Chicken teen pyaaza

Autumn is a good time to make this dish as there are so many different kinds of onions available. Tweaking the usual recipe; I’ve used paprika, three different kinds of onions, and a simpler marinade. And it was absolutely delicious!

The key factor, I think is the garam masala – made in the last minute and added right away.


  1. Chicken thigh fillets – 1 kg
  2. Red onions – 1 kg
  3. Purple onions – 2 large
  4. Shallots – 2 large
  5. Tomatoes – 4
  6. Cumin powder – 1 tbsp.
  7. Coriander powder – 1 tbsp.
  8. Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp.
  9. Cooking oil – 2 tbsp.
  10. Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp.
  11. Kasoori methi – 2 tbsp.
  12. Lemon juice – 2 tbsp.
  13. Paprika powder – 2 tbsp or
    Kashmiri Chilli powder – 1 tbsp.
  14. Coriander leaves – to garnish

Garam Masala:

Mace – 1 tbsp.
Cloves – 1 tbsp
Cinnamon – 1 tbsp.
Whole green cardamom – 1 tbsp.
Black cardamom – 2



  1. Cube the chicken thigh fillets. Mix in the lemon juice and paprika powder. Marinade overnight in the refrigerator .
  2. The next day, take the chicken out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you start cooking. Add the ginger-garlic paste and salt (to taste) to it.
  3. In a small pan, dry roast the mace, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms till they give out a nice, toasty flavour. Cool and powder finely. This is your Garam Masala.
  4. Peel and finely chop your red onions.
  5. Heat the oil in a big heavy pot. When hot, add the chopped onions to it and sauté till golden brown.
  6. Add all the chicken pieces. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Cover the pan, and set it on medium heat and cook for about 25 minutes.
  7. You don’t need to add any water, as the chicken will add enough liquid to the pot.
  8. While the chicken is cooking, wash and chop the tomatoes into big pieces. Blend them to a fine purée. Keep aside.
  9. Thickly slice the purple onions and the shallots.
  10. At the end of 25 minutes, when the chicken is cooked, add all the spice powders.
  11. Crush the kasoori methi between your palms and add.
  12. Add the garam masala.
  13. Add the tomato purée. Mix well.
  14. Add the sliced purple onions and shallots.
  15. Cover again and cook for another 15 minutes.
  16. Turn off the heat and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  17. Enjoy with naans, parathas or a simple jeera pulav.