Friday, 29 August 2014

Murgh Teen Pyaaza

Years ago, I was a child really,  I remember going through a phase when every time I ate at an Indian restaurant I ordered for a Murgh Do Pyaaza. This happened after I had discovered the dish during a visit to Delhi. I took a fancy to the dish like it was nobody's business. I especially liked fishing for those pearl onions and claimed each one that came with a plate of this spicy goodness. No one was allowed to have those pearl onions. My parents of course grew tired of ordering for the same dish every time. They tried to trick me now and then, but I wouldn't listen. Yeah I was stubborn when it came to food. Once I had demanded a chicken do pyaaza at a Chinese joint, Waldorf I think. My mother's palm had done the talking that time. And then the phase was over, and for years now I have never ordered for a do pyaaza again. 

Anyway, why do you think Murgh Do Pyaaza is called so. I always thought because the traditional recipe uses onions in two different avatars, regular onions (sliced or minced) and often pearl onions (whole). Going by that logic, I trumped up this dish which I am calling Chicken Teen Pyaaza. Onions, used in three different avatars, enjoy the glory spot in this spicy curried chicken.

It is true that I like to cook with fewer ingredients, but there are days when I keep adding spices, this and that, to a dish and create something new impromptu. This dish owes it origin to one of those crazy days in the kitchen. I had set out with a game plan, of course it metamorphosed into something else. But the result was outright delicious. I had no intention of sharing it on the blog, but my brother insisted I do, he liked it that much. So I made it again. Clicked a few pictures and here it is. 


Boneless chicken - 800 g  
Minced Garlic - 1 tsp 
Minced Ginger - 1 tsp 
Tomato puree - 4 tbsp 
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp 
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp (heaped) 
Cashew nuts - 100 g 
Coarsely ground peppercorns - 1 tbsp 
Butter - 50+50 g 
Vegetable oil as required  
Whole red chilies (soaked in warm water) - 3-4 
(1) Onions thinly sliced - 3 large or 4 medium 
(2) Onions thinly sliced - 2 large 
Spring onion - finely chopped - 1 cup 
Baby tomatoes - 5-6 
Vinegar - 1 cup 
Chopped green chilies - 2 tbsp 
Salt to taste 
Sugar to taste 


In a bowl toss in the sliced onions (2) and chopped green chilies. Pour in the vinegar so that it covers the onions. Leave this for at least a couple of hours

Saute the cashew nuts in butter, cool and grind into a fine paste. Keep aside. 

Heat oil in a large pan and deep fry the thinly sliced onion (1) until a deep golden brown. Sprinkle a little sugar while frying the onions for a richer colour.  Do not burn the onions. 

Once the fried onions cool, in a blender make a paste of the onions and soaked whole red chilies. Keep aside. 

Now in a heavy bottomed pan, heat the remaining butter and a table spoon of vegetable oil. 

Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry until golden in colour. 

Add the chicken pieces and fry on high heat. Now add the tomato puree and the pureed fried onions and continue to fry until oil separates. Add salt, sugar, cinnamon powder and fry for another couple of minutes. Cover and cook until chicken softens. You might add a little water if it seems too dry, but it's unlikely you'll need it. 

Remove cover, add the finely chopped spring onions, baby tomatoes, roasted cumin powder, ground peppercorns and the cashew nut paste. Stir well and let it simmer on medium low heat until chicken is absolutely tender and oil separates. 

Remove from heat and add the vinegar-soaked onions and chilies, mix well. 

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rotis or paranthas.


  1. Looks absolutely delicious! I love how juicy the wrinkled up tomatoes look!