Kadai Chicken

‘I promise to share as many side dish recipes through my blog “Food for 7 Stages of Life” effective  11/18/2009’. Wondering why this being said now? I have been receiving complains from my friends that I don’t post side dish/gravies in my blog. So in an effort took keep up my word, I prepared this for our friends who visited us. They declared it as the recipe of the day and requested to publish it in my blog. To satisfy all your taste buds here is one of the most popular restaurant recipe ‘Kadai Chicken’.
Ingredients from my Pantry
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Star Aniseed – 1
Red Chili – 2
Onion – 1 cup finely chopped (1 large onion, use 3-5 shallots for flavor)
Tomato -1 cup finely chopped (1 large tomato)
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Chicken – 1/2 kg
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Chili Powder/Milagai Podi – 1/2 tsp (mild) to 1 1/2 tsp(extra spice)
Coriander Powder/Malli Podi – 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp (Optional)
Coriander Leaves/Cilantro – Handful
Garam Masala (to grind):
Cumin seeds/Jeera/Jeeragam – 1/4 tsp
Black Cumin Seeds/Karu Jeeragam/Black Jeera – 1/4 tsp
Cloves/Kirambu/Lavangam – 2
Bay Leaves/ – 1
Cinnamon/Pattai – 1 (2 cm)
Green Cardamon/Pachai Elakai – 1 (use seeds only)
Black Cardamon/Karupu Elakai – 1 (small)
Fennel Seeds/Saunf/Sombu – pinch
Pepper/Milagu – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds/Malli vedhai – 1/4 tsp
Chili Powder/Milagai Podi – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder/Malli Podi – 1/2 tsp

Cooking Instructions
Garam Masala:
Dry roast the above ingredients until the spices start leaving its aroma. Let it cool and grind it in a mixie/blender.When is 80% done add chili powder and coriander powder and grind it to a fine powder.
In a Kadai, pour 2 tbsp of oil. When it is hot add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Immediately add finely chopped onions and saute until it is golden brown. Add some salt to speed up the process.
This will take 5-8 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cover it with the lid until it becomes mushy and the onions and tomatoes blend to form a nice sauce. This will again take 5-8 minutes on a low flame. Keep an eye when it cooks, add a tablespoon of water if you think it is sticking to the kadai.
Now add chicken and fry until it color changes or fry for for 6-7 minutes on a low flame.
Add Ginger Garlic paste and saute for another 4-5 minutes or until it raw smell disappears.
Add the ground Garam masala powder (that we made in the first step), chili powder, coriander powder, salt (as required) and stir. Let the masala cook and blend with chicken. It will take another 5-6 minutes for the raw masala smell to disappear Then add 5-8 tbsp of water (chicken leaves out lot of water which helps the chicken to cook well,so adjust the water accordingly ) and cover it with the lid and cook for 20-25 minutes on a low flame. Stir in between to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the kadai.
Add coriander leaves, some lemon juice (optional) and stir. Serve it with rice or rotis or even dosas.
I forgot to mention: add a tbsp of cream (optional) and coriander leaves/cilantro to garnish.

Please note that the chicken in U.S cooks super fast. I know in India it usually takes some time to cook. So adjust the timing accordingly and add more water if necessary.

This recipe is being sent to Sunitha’s Think Spice: Think Turmeric event guest hosted by Sudeeshna

You are awesome!!! Thanks a bunch for leaving your valuable comment. It certainly makes me happy and helps me to learn and improve.


  1. Spice says:

    this chicken is weekly affair in my house…though my recipe is little different, DD always want this kind only…with lots of masala..yours look tempting…

  2. RV says:

    Thanks Priya!

    @Spice, Thanks. I agree, it is the garam masala that adds a kick to this dish… and the GM can be prepared in umpteen ways as per our taste buds..

    @Mye, Thanks so much, Will eagerly wait to know how you liked it.

  3. Manju Rajender says:

    RV, nice to hear from you. I am also very happy to get in touch with you. You do have a very nice recipe collection :). Loved the layout of ur blog and the blog name. Happy blogging !!!

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