Quick Authentic Afghani Chicken Curry Recipe

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Afghani Chicken Recipe With Gravy mrecipezone

Smoky & tender Afghani Chicken is a classic creamy curry, hails from Afghanistan. Marinated chicken pieces are grilled first and then simmered in yogurt and creamy sauce that taste so delicious. Easy to cook, ready in just 40 minutes. Served it with Afghani roti, plain roti, naan and salad.

What is Afghani Chicken?

This recipe comes from Afghanistan’s cooking traditions, mixing light spices and yogurt for rich flavors. Over time, it has transformed into several distinct versions. This Afghani cuisine dish has creamy texture and this secret lies in its signature marinade.

As compared to other Indian curries, this Creamy chicken curry is easy to make. There is no need to saute herbs, onion, and tomatoes. Just soak the chicken pieces in a mixture of thick yogurt, cream, herbs and spices. Grill chicken pieces (pan-fry or bake are alternative ways to cook chicken) and later on simmer them in leftover marinade mixture on low flame.

My Secret to Irresistible Afghani Chicken Curry

My first experience with Chicken Afghani Tikka was at my culinary college, COTHM. I was truly fascinated by its aroma and making process. But, later on our chef taught us how to transform this chicken tikka into a delectable Afghani curry. The mild taste combined with the creamy nuty gravy was absolutely delightful (soooo Yuuumyyy) for me.

Following this, I had the pleasure of tasting this Afghan Chicken dish at my cousin wedding and again at two different restaurants. The tender chicken enveloped in rich, green creamy gravy was irresistibly delicious, compelling me to try making it at home.

Wellllll, With my three years experience for perfecting this recipe in the hotel industry, I am excited to present my personal favorite version of authentic Afghan grilled chicken curry. I am confident it will blow your mind. Once you try this recipe, I bet you’ll become a fan of this rich, creamy, and utterly delicious comfort food.

So let’s get started with this recipe. While it might resemble Chicken Hariyali or Palak Chicken, rest assured it is a unique and distinct dish.

Afghani Chicken Recipe

You can also enjoy our Chicken Manchurian Recipe, Chicken Handi , Malai Chicken Curry and Chicken do Piaza which is also delicious and easy to make.

Key Ingredients

This savory and comforting dish needs simple and basic pantry ingredients. But we have eliminated the tomatoes here and replace it with yogurt, and the rest of the ingredients are below.

  • Chicken – For authentic chicken Afghani, only chicken thighs and legs are recommended. Most Afghani use skinless and bone-in chicken. Some modern fusions add boneless chicken in this dish. But it only depends on what you want to like. I will go with bone-in chicken. PREP: Wash the chicken thoroughly and put it aside in a colander or strainer to drain any extra water and pat it dry to avoid excess moisture.
  • Chicken Leg Quarter: If you are going to cook leg quarter then remember to make small deep incisions in it before marinating. These help the spices penetrate and flavor the chicken until it is thoroughly cooked.
  • Yogurt – After chicken, the star ingredient of this dish is curd or yogurt. It plays as acidic agent role in the marinade to tenderize the chicken. It also helps to form a delicious gravy as we are not adding tomatoes. PREP: To make a lumps-free curd, whisk until it becomes smooth and free of curdles.
  • Cream or Cashews:  are used to make the gravy thick. They impart a creamer and smoother texture to the gravy. As substitute you can add cashews or almonds paste.
  • Onion: We will use onion to form a base of gravy. The raw onion will combine with curd to make a marinade. Onions give a sweet flavor to gravy. PREP: Remove the cover of an onion and chop it for later use.
  • Ginger: has strong spicy and pungent flavor properties which enhance the aroma and kill the smell of meat. PREP: peel the ginger and chop it finely. Alternatively, you can also opt for ginger garlic paste.
  • Fresh Green Chilies – are the best and natural heat source in the absence of red chili powder. PREP: Rinse the green chilies, remove the head stems and cut them into 2 to 3 pieces. Later, we will blend them in the yogurt marinade.
  • Coriander and Mint Leaves – Main taste comes from coriander and mint leaves. Wash them well.
  • Lemon juice: contains the natural acid that complements the curd in the marinade and also adds a tangy kick to overall taste.
  • Spices: no red chili powder. Instead of it, introduce ground black pepper, salt, garam masala, cumin powder and the mother of all spice’s coriander powder. Overall, the spice level will be low. Because the recipe of chicken Afghani is not spicy. But you have a choice to adjust them in your accordance.
  • Oil: According to your own choice (olive oil or vegetable oil). Or, the best available in the kitchen. 
  • Water: A cup of water to adjust the gravy consistency.
  • Kasuri Methi: Adds a good appealing look. Whereas, kasuri methi adds a savory but slightly bitter flavor which enhances the taste of curry.

