicken the curry and add a mild, nutty flavor.
  7. Ginger and Garlic: Fresh ginger and garlic paste are essential for their aromatic qualities and the depth of flavor they bring to the curry.
  8. Fresh Cream and Yogurt: Fresh cream, along with yogurt, gives the curry its characteristic creamy consistency while adding a slight tanginess.
Origins of Punjabi Chicken Curry

The Cooking Process

The preparation of Punjabi Chicken Curry is a labor of love that requires a series of steps, but the final result is more than worth it. Here's a step-by-step guide to making this delicious dish:

Step 1: Marination

Clean and wash the chicken pieces.
Marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, and salt. Let it sit for at least an hour to absorb the flavors.

Step 2: Roasting the Chicken

Preheat your oven or grill to a high temperature.Skewer the marinated chicken pieces and roast them until they are slightly charred, giving the dish a smoky flavor.

Step 3: Preparing the Curry Base

Heat oil or ghee in a large pan.Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.Stir in ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears.Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and release their juices.Allow this mixture to cool, and then blend it into a smooth paste.

Step 4: Creating the Curry

In the same pan, add more oil or ghee.Pour in the onion-tomato paste and cook until it turns slightly brown.Add cashew-almond paste, red chili powder, and garam masala. Cook until the oil starts to separate.Add cream and butter, stirring well until the curry thickens. Sprinkle kasuri methi and mix it in.
Add the roasted chicken pieces and simmer for a few minutes until they are well-coated with the curry.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Garnish the dish with a drizzle of fresh cream and a sprinkle of chopped coriander leaves.Serve hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice.

Cooking Process Punjabi Chicken Curry

Cultural Significance

  • Punjabi Chicken Curry is not just a delightful dish; it carries cultural significance as well. It is often prepared for special occasions, celebrations, and family gatherings. It embodies the warm and generous spirit of the Punjabi people, who are known for their hospitality and love for good food.
  • The vibrant and colorful culture of Punjab is reflected in its cuisine. The rich and diverse flavors in Punjabi Chicken Curry mirror the cultural diversity of the state itself. The dish's spiciness represents the robust and passionate nature of the Punjabi people, while the creamy and indulgent texture showcases their love for hearty meals.
  • This dish has also become a symbol of India's culinary heritage on the global stage. It is a popular choice in Indian restaurants worldwide, and its enticing aroma and rich flavors have won over the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Variations of Punjabi Chicken Curry

Like many traditional dishes, Punjabi Chicken Curry has evolved, resulting in various regional and personal adaptations. Here are a few popular variations:

  1. Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani): The classic Punjabi Chicken Curry, as we've discussed, is often referred to as Butter Chicken due to the generous use of butter and cream.
  2. Tandoori Chicken Curry: This variation combines the flavors of tandoori chicken with a tomato-based curry, creating a smoky and spicy twist on the original.
  3. Chicken Tikka Masala: Though initially a British creation, it's heavily influenced by Punjabi flavors. It features marinated and roasted chicken served in a creamy tomato-based sauce.
  4. Kadai Chicken: This version incorporates bell peppers and is cooked in a traditional Indian kadai (wok), giving it a distinct flavor and texture.
  5. Dhaba-Style Chicken Curry: Dhabas are roadside eateries in India known for their rustic and flavorful dishes. Dhaba-style Chicken Curry typically has a robust and earthy taste with a generous dose of spices.

Punjabi Chicken Curry Around the World

Punjabi Chicken Curry has transcended geographical boundaries and is celebrated globally. Its popularity extends far beyond the Indian subcontinent, thanks to its irresistible taste. Here's a glimpse of how this dish has been embraced worldwide:

  1. United Kingdom: Punjabi Chicken Curry is a beloved staple of British Indian cuisine, and many variations can be found in the UK's numerous curry houses.
  2. United States: It has become a comfort food for many in the United States, with countless Indian restaurants serving their versions of this classic dish.
  3. Canada: The diverse Indian communities in Canada have helped popularize Punjabi Chicken Curry, making it a standard menu item at many restaurants.
  4. Australia: Australians have developed a fondness for Indian cuisine, and Punjabi Chicken Curry is among the favorites, especially in larger cities.
  5. Middle East: The Middle East is no stranger to Indian flavors, and Punjabi Chicken Curry has found a place in the hearts and menus of many in the region.
  6. Southeast Asia: Variations of Punjabi Chicken Curry are appreciated in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, where Indian cuisine is widely embraced.
  7. Europe: Across Europe, Punjabi Chicken Curry is a popular dish in multicultural cities, and it's often enjoyed for its depth of flavor and comfort.
Cultural Significance Punjabi Chicken Curry

About One Stop Halal

Welcome to Butcher Shop that is 1-clik away. We carry various meat cuts that are hard to find elsewhere. We deliver to your doorstep anywhere in the United States within 1-2 business days.


Punjabi Chicken Curry is more than just a delicious dish; it's a cultural icon that embodies the warmth, richness, and diversity of the Punjabi culture. With its exquisite blend of spices, succulent chicken, and creamy sauce, this culinary masterpiece has conquered the hearts and palates of people worldwide.
Whether you savor it in a fine dining restaurant, enjoy a homemade version, or indulge in a street-side dhaba delicacy, Punjabi Chicken Curry is a culinary journey that promises to delight your senses and leave you craving more. So, next time you're in the mood for a flavorsome adventure, remember to savor the irresistible magic of Punjabi Chicken Curry.

Select the type of Qurbani (Udhiyah) you want to do

Local Overseas

Local:You will receive meat. You can choose from Goat or Lamb.
Overseas:You will not receive meat. It will be distributed to the needy.
We are offering Cow or Buffalo Qurbani overseas. Price per share is $99.
Please rememeber you will not receive share of the cow meat. If you want the share of the Qurbani meat, then choose Local Qurbani.

- +

Start Over Button Start over
- +

Do you want us to distribute the meat?

How do you want the Qurbani meat to be cut?

start over button Start over