Poultry & Meat/ Recipes

Murgh Hara Masala

Murgh Hara Masala / www.quichentell.com

This is a quick post on Murgh Hara Masala. I cook this green masala chicken dish quite frequently, but somehow always forget to take pictures and share the recipe. So here aia am, with an easy and delicious chicken curry

Murgh Hara Masala / www.quichentell.com

The marinade and the masala

I make Murgh Hara Masala with boneless chicken thighs, halved or cut into large boti size pieces. It can very well be cooked with bone-in chicken pieces, using a whole chicken. It’s flexible.

My marinade to tenderise the poultry and make it plump and juicy is a simple one. Thick, full cream yoghurt, a little ground turmeric, ginger and garlic pastes make up this marinade. The chicken sits overnight in this lush mixture, but 2-3 hours is sufficient if you’re short on time. Make sure you use ginger and garlic in paste form; we want the intensity that comes from grinding them. Chopped and grated versions will produce milder flavours. The form matters to the dish. We want our flavours to be bold in the Murgh Hara Masala.

Once the chicken is ready to be cooked, it’s time to grind the hara or green masala, that makes up the thick gravy or sauce base of this delicious curry. Half a fresh coconut grated adds a rich, mildly sweet fattiness to the curry. Fresh coriander (cilantro), roots and all (because all the scent and flavour is concentrated there) and a generous bunch of fresh mint leaves give the curry its verdant green colour and its mouth-watering, herbaceous aromas. Don’t be afraid to use the roots of the coriander – just soak them in plenty of water and wash them under a tap to get rid of any soil or grit. You’ll be amazed by the fragrance of your Murgh Hara Masala as a result.

Murgh Hara Masala / www.quichentell.com

And that’s all there is to it. The curry cooks itself and yet tastes as if you spent time slaving over it. Whether it’s a family meal of chicken curry and rice or a dinner party dish, this Murgh Hara Masala fits right in. You can jazz it up by adding a little coconut cream at the end if you wish and I always use a few blanched, sliced  and toasted slivers of almonds to garnish the dish.

Murgh Hara Masala

A thick, green and rich chicken curry aromatic with fresh coriander and mint.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 600 g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, halved or cut into large pieces
  • 5-7 almonds, blanched, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Salt

For the marinade

  • 50 g thick, full-cream yoghurt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (cayenne)
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • Salt

For the masala paste

  • ½ fresh coconut, grated
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, roots, leaves and stem, washed
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves only
  • 3 fresh green chillies


  • In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt with all the other ingredients for the marinade, add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat all pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Using a little water, grind all the masala ingredients into a thick, smooth paste.
  • Heat the ghee in a wide, heavy-based pan, with the flame on medium, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and add to the pan. Reserve the rest of the marinade. Sear and lightly brown the chicken.
  • Now add the rest of the marinade and the green masala. Mix well and cook the chicken covered for 20 minutes without adding water (the chicken will cook in its own juices), stirring once or twice.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and the gravy is thick, add very little water if / as required and correct the seasoning and cook for a minute more. The gravy should coat the chicken. Serve, garnished with almond slivers.

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