Dhaba Style Chicken Curry Recipe

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry Recipe

20 mins
2-3 people
10 mins



Ah, the memories of driving down the dusty roads, craving the rustic charm of a dhaba and its tantalizing chicken curry! There's something about that blend of spices and the aroma that lingers long after the meal is over. I remember the first time I stumbled upon this gem of a recipe. It was during a road trip, weary from hours of driving, when I stopped at a roadside dhaba. The taste of their chicken curry was etched into my memory, and ever since, I've been on a quest to recreate that same magic at home.




Recipe of Dhaba Style Chicken Curry




  • 2 tbsp Mustard oil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1 Javitri (Mace)
  • 2-3 Green cardamoms
  • 1-2 Black cardamoms
  • 2-3 Black peppercorns
  • 1 cup Chopped onion
  • ½ cup Curd (Yogurt)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 Green chilies
  • 2 cups Tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 2 tsp Chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp Garam masala





  1. Heat mustard oil in a kadai (Indian wok), then add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, javitri (mace), green cardamoms, black cardamoms, and black peppercorns. Let them crackle and release their aroma.

  2. Add chopped onion to the kadai and sauté until it turns golden brown.

  3. Meanwhile, marinate the chicken with curd, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder. Mix well and set aside.

  4. Once the onions are browned, add ginger-garlic paste and a little water to the kadai. Sauté well.

  5. Add green chilies, a pinch of coriander powder, a pinch of black pepper powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, a pinch of red chili powder, a pinch of cumin powder, and a pinch of garam masala powder. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the marinated chicken to the kadai and sauté for a few more minutes. Then pour in the tomato puree and mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook.

  7. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add kasoori methi and chopped coriander. Mix well and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

  8. Finally, sprinkle garam masala over the curry for finishing touches. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

  9. Your delicious Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is now ready to be enjoyed with rice or roti (Indian flatbread).




About the Recipe


Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is not your ordinary chicken curry. It's bold, flavorful, and packed with spices that transport you to the bustling streets of Punjab. This recipe deviates from the traditional gravy-based chicken curry and instead offers a dry, masaledar delight. Marinated chicken pieces are cooked to perfection with a medley of onions, tomatoes, and yogurt, resulting in a dish that's bursting with flavor. The secret lies in the generous use of spices and the slow cooking process, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. Whether you're longing for the taste of dhaba food or simply craving a hearty, satisfying meal, this Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is sure to hit the spot.



Cooking Tips


  1. Marinate the Chicken: For maximum flavor, marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for at least 2-3 hours before cooking.
  2. Roast the Spices: Take your time to roast the spices until they release their aroma and turn golden brown. This step is crucial for enhancing the flavor of the dish.
  3. Slow Cooking: Allow the chicken to cook slowly, ensuring that it absorbs all the flavors of the spices and develops a rich, intense taste.
  4. Use Mustard Oil: Traditional dhaba-style recipes often use mustard oil for its distinct flavor. If you prefer, you can use any cooking oil of your choice, but mustard oil adds an authentic touch.
  5. Garnish with Fried Garlic: Elevate the dish by garnishing it with deep-fried garlic cloves tossed in chaat masala. This adds a crunchy texture and bursts of flavor to the chicken curry.



Pairing Guide


Dhaba Style Chicken Curry pairs perfectly with a variety of accompaniments, enhancing the overall dining experience. Here are some delicious pairing suggestions:


  • Tandoori Roti: The classic choice to mop up the flavorful chicken curry.
  • Steamed Rice: Serve the chicken curry with fragrant basmati rice for a comforting meal.
  • Naan: Soft and pillowy naan bread complements the spicy chicken curry beautifully.
  • Salad: Balance out the richness of the curry with a crisp, refreshing salad on the side.


Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite pairing and enjoy the authentic flavors of dhaba-style cuisine.




Frequently Asked Questions about Dhaba Style Chicken Curry


  1. What makes Dhaba Style Chicken Curry different from regular chicken curry?

    • Dhaba Style Chicken Curry is dry and masaledar, with bold flavors and a generous use of spices that set it apart from traditional gravy-based chicken curries.
  2. Can I use any cooking oil instead of mustard oil?

    • While mustard oil adds an authentic flavor, you can use any cooking oil of your choice if you prefer.
  3. How long should I marinate the chicken?

    • For best results, marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for at least 2-3 hours before cooking.
  4. Can I adjust the spice level of the chicken curry?

    • Yes, you can adjust the spice level according to your preference by increasing or decreasing the amount of green chilies and red chili powder.
  5. Is it necessary to roast the spices before adding the chicken?

    • Roasting the spices enhances their flavor and aroma, making it an essential step in the cooking process.
  6. What should I serve with Dhaba Style Chicken Curry?

    • Dhaba Style Chicken Curry pairs well with tandoori roti, naan, steamed rice, or a crisp salad.
  7. Can I make this recipe in advance?

    • Yes, you can prepare the chicken curry in advance and reheat it before serving. The flavors tend to deepen and intensify over time.
  8. How do I store leftovers?

    • Store any leftover chicken curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat before serving.
  9. Can I freeze Dhaba Style Chicken Curry?

    • Yes, you can freeze the chicken curry in freezer-safe containers for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  10. What makes the garnish of fried garlic cloves special?

    • The fried garlic cloves add a crunchy texture and bursts of flavor to the chicken curry, enhancing its overall taste and presentation.