Top chicken dishes of India

India is not only a great holiday destination but also has mouth watering dishes to offer. Apart from a large number of vegetarian dishes, India has large number of chicken dishes that can be considered the best in the world. No wonder, more Indian restaurants than ever before are coming up all over the world. Although, many people in India are vegetarians, there is significant appetite for chicken dishes. In fact, some of the best chicken preparations are from India.

It is thought that the domesticated chicken came to India around 2000 BC ago from the South East supposedly from Malaysia where it was first domesticated from the fusion of 2 varieties of foul. It is from India where the chicken was then exported to Africa and Europe. It then went to the Americas with the Spanish adventurers. Thanks to the British colonialism, the great culinary traditions of India, chicken dishes in particular were then exported to the rest of the world that still continues to rule the world.

Chicken dishes of India

Chicken dishes of India

Popular Indian chicken dishes that you must try;

Butter Chicken

This dish first originated in Delhi, the capital of India. It is thought that the chef who created this dish forgot to buy enough ingredients and ended up creating the dish with lots of butter, tomato and spices. The dish is traditionally served with naan, chapattis or steamed rice.

Chicken Tandoori

Chicken Tandoori

Chicken Tandoori

The dish is prepared by marinating chicken in yogurt, lemon juice, spices and cooked in a tandoor (a clay oven) at temperatures that can reach up to 500 degree Celsius. Visually, it’s similar to kebabs and barbecues. The origin of the Chicken Tandoori is in Peshawar which is now in Pakistan. It is often eaten as side dish or as a starter. Nowadays, you’ll find them on pizza toppings.

Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish is perhaps the most popular of all Indian chicken preparations. Most Indian restaurants serving meat would have this dish. The dish is so popular in Britain that it has become the unofficial “national dish”. It consists of small pieces of marinated chicken cooked in a coconut based sauce with tomato and coriander. The dish has its origins in the Punjab and today it’s has been dubbed as the most popular Indian dish in the world.

Mughlai Chicken

The word Mughlai represents a style of cooking with origins dating from the invasion of India by the Mughals in 1526 (direct descendants of Genghis Khan). Hence, when you encounter the dishes such as Mughlai Chicken, Mughlai Parathas, Mughlai Pulao and so on; think of the imperial dishes of the Mughal rulers of India. This dish is cooked in thick double cream sauce and goes well with rice.

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh

Traditionally this is a lamb dish with origins in Persia but its extremely popular in Kashmir in Northern India. It was originally brought to India by the Mughal invaders. But many restaurants now serve chicken version of this dish too. It is cooked in high heat where chicken or lamb is mixed with gravy of onions, yoghurt, garlic, ginger and other spices. The reason for its “red” colour is because of large quantities of chillies in it. Hence, this dish is not for those who cannot tolerate hot food.

Chicken Dhansak

This Indian dish has its origins in Persia where either chicken or lamb is used for its preparation. It’s traditionally cooked in lentils and goes well with rice.

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

This is perhaps one of the most popular chicken dish in India. Biryani’s are cooked in rice with pieces of chicken. The dish in particular is famous in many parts of the world. It is interesting to note that there are international varieties of this dish for instance there is Thai, Burmese, Sri Lankan, Iranian, Malaysian, Mauritian and Indonesian Biryanis. You’ll be surprised to know that there is a Filipino version as well called the “Nasing Biringyi”.

Chilli Chicken

This Indo-Chinese dish is a popular dish in India. As most Indians like chillies it appeals to the Indian palate. As the name suggests, this is an extremely hot dish cooked with plenty of chillies. There’s a vegetarian version of this dish cooked from paneer (Indian cottage cheese) that’s as good as the chicken version. Chilli chicken is well complemented with chowmein noodles.

Chicken Do Pyaza

If you like onions then you are going to love this exotic chicken dish. An authentic Punjabi dish by origin; chunks of preferably boneless chicken are cooked with lot of fried onions. An ideal do payza dish would contain equal amounts or even more of onions then chicken hence the name “chicken do pyaza”.

Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma

This is another popular of all chicken dishes of India of Turkish origin. Great thing is about this dish is that it’s a lot milder in taste compared to other dishes. Another interesting point is that vegetables can also be prepared in the Korma style. This dish happens to be extremely popular in British restaurants as it goes well with beer and British palate.