Afghani Chicken Ingredients

How to Make Afghani Chicken

This Afghan chicken dish demands minimal ingredients and prep compared to other Indian curries. Just dump everything in a powerful blender and blend until a smooth marinade is achieved—no need to sautéing the onion and other ingredients. Coat the chicken with marinade and cook it until tender. The preparation of murgh Afghani curry comprises Four basic parts.

  1. Prepare Chicken Marinade
  2. Marinade the Chicken
  3.  Grill the Chicken
  4. Cook the Gravy.

We will make a smooth marinade paste. Take a blender and combine chopped onion, green chilies, ginger slices, lemon juice, soaked cashews (optional) and 3 tbsps of water or Yogurt. Cover the blender with a lid and grind them until a smooth paste.

Make marinade for Afghani chicken

Make deep cuts in the chicken pieces to ensure chicken absorbs the marinade properly until it is thoroughly cooked. Put all the chicken chunks in the marinade, mix them well and give a nice massage with fingers.

Add marinade to Chicken

Now add yogurt, cream, all powder spices and kasuri Methi in the same bowl with chicken, (Whisk the yogurt and cream well, before to add. Ensure that this paste is lumps-free and rest them for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or keep it overnight for the best taste.

Add all spices in it

Heat Oil: Take a large sized skillet and heat some oil to fry the chicken piece. Please keep the flame on medium high. When oil is heated, turn the flame/heat to medium. (Use cast iron pan, grilling pan, air fryer or oven.)

heat some oil

Fry Marinade Chicken: Introduce marinated chicken to skillet and fry. Avoid to overcrowd the skillet during frying. Cook the chicken in batches for even cooking.

combine marinated chicken

Fry Until Both Sides Are Brown: Cook the chicken pieces for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat or till light brown. Change the sides of each piece and also cook for the next 5 minutes, or light brown.

grill the chicken Chunks

Fry Whole Spices: Now take a deep pan, heat one tablespoon of oil or butter. Add 5 to 6 pieces of cloves, whole black pepper and one cinnamon stick and saute it. Also add the remaining mixture of grilled chicken pan and stir it well.

Heat one table spoon of oil or butter

Add Extra Marinade: Now we will add the remaining extra premade marinade to the pan.

Add remain marinade

Cook Mixture Until Thick: Allow the mixture to simmer for 7 to 8 minutes over medium heat. Be patient until the sauce thickens and bubbles begin to emerge on the surface of the gravy, indicating it’s time to add grilled chicken.

Cook the sauce

Add Fried Chicken: Combine the fried chicken pieces to the pan and simmer them in the gravy on medium heat for one to two minutes.

Add chicken to sauce

Simmer on Low Flame: When the gravy begins to thicken, incorporate half cup of water and mix it. Put a lid on pan and simmer it over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Try to stir occasionally while slow cooking.

add half cup of water and simmer

Adjust Sauce Thickness: Don’t overcook the sauce. Stir the chicken sauce and adjust the sauce thickness as per your preference. It should be normal, not too soupy nor too thick.

cook until the sauce is thick

Garnish: Sprinkle some hand crushed kasuri methi and some fresh coriander leaves. Afghani chicken malai tikka curry is ready to serve.

Serving Suggestion

  • Roti – Serve it with warm Afghani Roti, Phulka, Paratha, plain roti.
  • Rice – Enjoy it with the white rice, steamed rice, pulao, garlic rice etc.
  • Salad – Salad always suits with any non-veg meal.
  • Pickles – Celebrate this delicious chicken dish with mix pickles to add zesty note.
  • Lemon wedge – Squeeze the lime juice over chicken to give a tangy profile.

Afghani curry boasts a creamy and nutty texture with rich spices like black pepper and cardamom, slow-cooked to perfection. Marinating the chicken overnight ensures deep flavor penetration and tenderness.

How to Store and reheat leftover?

Before storing chicken Afghani, cool it at room temperature. Store Chicken Afghani in airtight box or zip lock bag and place it in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Whenever you’re ready to eat, warm it up in a pan at medium heat. Stir it regularly to avoid sticking. Add some water to adjust the sauce consistency. Or reheat it in a microwave at medium temperature.

Features of Authentic Chicken Afghani Curry

If you are cooking chicken for authentic taste and texture of Afghan cuisine, then you should follow my important points which i have described in below.

