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Murgh Musallam

Oct 29th, 2010 | By | Category: All Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Curries & Gravies, Featured recipes, Non-Veg Recipes

Murgh Musallam

My kitchen shelves are stocked up with all kinds of stuff neatly (not really) organized in sections.  Every once in a while I go thru my them looking for expired items to be discarded. I take out all the items, check for freshness, re-arrange all of them so I remember that I have to use them. While in this process over the last few weeks of “Clean Up Kitchen” program, I suddenly realised  a few things in my pantry were treated with low profile. So I started on a mission to use up all of them. One among the list was a small bag of almond powder that I remember buying a while back. At first I thought of making a dessert but then I wanted to cook it along with something.  With the change in weather indicating the beginning of autumn, temperatures not too cold like in winters and not too hot like in summers, I wanted to go for a mild curry that tastes well with both rice and rotis and of course that also involves almond powder as an ingredient. So off I went, browsing through my recipe files that I have been collecting since ages and looking out for ideas, when this dish caught my eye. Musallam meaning “whole” and Murgh meaning “chicken” is a rich creamy dish that is said to a jewel of the Awadhi Cuisine.  The dish has derived its name thru the process of cooking whole chicken in a creamy sauce and a combination of spices that result in a rich succulent dish that is mildly spicy and tastes amazing when paired up with plain cooked basmati rice, pulao, or as a side to go with rotis. I used boneless chicken pieces instead of whole chicken for convenience but the taste was delicious. Now to the recipe…


2 lbs boneless chicken – cut into chunks

3 cups chopped onions (about 2 Large Onions) – Finely chopped

2 large tomatoes

2 garlic pods – finely chopped

¼ tsp turmeric pwd

½ tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

3 tbsps cooking oil

Freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

3 tbsps almond powder or 15 almonds

For the Spice Powder:

½ tsp whole black pepper corns

½ tsp cumin seeds

1″ cinnamon stick

2 cloves/lavangalu

1 elaichi/cardamom

For the Marinade:

1 ½ tsp ginger garlic paste

½ tsp green chilli paste or 4-5 crushed green chillies

¾ cup thickly beaten curd/yogurt

1 ½ coriander pwd

½ tsp red chilli pwd

½ tsp salt


  • In a wide bowl, mix the ingredients mentioned under “Marinade”. Add cleaned chicken * pieces to the mixture. Cover and let it marinate while you are busy with the rest of the procedure.
  • Bring to boil 3 cups of water in a vessel. Take a tomato, make a slit on the head of the tomato in a + shape. Gently place it in the water and let it cook for about 1 to 2 mts. Remove and rinse under cold water. The skin should come off easily by now. Let it cool and grind to smooth paste then set aside.
  • Heat a pan, and fry the spices mentioned under “Spice Powder” for 3-4 mts on low flame till nice aroma comes out. Cool, grind to fine powder and set aside.
  • If not using store bought almond powder, then follow this procedure: Bring to boil 2 cups of water to boil. Turn off the flame. Throw in the almonds and leave it for 2 minutes. Drain the water. By this time the skin should be very soft and it should slip of easily when you remove with your fingers. Now grind the almonds adding little milk as necessary to make into smooth paste. Set aside.

How To:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide deep bottomed vessel, add chopped garlic, chopped onions, and turmeric powder. Fry on medium flame for around 8 – 10 mts till the onions turn soft and light golden brown in color. Remove the onions on to a plate, let it cool and grind to smooth paste.
  • In the same vessel, heat remaining 2 tbsps of oil, shake off excess marinade and add the marinated chicken pieces in the oil. (Set the remaining marinade paste aside for using it later). Fry on high heat for about 5 – 7 mts till the chicken pieces turn lightly brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same vessel, add the onion paste, tomato paste, red chilli powder, ¼ cup water and cook on medium flame for about 3 -4 mts.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces, left over marinade if any, almond powder/paste, and mix well. Add ½ cup of water. Cook covered on low flame till the chicken turns soft and they gravy reaches to the desired consistency.
  • Just before turning off the heat, add freshly chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot with plain cooked basmati rice, biryani, pulao or rotis.
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  1. Luv the chicken gravy…name sounds new to me…Looks so yummy

  2. Thanks sharmilee. The dish is a speciality of Awadhi Cuisine.

  3. Fingerlicking murgh musallam, very tempting dish..

  4. Dear Sowjanya,

    Can you please tell me whether you used boneless chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs?

    Thanks for the recipes! Keep them coming.

  5. Hi Rohit,

    I used boneless chicken breast tenderloins for this recipe, but you can use chicken thighs as well. Its a matter of choice. I look for healthy options, so use chicken breast in almost all my recipes. Hope that helps. Let me know how you like it if you happen to try.

  6. I tried this over the weekend it came out really good.I loved it.

  7. i tried this recipe on the weekend……i made some adjustments but overall, it was really delicious and a very good recipe 🙂

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