Murgh Musallam

This is the most popular chicken dish in North West India and Pakistan. The word “mugh” here means chicken and “musallam” means masala (spices). It could also mean Musalman (Muslim) but that’s pure speculative on my behalf. Large chunks or whole chicken is cooked with dry fruits stuffed inside it. Stuffed chicken is marinated overnight in yogurt and then cooked with cumin seeds and cream in the traditional Indian way. The dish goes well with naan bread and rice. Lahore in Pakistan would be the best place to try this dish.

Saag Chicken

This dish is a combination of chicken and lots of “saag” or spinach. It’s a nutritious dish especially for those children who are fussy about vegetables. I prefer this dish with chapattis or parathas. Another variation of this dish is its vegetarian counterpart the “saag paneer”.

Chicken Vindaloo

Although the British Bangladeshi restaurants likes to claim fame for this dish, the reality is that this dish has its origins in Goa of Anglo-Indian Portuguese origin. Traditionally vindaloo was made in lamb but chicken was introduced to cater for those who did not eat lamb. Meat is marinated overnight in palm vinegar, chillies, sugar, ginger and Indian spices and then cooked the following day with further spices. The dish is famed for its hot and fiery taste that goes well with beer.

Indian Chicken Curry

Tradition Chicken Curry

Tradition Chicken Curry

We can’t really complete the list with this amazing evergreen dish. Basically I like to think of the rest of the other curried chicken dishes as one big family of dishes under this banner. However some chefs like to call it a dish in its own right. Here’s a brief method on making this dish. First, fry onions with cumin seeds until golden brown, and then add the pieces of chicken and further fry till they have become brown. Add curry spices, chopped tomatoes, salt, garlic, ginger, and coriander and fry till water is released from the chicken, then add water and heat until cooked.

Remember Indians do not beef due to religious purposes hence most Indian restaurants would not serve them if they happen to be run by Hindus. Similarly, if the restaurant is run by a Muslim, you’re not going to find pork. This does not mean that you cannot get beef or pork in India; it’s not as openly sold as chicken and other meat.

My personal belief is that out of all the meat dishes of India has to offer, chicken dishes are perhaps the best. My personal favourite dish out of the ones mentioned is the Chicken Tikka Masala. I have been to several countries on holiday and I have been able to find this dish on most menus in Indian restaurants. Chicken Briyani is another one of my favourites, it’s easy to cook at home and children love it. Feel free to try all of them, they are equally good.

Out of all these Indian chicken dishes, which ones have your tried and which ones you liked the most? If you have not tried them, which one would you like to try?

Make Chicken Tikka Masala at home

Top 10 foods to try when in India

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59 Responses to “Top chicken dishes of India”

  1. Farida says:

    Now it is time to stop blogging and start cooking

  2. Hi Shalu,

    Just found your blog on Blokube and will book mark it.
    Seem like some excellent recipes here :)
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  3. Ehsan Ullah says:

    excellent and tasty recipes shared here Shalu, the title of your post grabbed my attention I wanted to know about the dishes that I want to eat before I die lol.

    Thanks for sharing.
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  4. Michael Belk says:

    Shalu, I love Indian food. We have an Indian restaurant here and it makes for a good date restaurant.

    I love the naan bread. I can eat just the bread and curry sauce. The food looks great.
    Michael Belk recently posted..Are educators advocating cheating; what lessons are our children learning?My Profile

  5. Jena Isle says:

    Hello Shalu,

    Namaste, wow, now, I can taste Chicken Tikka Masala! I just wish the ingredients are available here in the Philippines. I’m fascinated with anything Indian, I learned short phrases from movies I watched on YouTube, like, Aamir Khan’s Ghajini, Lagaan, R.Hindustani and any Indian movie that have Indian subtitles. Papa kethe bardanam karega is a song I know the tune of…even the

    Really, India is an incredible country, and I’m so excited to cook this dish. I also have a food blog, but I don’t post more often.

    Thanks for giving out this information, and through a useful video format…Aap kayhal rakhna.
    Jena Isle recently posted..7 Frugal Fall Dishes to Feed Your SoulMy Profile

    • Shalu says:

      Thank you Jena for your wonderful comments. I have heard that many Indian restaurants are being to open in the Philippines as well. I am amazed that you have learnt a bit of Hindi as well. Papa kethe bardanam karega song has always been one of my best songs ever as well. I am glad that you have liked it.

