Chicken Bhuna.

Cracking Chicken Bhuna
On the bone

You can never go wrong when you’re cooking a chicken Bhuna. This is a dry dish and eats well with any sort of flatbread or naan’s. One of the frequent go to quick and simple chicken recipes is the good old fail proof chicken bhuna.

The name bhuna again refers to the style in which the curry is cooked. In Bengali bhuna means to be slow fried. The dish, which originates from Bengal, is typically prepared by frying lots of spices at a high temperature with the meat then added and simmering away in its own juices.

Maybe with age, possibly the years of tasting different styles of cooking, I find that I now prefer my curries to be compact and thick sauced as opposed to the ‘jhol’ dishes.

In recent years I feel these dishes to be bolder and more intense in taste due to the lower water content and greater concentration in the sauce. I also find that the chicken/meat tends to absorb more of the flavours and certainly has the masala adhering and clinging to the meat which maybe I just prefer now.

Today I cooked this because of being in the middle of a kitchen renovation job and not having everything available to me other than some basic spices that I had access to. No fuss, no extras, simple stripped back and delicious.

Hence, you have a good old favourite making a reappearance to serve amidst chaos.
It really was welcome after days of eating fast foods!

I can definitely say it did not let me down and certainly hit the mark.


1 whole med chicken chopped
2 cardamom pods split
1 bayleaf torn
4 cloves
2 onions finely chopped
5 garlic cloves minced
1 inch ginger minced
2 tomatoes chopped
3 green chillies 2 tsp salt

2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Raja mild madras curry powder.


I used an aluminium pan today! Wanted some caremalisation action and quality depth of flavours!

Heat the oil in your pan. Add in your whole spices.

In go whole spices
Let them sizzle and colour

Next add your onions, fresh chillies, garlic and ginger. Stir in well and cook!

Onions, garlic, ginger and chilles

When the onions are slightly coloured add the tomatoes and salt.

Salt and tomatoes
Mix well
Sweat off

Sweat the ingredients down by covering the pan. Leave for about 5 mins on low heat.

Let oil split

When you can see the oil splitting you add a cup of water. Give this a good stir cover.

Add water

We let this stew now untill the water almost all evaporated, your tomatoes have totally broken down and the oil is just surfacing. You are ready to add your spices!


Now add you spices and cook this well. Ensure its all incorporated.

Add spices

Dry fry this on med heat for about 5 minutes. Add splashes of water. Don’t rush. Take your time as this part is very important. Let the spices just stick and scrape of. Keep adding splashes of water.

Bhuna the spices

Now add half cup of water and let this cook away onbmed till the oil surfaces and splits.

Add water
Slow cook

When the oil has surfaced add your chicken.

Add chicken

Cover well with all the spices. Dry fry for about 4 minutes.

Bhuna the chicken

Cover your pan and let it cook in its own juices that it will release. We don’t want to add any more water or liquids now. It will “bhuna” and cook in its own juices giving us maximum concentration and flavour.

Braise again
Low and slow

As the pics show the colour will deepen with low heat cooking, the chicken will end up frying in its own seeping fat as the liquid evaporates.

Wait till oil separates

Now place the dried methi leaves in your palm and crush it between both palms over the chicken.

Add dried methi leaves

Stir this in. Cover and cook for just a minute or so.

You are ready to dish up!

Your no fuss delectable chicken bhuna is ready to serve!

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