Nigella’s Mughlai Chicken

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Nigella's Mughlai Chicken

When I first saw Ms. Lawson cooking this recipe, I was smitten. I love a good curry and when I saw that this one was very similar to my all-time favourite, Korma, I knew I would be trying it soon. Fast forward a couple of years, and I completely forgot about this version, until a repeat of the program was on one rainy day and I was reminded of it. For once, I had all the ingredients in the house and decided to go ahead and make it immediately. I was also quite happy that I wouldn’t have to make two different curries like I always do, one spicy and one mild for the kids. Nigella’s Mughlai Chicken has all the depth and warmth you want from a curry but it’s sweeter and milder as there is such a small amount of chilli involved. I did alter the recipe slightly so suit my tastes but it’s been kept very much the same as Nigella’s.

Nigella's Mughlai Chicken

What I loved most about this was that it had the same delicious creaminess a Korma delivers but it was much easier as I didn’t have to grind the cashews that a Korma requires. Instead Nigella uses ground almonds (duh!). This is great served with steamed Basmati rice BUT I have to be honest, I wish I had some Naan bread and poppadoms to mop up the sauce (but then again, I would eat Naan and poppadoms with anything).

Nigella's Mughlai Chicken

Serves 8

2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried chilli (optional)
4 tbsp ground almonds
125ml water
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1.5kg boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
2 onions, finely chopped
250ml plain yoghurt
250ml chicken stock
125ml cream
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt flaked almonds, toasted, to serve

  1. Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli into a food processor, and blend to a paste. Add the ground almonds and water, then blend again, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces and cook them in batches, just long enough to seal on both sides, then remove and set aside.
  3. Add the spices and stir to coat them in the oil. Add the chopped onion to the pan of spices, and cook until softened and lightly browned. Pour in the blended paste, and cook everything until it begins to colour. Add the yogurt then stir in the stock and cream.
  4. Put the browned chicken (and all their juices) back into the pan and sprinkle over the garam masala, sugar and salt. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes, testing to make sure the chicken meat is cooked through.
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked, serve the Mughlai chicken with toasted almonds and rice, naan or poppadoms.
Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • http://www.drizzleanddip.com Sam

    Looks awesome. I haven’t made curry in ages.

  • gloeiwurmpie

    I can’t wait to try this! Where can one buy boneless chicken thighs in pta/centurion or do I have to debone it myself? It sounds like a terrible mission to do it yourself, could one just leave the bone in as well?

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      You can buy boneless chicken thighs from Woolies. :)

  • http://lakocinera.blogspot.com Kocinera

    That curry looks gorgeous! I haven’t had some good Indian food in quite a while now and this has totally got me wanting some. Your photos are so beautiful!

  • http://www.kadirecipes.com kadirecipes

    This is great and all these spices in the recipe will make it yummy for sure.
    Thanks for this, i ll be trying the recipe.

  • gloeiwurmpie

    I tried this and it was fantastic! The blend of spices are just right. My 2,5 year old little girl loved it as well and she is a real fussy eater. Thanks for this recipe, it is going in my “classics file”!

  • http://www.currylime.com amy@currylime.com

    Love love LOVE an excellent curry! Many thanks for the recipe!!

  • Rene

    I buy boneless chicken thighs at PnP

  • http://exceptfortripe.wordpress.com/ Kim

    I am definitely trying this delicious dish this week! will report back :)

  • http://exceptfortripe.wordpress.com/ Kim

    I made this dish on Monday and it was so flavorful and delicious!! I didn’t use a food processor to create the curry paste because I was feeling lazy and also added in some carrots and green peppers because I had them in my fridge and always try to sneak in veggies. I absolutely LOVED the almond texture on top. I also found that 250ml chicken broth made my curry too watery, so I will use less next time and hopefully it will turn out as beautiful and thick as yours!

  • Jay

    The recipe looks wonderful. I have a question – do you think I can use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Jay, of course! I just prefer to use chicken thighs as I find they have more flavour and don’t become stringy when cooked, like some chicken breasts tend to do. Let me know what you think once you’ve tried it!

      • Jay

        Thank you for the reply! I will definitely be giving this recipe a try.

  • Rachel

    When I seem to make this it doesn’t go that fabulous orange colour mine goes a kind of grey yellow.. it’s still pretty darn tasty though!

  • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

    So glad you liked it Lou!

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