  6. Shalu Sharma says:

    Thank You very much Ehsan, I am glad you liked it.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..Top chicken dishes of IndiaMy Profile

  7. Shalu Sharma says:

    Thank you Sylviane, they are indeed excellent recipes. Please do try these chicken dishes.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..Red Fort of Delhi – Lal QilaMy Profile

  8. Thanks for the top chicken dishes list Shalu. I’ll follow your list to add chicken recipes on my website. Brits love curries.
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  9. Nisha says:

    This is very delicious post. :) Never realized we have so many variety of chicken dishes.
    I am drooling now.
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  10. Larry James says:

    I love Indian food, especially Curry Chicken. I watched the video and the Chicken Tikka Masala looks delicious. I have never tried it but I will add it to my list of dishes that I must try before I die. LOL
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  11. d.Nambiar says:

    Wow, we have so much to be proud of. :)
    Really nice post.
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  12. Emme Rogers says:

    *salivating* So many more Indian chicken dishes than those that I have already enjoyed.
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  13. Nizam Khan says:

    Indeed an excellent post, it’s really appreciative! Well, all the listed chicken dishes are really wonderful, especially Chicken Biryani as it is one of the most popular chicken dish in India and also it is famous in many parts of the world. Thanks for sharing :)
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  14. Shamis says:

    Oh wow, now I just want to run to an Indian restaurant! I’ve tried many of these (not surprisingly) but butter chicken and chicken tandoori are my favorites. Ok, gotta check with my hubby if he wants to meet up for lunch :)
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  15. Bhushan says:

    sometime ago,I have ate chicken in access amount and this post have given me some enjoying past moment with friends.I am fascinate about these all.
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  16. Shalu, I don’t eat Chicken, but yet would love to try sometime in my life :D Have actually tried it with a SubWrap, but not completely! :)
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  17. erda says:

    Just found your blog on Blokube and i found it very intresting! It’s time for me to start cooking.Excellent and tasty recipes shared here.Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hi Shalu Ji……

    I am not happy today…..I am on diet and you have covered a Topic that is attracting me and saying to me that I should go out and have some Chicken Dish.

    I am crazy about no-veg dishes specially Chicken dishes.
    My wife suggesting me to control on my diet as I am gaining weight (it is almost over weight).

    All the dishes you have mentioned are tasty and one cannot stop himself/herself once these are on dinning table.

    The only dish which is not tried by me is Chicken Dhanshak. I’ll give it a try in my next visit to my non-veg restaurent.
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  19. Chinmay says:

    You have a very nice and delicious site there! The varieties are just mouth-watering! I’m going to pressurize my wife for few of them, definitely!
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  20. supercar says:

    I love Indian food, especially Curry Chicken. All the dishes you have mentioned are tasty and one cannot stop himself/herself once these are on dinning table.
    Indeed an excellent post, it’s really appreciative!
    the recipes you told i hope are more tastier than kareem ‘s dishes

  21. Shane says:

    I can see that India’s chicken dishes are amazing! I think I’d have the buttered chicken and chilli chicken if I have to choose. Indian cuisine, as I have read from the comments, is I think, delicious. I feel hungry already nomnom. Great article!
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  22. Felicia says:

    Wow, mouth-watering chicken dishes, and from India too! I have already tried butter chicken, tandoori, chilli chicken, chicken vindaloo and tikka masala. The rest I haven’t tried yet. What’s your favorite, Shalu?
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Shalu Sharma says:

      Thank you, please do try the rest as well. My favorite is the curry.

      • Felicia says:

        Hi again Shalu,
        I went back here to say that I have just tried yet another great Indian dish just a few days, and it was the Chicken Biryani. It was something like paella, I think. My sister’s favorite is curry too, but me not much because I think I am somewhat sensitive to the curry powder.

  23. danni says:

    Chicken curry is my favorite. Long ago, roti canai was brought in by Indian Muslim into Malaya. Today, it is one of the main and famous local food.

