Bihari Chicken Curry

Sometimes delicious food meets you in the most unexpected places. We hit upon one such recipe at work from an ex-colleague who was famous for his chicken and mutton curries cooked in the UP/Bihari style. Those curries smelled wonderful and tasted delicious, beautifully spiced, smooth and rich. And the recipes for both these curries are surprisingly simple for dishes that taste so nuanced.

We tested out this Bihari Chicken Curry recently and it took hardly any time to cook and even less time to literally lick our plates clean.

Bihari Chicken Curry


500 gm Chicken (Or a little more if you’re using bone-in chicken)
2 large or 3 medium Onions
1/2 a pod of Garlic
3 inch piece of Ginger
14-16 Almonds, ground to a powder
2 Bay Leaves
2 pieces Cinnamon sticks
1-2 dry Red Chilis
2-3 tbs Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Chili powder
Salt to taste


Grind onions, ginger and garlic to a paste. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and add the dry red chilis, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. As that gorgeous fragrance of the aromatics and hot ghee wafts up to your nose, add the onion, garlic and ginger pastes. Cook the pastes till they’re fragrant and turning a golden brown. Stir in the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the ground almonds and cook till you see oil separating. Sprinkle in the turmeric, chili powder and salt. Stir through and add about 1/2 a cup of water to make a thick gravy. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Serve with lovely, hot chapatis.

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