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overhead view of a pot of creamy Indian chicken curry with a visible cinnamon stick

Murgh Masala (Chicken Masala)

A classic Indian curry, Murgh Masala is a fragrant combination of chicken, tomato, yogurt, and a plethora of aromatics and spices.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 321 kcal


  • 2 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves. roughly chopped
  • 2-inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 very ripe tomatoes, chopped (substitute 2 to 2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes if tomatoes aren't very ripe)
  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup thick plain yogurt (strained regular yogurt or Greek-style both work)


  • Mix the cumin, coriander, garam masala, cardamom, and turmeric together and rub it into the chicken.
  • Put half the onion with the garlic, ginger, and chopped tomato in a food processor or blender and puree into a smooth paste.
  • Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the remaining onion, the cloves and cinnamon and fry until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the tomato and onion paste and stir for 5 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Stir in the yogurt until smooth and then add the spiced chicken.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has come together. Stir the ingredients occasionally to prevent the chicken from sticking. If the sauce is too thin, simmer for several minutes uncovered toward the end of the cooking time. Season with salt to taste and serve with basmati rice or naan.

Notes & Nutrition

Adapted from The Food of India
Servings 6.0 * calories 321 * Total Fat 12 g * Saturated Fat 2 g * Monounsaturated Fat 0 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 113 mg * Sodium 92 mg * Potassium 316 mg * Total Carbohydrate 16 g * Dietary Fiber 2 g * Sugars 5 g * Protein 38 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*