  24. Kristine says:

    Hi Shalu! Thanks for these delicious suggestions, as expected, I’m a huge fan of chicken curry and chicken tandoori. Hands down, these are my favorite Indian dishes :)

  25. Joy says:

    What an appetizing share :) I have yet to find a restaurant in my area that serves authentic Indian cuisine so for the meantime, I’ll give your recipes a try. Thanks!

  26. Shalu, I love Native indian food. We have an Native indian cafe here and it makes for a good date cafe.

  27. Nishant says:

    Just one little comment – moonh me paani aa gaya :)
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  28. Hello (:…

    Excellent post over again! Thanks;)…

  29. Aziz Kassam says:

    Mmmmm…delicious… but you forget to add my favourite Spicy Chicken Chettinad ….
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  30. Okay, so now that I am dying for Masala, thank you very much, I am stuck. I don’t think there is an Indian restaurant in the whole state of Alaska.

    Noogies to you!
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  31. Web Stats says:

    Wow, great dishes, mmm looking at these amazing dishes, it’s very tempting to do so. I love chicken hence would be something that I would like to try when I am there.

  32. Maddy says:

    Excellent post, it’s really appreciative! I like chicken dishes.
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  33. I love, love, love Indian food!!! I wish it would be more popular in Russia, in my hometown there are no Indian restaurants, so I have to cook it by myself, but my cooking is not so great, so when I’m back to England, first thing I do – I go to Indian restaurant :-)
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  34. As i saw the pics my mouth is full of saliva really some of the best cuisine of chicken you have shared here can you please explain a little more which one is to spicy and which one is less thanks
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  35. Sunil S says:

    My mouth started watering after reading your post Shalu. I love Biryani and can it 365 days of the year and not get bored of it. Dum Biryani of Shalimar is my favourite.

  36. Lyricsguru says:

    Those all looks delicious, but I am pure Vegan, any recommendations for me ;)
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  37. pietersen says:

    Seems Chicken will be jealous now not any single recipe is left for cooking…awesome share …heaven for foodies like me

  38. says:

    One of my favorite food is Chicken Curry – it is healthy and delicious and so easy to prepare. As a mother, I never stopped trying to cook foods which are new to me because my children just love to eat! With all the recipes you showed to us, I wanted to try Chicken Tikka Masala. WOw, it is extremely superb! Thanks for sharing. recently posted..Vegetable Smoothies – The Healthy OptionsMy Profile

  39. Klaudia says:

    Cooking will be a lot more than merely after a recipke. The main element is always to recognize the proper strategies to cooking, to use your materials, to scrub upward and how to prevent items coming from going completely wrong.
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  40. shanes says:

    Chicken recipes at it best i must say thanks for sharing the amazing stuff

  41. Bai says:

    Oh. My. God. I think I’ll make these and then proceed to eat them all one sitting!

  42. Rudi Nazar says:

    wow .. I became hungry when looking at the food, and one day I definitely want to go to India, because the place is so beautiful and comfortable.
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  43. Sahil says:

    Thanks for sharing this great chicken recipes shalu, I defitnetly loved your collection.

  44. tas wanita branded says:

    its very nice article.I love Indian food, especially Curry Chicken. All the dishes you have mentioned are tasty and one cannot stop himself/herself once these are on dinning table.
    Indeed an excellent post, it’s really appreciative!
    the recipes you told i hope are more tastier than kareem ‘s dishes.

  45. One of my favorite food is Chicken Curry – it is healthy and delicious and so easy to prepare. As a mother, I never stopped trying to cook foods which are new to me because my children just love to eat! With all the recipes you showed to us, I wanted to try Chicken Tikka Masala. WOw, it is extremely superb! Thanks for sharing – See more at:

  46. Pooja Sharma says:

    All dishes are very sweet but Saag Chicken is my Fav.
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  47. wow .. the food is really very tempting and I really wanted to try it
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  48. HASSANE says:

    Great recipes I have enjoyed to watching this Thank you

  49. Just found your blog on and i found it very intresting! It’s time for me to start cooking. Excellent and tasty recipes shared here.Thanks for sharing.

  50. hai .. to be honest I would like to ask? if we go to India if the cost of living there is expensive or not? thank you

  51. Vijay says:

    Although you have listed almost all popular chicken dishes, you missed “GUNTUR CHICKEN”
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