Thursday, 6 November 2014

Chicken Dum Pukht / Slow braised chicken in nutty sauce

Chicken dum pukht - slow braised chicken in a rich fried onion and nutty sauce. Chicken pieces are super moist, soft and succulent and literally falling off the bone. Fried onion sauce is one of the best sauces I've ever made. This sauce has a little bit of sweetness from the fried onions, rich nutty taste from the nuts and awesome freshness from the cilantro leaves.
Perfect dish to feed a crowd / get together when you want to make something very delicious without spending too much time. Preparing the fried onions, green paste and nuts paste can be done well ahead ( previous night ) and you just need to put everything together to prepare the final dish. Preparation is a lengthier process, but the end result is definitely worth the effort. If you are planning to make this for a get together, do the preparation over night and refrigerate 'fried onion paste, green paste, nuts paste'. Next day, you can prepare the gravy and just leave the chicken to slowly cook in the sauce. You don't need to monitor the gravy all the time, it will get slow cooked on its own.


  • 750 Grams Chicken ( bone-in , cut into pieces)
  • 2 Large onions sliced thinly
  • Vegetable Oil to deep fry onions
  • 3 tablespoons ghee / clarified butter
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Green Cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons curd / plain natural yogurt
  • 2 Large ripe tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 2 sprig of curry leaves
  • 6 raw almonds
  • 10 raw cashew nuts
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 Cups chicken stock ( low sodium)

To grind

1 small onion chopped roughly
1 inch Ginger piece
5 Garlic cloves
1/2 tightly packed cilantro leaves with stem ( washed thoroughly )
3 Green chillies


1. Fry onions : In a large wok/ pan heat oil for deep frying the onions. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium and add thinly sliced onions in the hot oil and fry in batches. Set aside


2. Wash chicken thoroughly. Sprinkle salt and toss chicken pieces. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee over medium heat. When the ghee melts, add chicken pieces and fry until they are brown on each sides. I fried in batches of 5 pieces. Set aside


3. Add ginger, garlic, cilantro, roughly chopped onions, green chillies in to a food processor and grind it to fine paste. Use 1 tablespoon  of water for grinding. I didn't use water at all


4. Soak almonds and cashew nuts in hot water for 10 minutes. Once they are soft, remove skin of almonds. Grind almonds and cashew nuts into fine paste


5. Add fried onions ( from step number 1) along with 2 tablespoon of curd / yogurt in to a food processor and grind it to fine paste



1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoon ghee / clarified butter
2. When the ghee melts, add green and black cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, fennel seeds and fry for few seconds


3. Keep the flame low throughout the process. Then add the green paste we prepared at step number 3 ( ginger, garlic, onion, green chilli, paste) in the pan and simmer until all water evaporates and the paste is nice golden and thick. at this stage ghee will start leaving from the mixture


4. Add fried onion and curd paste we prepared at step number 5 and give it a nice stir. Let the mixture cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the water evaporates and the mixture comes together as a thick paste. Do not rush through. let the mixture get roasted nicely


5. Add cashew and almond paste we prepared at step number 4 and give it a stir
6. Let it cook for 5 minutes


7. Add chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, garam masala along with chicken stock                             


8. Simmer and let the sauce cook for 10 minutes


9. Now add the chicken pieces , season with salt. Add 1 cup water or enough water to immerse the chicken pieces


10. Cover the pan , and let it cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked though , soft and literally falling off the bone when pressed gently


11. Switch off the flame. Add lemon juice and give it a stir

12. Serve hot with steamed rice / naan / roti

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