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Mughlai Chicken Recipe: A Royal Culinary Journey | Indian Cuisine Delight

Mughlai Chicken

Hey there, fellow foodies! Are you ready to embark on a culinary journey to savor the delectable flavors of Mughal cuisine? Today, I’ll be sharing with you a mouthwatering Mughlai Chicken recipe that will transport your taste buds to the royal kitchens of the Mughal emperors. So, put on your aprons and let’s get cooking!



To truly appreciate the scrumptious Mughlai Chicken recipe, let’s take a step back in time and explore its fascinating history. Mughlai cuisine, known for its rich and aromatic flavors, has its roots in the Mughal Empire, which ruled the Indian subcontinent from the early 16th to the mid-18th century.

The Mughals, hailing from Central Asia, brought with them a diverse culinary heritage, blending Persian, Turkish, and Indian cooking techniques. They had a penchant for luxurious feasts, where extravagant dishes were prepared to please the royalty and nobility. It was during this era that the foundation of Mughlai cuisine was laid, and the Mughlai Chicken recipe emerged as one of its prized gems.

The Mughals were known for their love of spices, and they skillfully combined aromatic herbs and exotic spices to create mouthwatering dishes. These culinary innovations were influenced by the rich traditions of the Persian and Central Asian kitchens, giving birth to the splendid flavors that we cherish today.

The cooking methods employed by the Mughals were no less than an art form. Dum pukht, a slow-cooking technique, was widely used to enhance the taste and tenderness of the meat. The chicken would be marinated in a medley of spices, then sealed in a pot and slow-cooked over a low flame, allowing the flavors to meld and infuse the meat with a heavenly taste.

Over the centuries, the Mughlai Chicken recipe has been passed down through generations, with each cook adding their own twist and refinement to the dish. Today, it has become a beloved classic in Indian cuisine, celebrated for its opulent flavors and cultural significance.

So, when you indulge in a plate of Mughlai Chicken, you’re not just savoring a delightful meal but also immersing yourself in the rich history of a culinary legacy that has withstood the test of time. Now, let’s dive into the kitchen and learn how to recreate this culinary masterpiece!


Marinating the Chicken30 minutes
Sautéing the Onions10 minutes
Blending the Cashew Nut Paste5 minutes
Cooking the Chicken40 minutes
Preparing the Saffron Milk5 minutes
Infusing the Saffron Milk10 minutes
Preparing the Garnish10 minutes
Final Touch: Dum Cooking30 minutes
Total Cooking and Preparation Time2 hours

Note: The cooking and preparation time may vary slightly based on individual cooking skills and stove heat intensity.


IngredientsQuantity for 2 Servings
Chicken (bone-in or boneless)500 grams
Yogurt1/2 cup
Ginger-garlic paste1 tablespoon
Onions1 large
Cashew nuts15-20
Cooking oil or ghee2 tablespoons
Saffron strandsA pinch
Warm milk2 tablespoons
Fresh cilantro (coriander)A handful
Fresh mint leavesA handful
Spices (as per taste)

Note: The above quantities are based on a serving size for 2 people. Adjust the quantities accordingly if you need to serve more or fewer people.


Step 1: Marinating the Chicken

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt and ginger-garlic paste. Add the chicken pieces and ensure they are coated evenly with the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse and tenderize the meat.

Step 2: Sautéing the Onions

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add cooking oil or ghee. Once the oil is hot, add the finely sliced onions and sauté them until they turn golden brown and caramelized. The caramelized onions will add a hint of sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish.

Step 3: Blending the Cashew Nut Paste

While the onions are sautéing, prepare the cashew nut paste. Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for a few minutes to soften them. Drain the water and blend the soaked cashews into a smooth paste using a blender or food processor. This creamy paste will impart a luxurious texture to the Mughlai Chicken.

Step 4: Cooking the Chicken

Add the marinated chicken along with its marinade to the pan with the sautéed onions. Let the chicken cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes or until it becomes tender and succulent. The blend of spices and yogurt in the marinade will work their magic, creating a tantalizing aroma in your kitchen.

Step 5: Preparing the Saffron Milk

While the chicken is cooking, let’s prepare the saffron milk. Soak a pinch of saffron strands in warm milk and let it sit for a few minutes. The milk will absorb the saffron’s vibrant color and aromatic essence, adding a touch of opulence to the dish.

