Easy Chicken Salan Pakistani Chicken Curry

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Easy Chicken ka Salan Recipe - Authentic Pakistani Chicken Curry

Chicken salan with shorba is a classic Pakistani Chicken curry. It consists of chicken pieces cooked in an aromatic onion-tomato masala (sauce) until tender. Easy to whip up and within 40 minutes. This savory curry is mostly served with rice, paratha, roti and a salad bowl.  

What is Chicken ka Salan?

Chicken ka Salan is a term in Urdu/Hindi for chicken curry. Murghi ka salan is another alternative name of it. Salan refers to a savory curry, and “chicken” means the meat cooked in this the delectable gravy. This desi chicken curry is spicy, but you can adjust the spices to suit your taste preference. The sauce is thin and soupy which is known as shorba (broth).

This healthy dish was a staple curry prepared every Friday following the Jumah prayer in in my family. My mom often added potatoes to this recipe, infusing it with an extra layer of comfort. I have grown up eating this savory chicken curry dish from my childhood. Personally, I find it most enjoyable with warm naan and dipping it into hot shorba.

Chicken ka salan

This Delicious Pakistani shorba chicken curry is extremely easy to make. Bone-in chicken pieces are cooked with caramelized onion and ginger-garlic paste. Then, tomato puree and seasonings are incorporated. Finally, it’s simmered in a thin broth (shorba) until the chicken is tender.

In my opinion, we can elevate the taste by adding local ingredients like fresh coconut milk or yogurt to make rich gravy. We can also combine crushed fenugreek leaves for a subtle bitterness. Then, you can add cashew paste for a rich, creamy taste. Potatoes or any other vegetable can be a part of this versatile chicken recipe.  

Further you can also enjoy Chicken Handi, Chicken Manchurian, Chicken Pakora and Chicken Dopiaza.

Murghi ka salan

Chicken Salan Ingredients

If, I talk about what goes in restaurant style Pakistani spicy chicken dish, the all items are easily available in every kitchen. Just you have to buy chicken. Further, a complete ingredient list as under.

  1. Chicken – Bone-in and skinless chicken is mandatory for this recipe. Cut the chicken into curry cut pieces and wash them properly. Then, drain any extra moisture.
  2. Onion – Take 2 to 3 medium size onions (150g). After removing the outer layer, cut them into two halves and thinly slice them for later use. 
  3. Ginger Garlic – I am used to add a lot of minced ginger and garlic. One tablespoon of ginger and one tablespoon of garlic will be added. Otherwise, you can add homemade ginger garlic paste.
  4. Tomato – 2 to 3 medium size (150g) tomatoes will go in this recipe. Prep: Wash them and make a puree in blender. 
  5. Yogurt – Half a cup of whisked yoghurt for rich, creamy gravy. 
  6. Ground Spices – We use simple yet essential kitchen spices including salt, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. This mix of spices will make your curry delectable.
  7. Whole Spices – We need cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves and pepper corns.
  8. Oil – Use any type of oil available at home or kitchen. I will add ghee because everyone in my family love to cook and eat food in ghee instead of oil.
  9. Water – We are going to make shorba so we need more water than any regular curry. So, keep 2 to 3 cups of water for later use.
  10. Fresh Coriander leaves – For garnishing and good appealing look we will add chopped coriander leaves. Wash and chop the leaves.

Chicken ka shorba

How to Make Chicken Salan

Yippee! Cooking this will make you feel like a chef. Preparing chicken curry with a runny gravy is easy, but you must follow the necessary step-by-step guide with full attention.

