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Murgh Masala – Spicy Chicken Curry

Murgh Masala – Spicy Chicken Curry

Murgh Masala – Spicy Chicken Curry

This recipe will give you a very tasty Murgh Masala, or spicy chicken curry, in a delicious creamy yoghurt and coconut sauce.

This meal has succulent pieces of chicken breast in a creamy, tasty, and spicy sauce. You can best eat this dish with some type of Indian bread, like naan or chapati, and some pilau rice.

chicken murgh masala


Inspiration for this recipe

In 2021 we were fortunate enough to be in the wonderful city of Tallinn in Estonia for the second time. We ate one evening at the Chakra restaurant in the old town. I was inspired to try and recreate the fantastic Murg Masala that I ate there.

It was so good! This was what it looked like:

murg masala
Murg Marasala at Chakra

This photo above looks a little bit redder than the chicken curry that I made. So perhaps they used a little more turmeric or tomato purée in the recipe? You are free to experiment, as I did.

So, although it is not exactly the same, the taste was very similar, and I believe I managed to get pretty close with this copycat attempt!  

What is Murgh Masala?

You may notice that murgh or murg is spelt differently depending on where you are. Murgh or murg means chicken in Indian.

You may find this dish served with leftover pieces of tandoori chicken or chicken tikka. But in this recipe, I use some fresh chicken breast, to make a boneless curry dish.

Masala refers to a mix of ground spices, commonly used in Indian cooking. The mix of spices will vary from place to place and cook to cook. But obviously, the spices you use determine the spiciness of the dish.

Paste Spices Used

Normally the spices are cooked together to produce a fragrant paste. You can also buy these pastes ready-made if you prefer. Companies like Patak’s make very good curry pastes which I use in some other of my recipes like my chicken curry recipe, or chicken curry sandwich.

But in this recipe, I use the following spices: turmeric, cumin seeds, cardamom powder, garam masala, and a bay leaf to make the original paste.

masala murgh
Murg Masala simmering in the wok

Murgh Masala Sauce

Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients. Most of them I have in my pantry. In fact, I only needed to buy the chicken to make this dish.

The total taste of the dish comes together with the slow-cooked onions, the minced ginger and garlic, the coconut cream, the baby tomatoes, the fresh coriander and the yoghurt. You can, of course, also use ginger garlic paste instead of the separate minced ginger and garlic if you have some available.

The pureed cashew nuts add a certain nutty texture and taste to the sauce, which is quite special.

How hot and spicy you make it depends on how much chilli powder or red chillis you add at the end. As always, that’s up to you.

murgh musallam gravy recipe
Murgh Masala

I hope you enjoy making and consuming this delicious Murgh Masala. We did.

If you do try and make it, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below! 

How to make Murg Masala

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Murgh Masala

Murgh Masala

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This recipe gives you a delicious Murgh Masala, or spicy chicken curry dish. The sauce, based on onions, coconut, yoghurt and a mix of fragrant spices is super tasty. Make it as hot as you like.


  • 580g chicken breast, diced

The Paste

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Ghee (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamon powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf

The Sauce

  • A large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 120g baby tomatoes (halved)
  • 15 cashew nuts, about 20g, soaked in water for 15 minutes and pureed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger (pureed ginger)
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (pureed garlic)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Handfull of fresh coriander leaf
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1 tin of full fat coconut milk (use just the thick coconut cream from the can)
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt


  • 1 Red Chilli, sliced


  1. Prepare your ingredients beforehand.
  2. Heat the ghee in a wok. Then add the turmeric, cumin seeds, cardamom powder, garam masala and the bay leaf. Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat until fragrant.
  3. Then add the chopped onion and saute for a further 3-4 minutes. Then add the salt, stir well, cover the wok and cook the onions on low heat for a further 8-10 minutes. If you need more liquid then add a splash of water.
  4. Remove the bay leaf, then add the minced garlic and ginger and the chilli powder. Then add the chicken breast, the coconut cream, the yoghurt, the tomato puree, the baby tomatoes, the cashew nut paste, the lemon juice, the desiccated coconut and mix well.
  5. Now bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Finally taste the sauce to see if you require further seasoning like salt or more chilli to adjust the spiciness. Chop some fresh coriander and add to the sauce before serving.


Garnish optionally with some sliced red chilli and fresh coriander before serving.

Serve with some pilau rice and naan bread or roti.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 1012mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 46g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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