  1. Rich and Creamy Texture: Authentic Afghistan curry has a velvety, rich texture. It is achieved with yogurt, cream, or a blend of nuts like almonds and cashews.
  2. Spices: This dish is cooked with grounded black pepper and green cardamom powder instead of red chili and turmeric powder.
  3. Marinde: For an authentic taste, ensure the chicken pieces rest in the rich, creamy marinade overnight.
  4. Cooking Techniques: Chicken pieces are first grilled or pan-fried and then slow-cooked with creamy sauce.
  5. Don’t Add: Tomatoes, Red chilli powder, or turmeric powder.

Professional Tips

  • Use only Chicken drumsticks and thighs. Alternatively, you can also go with bone-in chicken.
  • Marinate the chicken overnight for a deeper taste. It helps the marinade to infuse in the chicken deeply.
  • Opt for hung curd or homemade yogurt. Its not only adds the creamy texture but also keeps the chicken moist and tender during cooking.
  • If you are diet conscious, I recommend you to utilize other options to cook this marinated chicken like air fryer and oven.
  • Try to fry the chicken partially. Don’t overcook or burn the chicken while grilling/pan-frying. Chicken has to be cooked fully in the sauce.
  • For an authentic smoky flavor, place a preheated charcoal piece in small pot and put some oil over it. Quickly place it in cooked chicken pot and place a lid. It will trap all smoke.
  • If you like extra creamy texture add a small amount of heavy cream just before to serve as garnishing.

Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

ProblemSolution
Dry ChickenMarinate longer, use yogurt and cream, cook on low heat.
Too GreenDon’t add too much green chilis and fresh coriander.
Thin gravyCook longer uncovered or add cream or cashews paste and cook.
Not SmokyUse the charcoal trick or smoked paprika.
Burnt OutsideLower heat, turn chicken often while frying & cooking.
Raw InsideMake deep cuts to chicken pieces, cook longer on low heat.

Famous Variations

Here are some other famous dishes of Afghanistan

  • Afghani Chicken Kebab: Marinated in yogurt, cream, and spices, then grilled to perfection.
  • Afghani Chicken Karahi: A rich, creamy curry with chicken, tomatoes, and green chilies, cooked in a karahi.
  • Afghani Chicken Tikka: Boneless chicken pieces marinated and grilled until tender and smoky.
  • Vegan Afghani Curry: Paneer or Indian Tofu is cooked in same creamy sauce for for vegetarian.
  • Afghani Chicken Pulao: A fragrant rice dish with marinated chicken, basmati rice, dried fruits, and spices.

Why Everyone Loves It?

  • Preparation is quite simple than many other Indian curries.
  • It has a unique creamy gravy than spiced red curry.
  • Tender and juicy chicken is easy to cook.
  • Everyone loves to eat again and again. 
  • Contains low fat and rich in protein.

Health Benefits

This recipe is rich in proteins. These proteins help in muscle repair and body functions. Meanwhile, spices like black pepper improve nutrient absorption. Yogurt provides probiotics that promote gut health. Mix of vitamins and minerals improves the overall wellbeing of body. So, you can say this delicious dish incorporate the beneficial nutrients in our diet.

How to make Chicken Afghani ikka?

I will try to write a separate blog post on Chicken Afghani tikka recipe. Shortly, For Chicken Tikka/kebab ; Just marinate the pieces of Chicken in thick marinade (already mentioned above in recipe). Then cook on charcoal grill, in tandoor, over the pan, or baked in oven/air fryer until tender and juicy. Serve it with green chutney. No Need to cook the chicken in gravy.

Afghan Chicken vs Tandoori Chicken

FeatureAfghani ChickenTandoori Chicken
IngredientsYogurt, cream, nuts, rich spices (cumin, cardamom)Yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, red chili
Cooking MethodSlow-cooked, often in a creamy sauceGrilled or baked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven)
FlavorsCreamy, nutty, mildly spicedSmoky, tangy, spicy
Marination TimeOvernight for deep flavor penetrationSeveral hours, preferably overnight

FAQs

How to cook Perfectly this dish?

Marinate the chicken in the mixture of yogurt, cream, herbs and spices. Partially fry it on a charcoal grill or pan. Simmer the grilled chicken with remaining marinade on low heat. Adjust the gravy consistency according to your choice. Serve it hot.

Clarify what Afghani Chicken is?

It is a tantalizing creamy dish that hails from Afghan cuisine. It features a rich blend of spices, well tender chicken pieces, and yogurt-based creamy sauce/gravy.

How to cook delicious Afghani kebabs or tikka?

