White Chilli Chicken Recipe: A Creamy, Smoky Dinner Stew
Image Credit: Stay Snatched

Unlike what we refer to as chilli chicken in India – deep-fried chicken tossed with bell peppers and onions in an umami sauce, the west refers to chilli as the spicy, Tex-Mex dish usually made with minced meat and kidney beans. With a texture that’s similar to a slow-cooked Bolognese sauce, the chilli is in essence a stew-like dish that is great when spooned over a hot dog or eaten as is, with grated cheese on top. That said, it is on rare occasions that one comes across a stew that is white but packs a punch as robust as the classic chilli.

Think of tender, moist chicken in a smoky chilli sauce and loaded with fluffy, tender beans; great to eat with a piece of crusty toast or baguette. The advantage of making this comforting stew is that the flavours are layered and mild, at the same time. Besides, this recipe is convenient to make ahead of time and reheat; which means that it works great to make and freeze in large quantities and eaten when the craving for comfort food kicks in. Although unique in appearance, this chilli chicken does justice by taste and makes for a quick and filling supper.


Image Credits: The Whole Cook


  • ½ cup cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 4 large green chillies
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 750 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons shredded cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Drizzle a bit of oil on the jalapenos and chillies and roast on an open flame until they are blackened on the outside. Similarly, roast the whole onion until it is blackened and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, drain and cook the cannellini beans in a pressure cooker until soft for 5-6 whistles. Add the chicken thighs to a saucepan along with quarter of the chicken broth and poach the chicken on a low simmer.
  • Once tender, extract the chicken thighs on to a plate and shred using forks. Reserve the stock until further use.
  • Grind the flame roasted onion, chillies, garlic cloves and jalapenos into a smooth paste. Heat some oil in a large pot and sauté the green onions until they soften. Add the roasted chilli paste and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the spice powders and season with salt and mix well. Next, add the shredded chicken and stir to combine, followed by the cooked beans.
  • Use half of the remaining stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook this mixture for 35-40 minutes, until the liquid has considerably reduced and the mixture thickens. Add the lime juice and stir in.
  • Serve individual portions with shredded cheese on top and an extra wedge of lime on the side.

Note: You can also swap the beans with any vegetables of your choice like corn, mushrooms, broccoli, etc.