Chicken Curry- Dhaba Style

Oh this divine chicken curry is spicy, hot, aromatic made with ground spices, onions, tomatoes along with few more ingredients are just perfect for lunch or dinner & taste good with chapati, paratha, steamed or zeera(cumin) rice.

This type of curry is usually served at Dhaba’s ย in Northern region of India. Dhaba’s are usually roadside restaurants scattered all over the highways. Food is usually reasonable at these dhabas and taste is awesome. Though there are limited options on the menu but no compromise on the taste.

I was trying to replicate this curry for a long time with respect to taste & color but with this recipe came pretty close to what we get at Dhaba’s. This curry is slightly time-consuming but trust me it’s worth the efforts ๐Ÿ˜‰. So let’s get started .

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry

Cuisine: Indian, North-Indian

Recipe Type: Main Course

Author: Rateka

Prep Time: 20 Mins + 30 Mins for marination

Cook Time: 45-50 Mins

Serves: 2-3


  • Chicken: 1/2 kg (skinless, cleaned ย medium-sized pieces & drumstick )

For Marination:

  • Ginger-Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tbsp

For Curry:

  • Onions: 2 medium-sized ( 1 onion purรฉe, 1 onion finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes: 1 big, purรฉe
  • Garlic Cloves: 4-5
  • Ginger: 1 inch
  • Green Chili: 2-3
  • Cumin Seeds: 2 tsp
  • Bay Leaves: 1-2
  • Cinnamon Stick: 1/2
  • Green Cardamom: 2
  • Black Cardamom: 1
  • Peppercorn: 5-6
  • Cloves: 2-3
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp or as per taste
  • Coriander Powder: 2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala Powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cooking Oil: 3 tbsp ( I have used mustard oil)
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering/Tadka:

  • Ghee/Clarified Butter: 1 tbsp
  • Green Chili: 2, slit into halves
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch piece, Julienne
  • Coriander/Cilantro leaves: Freshly chopped to garnish


  1. Marinate the cleaned chicken pieces and drumstick with ingredients mentioned under “For Marination”. Mix well and keep aside for 30 mins.
  2. Grind onion, ginger, garlic, green chili to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. In a kadhai/heavy deep bottomed pan, add oil & let it heat. In the meanwhile, using mortal & pastel roughly pound all the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorn, cloves, green & black cardamom).
  4. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf & roughly pounded whole spices & let them splutter. Then add finely chopped onion and sautรฉ till slightly golden in color. Now add onion paste which we prepared in step 2, mix well & let it cook on low flame till the paste has golden-brown in color. Keep stirring occasionally.
  5. Add tomato purรฉe, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, mix well & cook till the paste start oozing oil to the surface.
  6. Add the marinated chicken, garam masala powder, mix well, cover the pan and cook for 5-10 mins, Keep stirring occasionally.
  7. Add 1/2 cup water, mix well and bring the curry to a boil on high flame. Once a boil comes, reduce the heat to medium flame. Check on seasonings, add if required. Cover the pan & let it cook for another 20-25 mins. Keep stirring occasionally & check on chicken pieces with sharp knife whether cooked or not.
  8. Once chicken is cooked properly uncover the pan & cook for another 15-20 mins till the water evaporated & curry starts to thicken.
  9. Once the curry is ready as per the desired consistency, turn off the flame.
  10. In a tadka pan, heat ghee, once hot add green chili & ginger julienne. Once it starts to splutter & becomes slightly crisp, switch off the flame & pour this tadka on the curry. Mix well. Top it with chopped cilantro & cover the curry for another 10-15 mins before serving. This helps in absorbing all the flavors into the chicken & curry.
  11. Serve hot with chapati or rice & enjoy this curry with your loved ones ๐Ÿ˜Š.



16 thoughts on “Chicken Curry- Dhaba Style

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