Dhabha Chicken Curry

Dhabha’s are the lifeline of Indian Highways after all a traveller needs good food to continue on their journeys.

This is my take on North India’s Dhabha Chicken Curry.

Here is the recipe

Serves: 1-2

What you need? (Ingredients)

4-6 Chicken Drumsticks (Chicken on the bone is more preferable for a dish as rustic as this)

3-4 Small Red onions, chopped.

2-3 Green Chillies

1 Can of Chopped tomatoes

Bunch of fresh coriander leaves

2 Inches of Cinnamon Stick

3-4 Black Cardamom pods

4-5 Green Cardamom pods

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

4-5 Black Peppercorns

3-4 Cloves

1 1/2 tsp of Garlic Paste

2 tsp of Ginger Paste

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder

1 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder

1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder

1 tsp of Cumin Powder

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp of Mustard Oil to cook


  1. Heat Oil in a pan.
  2. Add cinnamon, cumin seeds, black & green cardamoms,green chillies, cloves and pepper corns. Sweat them for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
  3. Add chopped onions and stir for few minutes or till the onions turn translucent.
  4. Add the mixture to blender and blend into smooth paste.
  5. Add the blended paste to pan along with can of tomatoes (you can blend 2-3 large plum tomatoes as an alternate)
  6. Add Ginger & Garlic paste.
  7. On medium heat cook the mixture, till the oil starts floating on the top.
  8. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and stir.
  9. Add chicken pieces and stir for a minute or two.
  10. Add 250 ml of water and cover the pan for 15 minutes. Keep the heat on medium.
  11. Add fresh coriander leaves and stir, on a low heat keep the mixture covered for another 20 minutes.
  12. Take off the heat and let the dish rest for 5 to 8 minutes, covered.
  13. Garnish with mint / coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serving Suggestion: Like a true road side eatery, go simple with your choice of bread. A simple chapati or jeera rice .

Tip : Squeeze half a lemon to uplift the flavour.


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