Step 6: Infusing the Saffron Milk

Once the chicken is cooked to perfection, it’s time for the special touch! Drizzle the saffron-infused milk over the chicken. The saffron milk will not only enhance the visual appeal with its golden hue but also impart a delicate and distinct flavor, reminiscent of the royal feasts of the Mughals.

Step 7: Preparing the Garnish

For the final touch, let’s prepare a fresh and aromatic garnish. Finely chop a handful of fresh cilantro and mint leaves. These fragrant herbs will add a burst of freshness to the dish, balancing the richness of the flavors.

Step 8: Final Touch: Dum Cooking

The pièce de résistance is here! Transfer the cooked Mughlai Chicken to a heavy-bottomed pot. Sprinkle the garnish over the chicken and seal the pot with dough or a tight-fitting lid. Cook the dish on low heat for about 30 minutes using the traditional dum cooking technique. This slow-cooking method will allow the flavors to meld harmoniously and take the dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Step 9: Serving the Mughlai Chicken

Your sumptuous Mughlai Chicken is now ready to be served! Gently unveil the pot and be captivated by the irresistible aroma. Plate the chicken with steamed basmati rice or warm naan, and savor each mouthful of this majestic dish.

There you have it – a magnificent Mughlai Chicken that pays homage to the culinary opulence of the Mughal Empire. Enjoy this regal feast with your loved ones and create cherished memories around the dinner table. Bon appétit!

Note: The above recipe serves 2 people. Adjust the quantities accordingly for more servings.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information (per 1 serving)Amount
Serving Size1 plate
Calories450 kcal
Total Fat30g
– Saturated Fat10g
Total Carbohydrates12g
– Dietary Fiber2g
– Sugars4g
Vitamin D1.5mcg (8% DV)
Calcium120mg (10% DV)
Iron2.5mg (15% DV)
Potassium450mg (10% DV)

Note: The nutrition information is based on approximate values and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and cooking methods used.


  • Chicken Selection: Opt for bone-in chicken pieces as they add more depth and flavor to the dish. However, if you prefer a quicker cooking time, boneless chicken can be used as a substitute.
  • Marinating Time: Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes. For even better results, marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. This enhances the tenderness and infuses the meat with the rich marinade flavors.
  • Caramelizing Onions: Take your time when sautéing the onions. Slowly caramelizing them on medium heat will release their natural sweetness, elevating the taste of the dish.
  • Blending the Cashew Nut Paste: Soaking the cashews in warm water before blending them helps in obtaining a smoother and creamier paste. For a nuttier flavor, you can substitute cashews with almonds or a blend of both.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the level of spiciness according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the amount of red chili powder or use sweet paprika as a substitute.
  • Dum Cooking Technique: For the best results, use a heavy-bottomed pot to seal the Mughlai Chicken. If you don’t have dough to seal the pot, use a tight-fitting lid and seal the edges with aluminum foil to trap the flavors.
  • Saffron Soaking Time: Allow the saffron strands to soak in warm milk for a few minutes to extract its vibrant color and aroma fully. You can also add a few drops of rose water to the saffron milk for an additional floral essence.
  • Garnish with Freshness: The combination of fresh cilantro and mint leaves adds a refreshing touch to the dish. Ensure they are finely chopped to evenly distribute their flavors.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Bursting with Rich Flavors❌ Time-Consuming Preparation
✔️ Aromatic and Fragrant Dish❌ High in Calories and Fat
✔️ Exquisite Dish for Special Occasions❌ Requires Multiple Ingredients
✔️ Versatile: Bone-in or Boneless Chicken❌ May Not Suit Spice-Sensitive Palates
✔️ Showcases the Majesty of Mughal Cuisine❌ Dum Cooking Requires Careful Monitoring


In conclusion, the Mughlai Chicken recipe offers an enchanting voyage through the rich and opulent world of Mughal cuisine. With its mesmerizing blend of spices, creamy cashew nut paste, and the delicate touch of saffron, this dish is a true culinary masterpiece.

Embracing the legacy of the Mughal Empire, each bite of Mughlai Chicken tells a tale of cultural diversity and refined flavors that have stood the test of time. From the slow marination to the magical dum cooking, every step of this recipe is crafted with love and precision to deliver a regal feast on your plate.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a delightful family meal, Mughlai Chicken promises an unforgettable dining experience. The burst of rich flavors and aromatic fragrance will transport your taste buds to the royal kitchens of the past, leaving you yearning for more.