This is a quite simple process. Marinate the chicken pieces in the mixture of herbs, spices and thick yogurt, rest them for 30 minutes. Grill them on medium heat, either in a pan or oven. Serve it with yogurt raita or mint chutney.

What are the calories count in this dish?

Calories vary by the quantity of chicken served with accompaniments. Only a normal serving of 100g lies in between 160-230. If, you add a roti and rice with it. It will automatically increase by 300 to 400.

Conclusion

Afghan chicken curry is a unique variation of traditional Indian and Pakistani curries. You can craft many other dishes using the same recipe: Malai boti, Afghani tikka, malai tikka biryani, etc. I have provided detailed instructions. I hope you have enjoyed it with me. If try to make this dish, please share your experience with me the comment section. 

Recipe Card

Afghani Chicken Curry Recipe

Afghani Chicken is a classic creamy curry, hails from Afghanistan. Marinated chicken pieces are grilled first and then simmered in yogurt and creamy sauce that taste so delicious.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Afghan Chicken creamy, afghani chicken curry, chicken afghani
Servings: 5 Person
Calories: 350kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pan for Grilling Chicken
  • 1 Pan for cooking sauce

Ingredients

  • 700 Grams Bone-in Chicken
  • 350 Grams Yogurt
  • 250 Grams Cream
  • 6 Pieces Green Chilies
  • 2 Tablespoon Mint Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoon Coriander Leaves
  • 1 Piece Medium Size Onion Chopped
  • 10 Pieces Soaked Cashews (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Green cardamom powder
  • 5-6 Pieces Cloves
  • 5-6 Pieces Whole black Peppers
  • 1 piece Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Tablespoon Kasuri Methi
  • 2 Tablespoon Oil
  • ½ Cup Water

Instructions

Make Marinade

  • We will make a smooth marinade paste. Take a blender and combine chopped onion, green chilies, ginger slices, lemon juice, soaked cashews (optional) and 3 tbsps of water or Yogurt. Cover the blender with a lid and grind them until a smooth paste.
    Make marinade for Afghani chicken

Marinade the Chicken

  • Make deep cuts in the chicken pieces to ensure chicken absorbs the marinade thoroughly. Put all the chicken chunks in the marination, mix them well and give a nice massage with fingers.
    Add marinade to Chicken
  • Now add yogurt, cream, all powder spices and kasuri Methi in the same bowl with chicken, (Whisk the yogurt and cream well, before to add. Ensure that this paste is lumps-free and rest them for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
    Add all spices in it

Grill the Chicken

  • Heat Oil: Take a large sized skillet and heat some oil to fry the chicken piece. Please keep the flame on medium high. When oil is heated, turn the flame/heat to medium. (Use cast iron pan, grilling pan, air fryer or oven.)
    heat some oil
  • Fry Marinade Chicken: Introduce marinated chicken to skillet and fry. Avoid to overcrowd the skillet during frying. Cook the chicken in batches for even cooking.
    combine marinated chicken
  • Fry Until Both Sides Are Brown: Cook the chicken pieces for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat or till light brown. Change the sides of each piece and also cook for the next 5 minutes, or light brown.
    grill the chicken Chunks

Cook Gravy

  • Fry Whole Spices: Now take a deep pan, heat one tablespoon of oil or butter. Add 5 to 6 pieces of cloves, whole black pepper and one cinnamon stick and saute it. Also add the remaining mixture of grilled chicken pan and stir it well.
    Heat one table spoon of oil or butter
  • Add Extra Marinade: Now we will add the remaining extra premade marinade to the pan.
    Add remain marinade
  • Cook Mixture Until Thick: Allow the mixture to simmer for 7 to 8 minutes over medium heat. Be patient until the sauce thickens and bubbles begin to emerge on the surface of the gravy, indicating it’s time to add grilled chicken.
    Cook the sauce
  • Add Fried Chicken: Combine the fried chicken pieces to the pan and simmer them in the gravy on medium heat for one to two minutes.
    Add chicken to sauce
  • Simmer on Low Flame: When the gravy begins to thicken, incorporate 1 cup water and mix it. Put a lid on pan and simmer it over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Try to stir occasionally while slow cooking.
    add half cup of water and simmer
  • Adjust Sauce Thickness: Don’t overcook the sauce. Stir the chicken sauce and adjust the sauce thickness as per your preference. It should be normal, not too soupy nor too thick.
    cook until the sauce is thick
  • Garnish: Sprinkle some hand crushed kasuri methi and some fresh coriander leaves. Afghani curry is ready to serve.
    Afghani Chicken Recipe
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