This Aged Delhi Chicken Curry By Chef Raja Is A Labour Of Love

Isn’t it amazing how you can use chicken for the simplest and most complex recipes at the same time. Growing up in India, Delhi to be precise, I am no stranger to the phenomenon of butter chicken. But the obsession doesn’t end here. Are you even in Indian restaurant in the capital if you do not have at least  12 types of chicken dishes (Read: Tandoori chicken, kadhai chicken, chicken malai tikka et al)? From starters to mains, we do not mind having chicken in every course, save the desserts. 

In this recipe, Chef Raja Nadar, Chef de Cuisine, Hilton Al Habtoor City Hotel, Dubai, pays homage to Delhi and its lip-smacking chicken curries. Those who love the richness and comfort of slow-cooked Indian curries, would be absolutely thrilled to know, that the marination of this recipe has to be prepared a day before. The strained yoghurt adds to the creaminess of the curry, while the mustard oil and the ginger-garlic paste brings the right amount of punch. A meticulous approach, and a little bit of patience, will come in handy to make this absolute stunner of a curry that is ruling our hearts right now. 

The recipe uses boneless chicken, if you wish, you can replace it with the ones with bones too. Without further ado, here’s the recipe you have been waiting for.  

You can pair this creamy, punchy gravy with rice or roti


  • 8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless 
  • 1 handful of coriander cress, or small coriander leaves, to garnish 
  • 1 knob of ginger, thumb-sized, cut into matchsticks, to garnish 


  • 300g of greek yoghurt 
  • 2 tbsp of mustard oil 
  • 2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste 
  • 1 tbsp of ground turmeric 
  • 1 tbsp of kashmiri chilli powder 
  • 2 tsp sea salt 


  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil 
  • 4 green cardamom pods 
  • 2 black cardamom pods 
  • 4 cloves 
  • 2 Indian bay leaves 
  • 4 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste 
  • 2 tbsp of kashmiri chili powder 
  • 2 green chilies, split lengthways 
  • 1kg plum tomatoes, pureed 
  • 200ml of double cream, plus extra to serve 
  • 250g of unsalted butter 
  • 1 tbsp of garam masala 
  • 1 handful of fenugreek leaves, dried 
  • Castor sugar, to taste 
  • sea salt, to taste 


1. Begin by making the marinade the day before. Place the greek yoghurt into a muslin cloth and tie the ends to create a bag (you could also line a sieve with the cloth). Hang the cloth (or place the lined sieve) over a bowl and set it aside to drain for 1 hour. Make sure the yoghurt isn’t stirred or disturbed during this time, otherwise, you will lose it through the muslin 

2. After 1 hour, transfer the strained yoghurt into a bowl with the rest of the marinade ingredients and stir together. Add the chicken, stir to coat, then cover and place in the fridge overnight 

3. The next day, make the sauce. Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the whole spices and cook for 30 seconds, then add the ginger-garlic paste, chili powder and green chilies. Cook for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to medium-low and add the tomatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by a third and the oil has separated from the tomatoes 

4. Remove and discard the whole spices, then add the cream, butter, garam masala and fenugreek leaves. Season to taste with sugar and salt, then leave to gently simmer while you cook the chicken 

5. Place a pan over medium-high heat and allow it to get hot. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 15 minutes, ensuring they are well sealed all over, then add them to the sauce. Taste again for serve, drizzle the curry with a little extra cream and garnish with the coriander and ginger.