So, gather your ingredients, don your apron, and embark on this culinary adventure. Allow the Mughlai Chicken to grace your table and immerse yourself in the magnificence of a bygone era. Share this scrumptious dish with your loved ones and create cherished memories around the dinner table.

Don’t let the preparation time deter you; the intricate flavors and sublime taste are well worth the effort. Let the magic of Mughlai cuisine unfold in your kitchen and savor the experience of cooking like a true master chef.

Give it a try, and you’ll discover that Mughlai Chicken is not just a recipe; it’s an indulgent journey that tantalizes your senses and celebrates the grandeur of Indian culinary heritage. So, channel your inner food enthusiast and treat yourself to the flavors of royalty. Bon appétit!


  • 👑 Fact 1: A Royal Indulgence 👑
    • Did you know that Mughlai Chicken was a favorite dish among the Mughal emperors? Legend has it that this regal recipe was created in the kitchens of the Mughal rulers, who were passionate about lavish feasts and exquisite delicacies. With its blend of aromatic spices and creamy textures, Mughlai Chicken truly represents the opulence of Mughal cuisine fit for kings and queens!
  • 🌶️ Fact 2: The Spice Trail 🌶️
    • Spices play a vital role in Mughlai Chicken, giving it the irresistible aroma and flavor that we all love. The Mughals were ardent spice enthusiasts, and their culinary explorations led to the fusion of Indian spices with Persian and Central Asian flavors. The blend of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves adds a magical touch to the dish, making it a delightful adventure for your taste buds!
  • 🕰️ Fact 3: From Emperors to Kitchens 🕰️
    • Mughlai Chicken’s journey from the royal courts to our kitchens is a tale of cultural exchange and culinary inheritance. Over the centuries, this recipe has been passed down through generations, with each cook adding their unique touch. The dish has now become a celebrated part of Indian cuisine, allowing us to relish the flavors that once graced the Mughal emperors’ tables.
  • 🍲 Fact 4: A Dish of Dum Magic 🍲
    • The dum cooking technique used in Mughlai Chicken is nothing short of culinary magic! Dum cooking involves slow-cooking the dish in a sealed pot, allowing the flavors to infuse and develop to perfection. The result is tender and succulent chicken immersed in a symphony of rich flavors. As the pot is unsealed, the aroma that fills the air is enough to transport you to the royal courts of the Mughals!
  • 🥄 Fact 5: Versatile and Adventurous 🥄
    • Mughlai Chicken is not only a feast for the senses but also a versatile and adventurous dish. While the classic recipe features bone-in chicken, you can easily adapt it to your preferences by using boneless chicken or even experimenting with a vegetarian version. So, whether you’re a spice aficionado or prefer a milder taste, Mughlai Chicken welcomes your culinary exploration with open arms!


Can I use boneless chicken for the Mughlai Chicken recipe?

Yes, absolutely! While bone-in chicken adds more depth to the flavor, boneless chicken can also be used for a quicker cooking time.

Is Mughlai Chicken spicy?

The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit your taste. Feel free to add more or less spice as per your preference.

Can I make a vegetarian version of Mughlai cuisine?

Yes! Mughlai cuisine offers various vegetarian options like Paneer Mughlai and Vegetable Korma.

Can I substitute cashew nuts with almonds?

Certainly! Almonds can be used as an alternative to cashew nuts for a slightly different flavor profile.

What can I serve with Mughlai Chicken?

Mughlai Chicken pairs wonderfully with naan, roti, or steamed basmati rice, adding to the overall experience of this delightful meal.

How long does it take to marinate the chicken?

It’s best to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, but for even better results, marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.

Can I prepare the saffron milk in advance?

While it’s best to prepare saffron milk just before adding it to the dish, you can prepare the saffron strands and milk separately and mix them right before use.

Can I freeze the leftovers of Mughlai Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat before serving.

Can I adjust the consistency of the dish?

Yes, if you prefer a thicker gravy, cook the chicken for a little longer to reduce the liquid. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water or milk.

Is Mughlai Chicken a traditional Indian dish?

Yes, Mughlai Chicken has its origins in the Mughal Empire and is a treasured part of traditional Indian cuisine, renowned for its rich flavors and royal heritage.