Hariyali Chicken: The Evergreen Chicken Curry From Punjab
Image Credit: YouTube @Food Junction

Hariyali chicken curry is a dish that originated in Punjab. Hariyali translates to 'greenery' which rings true to this dish because, in effect, this dish uses a lot of green herbs to create a curry that is visually and aromatically so very appealing. It is said that we eat with our eyes and nose first, and that couldn’t be truer for this stunning dish. The dish has a curry base consisting of onions, garlic, spinach, mint, coriander, curry leaves, green chilies, and cashew nuts which lends a greenish hue to it. Cashew nuts provide the much-needed creaminess to the dish, which can also be attained by using curd, and it allows the herbs and the spices to meld together with the chicken. Boneless, skinless, chicken pieces are seared and then combined with the gravy to produce this all-enthralling dish, ready to knock your socks off. Due to its straightforward method of preparation, many roadside dhabas also feature this on their menus and it is heavenly, refreshing, and an ingenious way to prepare chicken, which is one of the most common animal sources of protein for most Indians. It is served alongside plain rice or jeera rice or with tandoori roti or butter naan. Here's a detailed recipe for you to make this at home, but make sure that the herbs you are using are fresh. 


For searing the chicken and the curry: 

-¼ cup mustard oil 

-500 gms chicken, boneless, skinless, and quartered into pieces. 

-½ cup beaten curd 

-2 tsp lemon juice 

-1 tsp turmeric powder 

-2 tsp red chilli powder 

-1 tbsp salt 

-1 bay leaf 

-2-3 cloves 

-1 inch stick of cinnamon 

-1 tsp cumin seeds 

-1 tsp coriander seeds 

-2-3 pods of green cardamom 

-1 tsp garam masala powder 

-2 tbsp unsalted butter 

For the preparation of the curry paste:

-2 onions, diced 

-1 kilo spinach chopped 

-½ cup coriander leaves, chopped. 

-¼ cup mint leaves 

-10-12 garlic cloves, peeled 

-8-10 green chillies 

-1 sprig of curry leaves 

-1-inch piece of ginger, chopped 

- 9-10 soaked cashews 

-¼ cup water 


-In a bowl add chicken, curd, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix well and keep this marination aside minimum for half an hour. 

-Wash the spinach thoroughly and boil it in a pot of water. Once wilted, take it off the heat and leave spinach to cool. 

-In a grinding bowl add the boiled spinach, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, cashews, mint leaves and water. Grind them all together into a fine paste. 

-Heat oil in a pan add whole garam masala spices, saute well. 

-Add the marinated chicken pieces with the whole spices and salt and sear well. 

-Once the chicken has changed colour and released water, add the green paste. 

-Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes on low flame. 

-Cook till the water evaporates and gravy becomes medium thick. 

-Add lemon juice, garam masala powder, and butter, and stir it in. Cover the pan with a lid and leave it for 2 minutes, so that chicken gets infused with the ingredients. 

-Take it off the heat and serve with naan or plain rice.