Being a hardcore non-vegetarian Punjabi, my go-to comfort food has always been butter chicken and garlic naan. That was, is and will remain my first love. The creamy and luscious gravy with tender chicken pieces makes my mouth water just at the thought of it. Until I discovered tawa chicken. On a road trip with my family to Amritsar, we stopped at a dhaba for lunch. While I immediately ordered for a plate of butter chicken, my family insisted on trying out the tawa chicken from their menu and I gave in. I kept wondering about how a chicken is cooked in a cooker or in a kadhai but never really thought of tawa as a medium for cooking too. 

For the uninitiated, a tawa is a thick griddle which is generally used to make the rotis i.e. the staple Indian flatbread. When the food arrived on my table, it looked so tempting that it was hard to resist. The chicken was cooked together with diced tomatoes and onions to let the juices infuse. The tawa lended the chicken a robust and smoky flavour. This chicken dish wasn’t high on gravy, with some semi-thick masala on the side. You could enjoy it naan or tandoori roti and dal makhani. 

Source: Hungry Hijabi/Instagram

Here’s how you can make dhaba-style Tawa chicken at home. 


  • 1 kg chicken 
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed powder 
  • 1/2 turmeric powder 
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder 
  • Salt 
  • Water 
  • Oil 
  • 3/4 garam masala powder 
  • 1/2 lemon juice 
  • 1 roughly chopped onion
  • 1 sliced green chilli
  • Chopped Coriander leaves


  1. Begin by heating the oil on a huge tawa. Fry the chicken in the hot oil. 
  2. Once it is fried, add some ginger-garlic paste and chopped tomatoes to the griddle. 
  3. Saute everything and let the ginger-garlic flavours infuse in the chicken. 
  4. Once the tomatoes also moisten and become soft, add red chilli powder as well as the rest of the spices and cook it on a low flame. 
  5. Cover the lid of tawa after adding water and salt. Let the chicken cook properly for about 15 minutes. 
  6. Remove the lid and add the onions, lemon juice and garam masala to it. Let it cook for a few more minutes and add water as per requirements. 
  7. Garnish with coriander and serve hot!