  • Heat the oil – First of all, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil in a deep and large vessel over medium flame. Then add whole spices and wait until it starts to crackle.
  • Add onion—Now, we will add sliced onion to the pan and saute until it turns light brown, stirring often. This takes 5 to 6 minutes at medium heat.
  • Add Ginger Garlic– Add ginger garlic paste and saute it for 30 minutes with onions by stirring frequently. It helps to eliminate the chicken smell with other spices.
  • Add Tomato & Spices – Add tomato puree and all spices to the pot. Sauté the sauce on medium heat. Keep cooking until oil separates from the sauce/masala mixture. Make sure the tomatoes are very soft mushy and well combined with the other ingredients then add yogurt and mix it well.
  • Add Chicken – Next, add the chicken with masala (sauce) and stir it frequently on medium to high flame. Cook it until chicken becomes pale in color. 
  • Add Water – Now is the time to combine a lot of water to make shorba. Add at least 3 cups of water and deglaze the pan with a spoon. First, cook on high flame for 3 minutes or water starts to boil. Then, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes at low flame.
  • Add Garam Masala – Once the chicken is tender and succulent, add in garam masala powder and chopped coriander leaves to make it more aromatic and appealing.
  • Server Hot – Give a taste test and adjust the salt level if needed. Then serve this salan (curry) hot with roti or rice.

How to Serve It ?

This is a delightful and aromatic Pakistani chicken curry that pairs beautifully with a range of accompaniments. Some of them are below.

Flat BreadsThis Comforting  pairs amazingly well when served with hot Pakistani naan (Peshawari roti), tandoori Roti, paratha and homemade phulka. 
RiceServe this healthy and delicious curry with steamed rice, brown jeera rice, and pulao rice. 
RaitaYogurt Raita is necessary to balance the spice level.
SaladPakistani meal is incomplete without cucumber, carrots and onion mixed Raita.

How To Store it ?

I hope this yummy and my personal favorite Pakistani chicken curry (murgh with shorba) will finish in the same day. But in case of leftover chicken gravy, you have to store it properly to consume in the next coming days. For this, you have to follow following steps.

  1. Cool it down at room temperature properly.
  2. Store any leftover chicken curry in airtight container.
  3. Place it in fridge for maximum 2 to 3 days.

Chicken salan recipe picture

Pro Tips

  1. This traditional curry is only made using bone-in chicken and cut the chicken into medium-sized pieces.
  2. My Mom says to me, always try to add a generous amount of ginger garlic paste for a more delicious taste. 3 tablespoons ginger garlic paste is enough for 700g Chicken recipe. 
  3. This Chicken curry features a light, flavorful broth known locally as ‘shorba.’ Feel free to customize the consistency to your preference.
  4. Slow cooking is a key technique to achieve a tender chicken and delicious aromatic shorba.
  5. Whole spices used at the start, are optional. You can skip them if you don’t have them.
  6. Authentic old-fashioned traditional chicken shorba was cooked with only salt and black pepper. You can try this. I will try to write and prepare this for you soon.

Things To Avoid

  1. Not Arranging the Ingredients: Always arrange to ingredients before to start cooking. Rushing the cooking process can lead to trouble and ruin the taste
  2. Using Too Much Oil: It can make the dish greasy and unhealthy.
  3. Not Cooking the Masala Properly: Ensure the onion, garlic, and ginger and tomato
  4. Skipping Tempering Spices: They add essential flavor; skipping this step can result in a bland dish.
  5. Adding Tomatoes Too Early: This step will lead the gravy too tangy and overpower other flavors.
  6. Ignoring Fresh Ingredients: Using stale or old spices can significantly affect the taste. masala cooked well to avoid a raw taste.
  7. Rushing the Cooking Process: Good meal always takes time for flavors to meld properly.
  8. Avoid to making too cunny Shorba: Avoid to add too much water for shorba. Otherwise, this curry will be taste less.
  9. Overcooking the Chicken: This can make the meat tough and dry.

This is a spicy Chicken recipe. But you can make it less spicy by adjusting the spice level or adding cream or yogurt. You also have an option to make it thick by adding less water, about one cup instead of 3 cups of water.

Assorted Variations

Well well well, I must say this restaurant-style, homemade Chicken Shorba is an adaptable dish that can be customized by incorporating a variety of ingredients. Some of the options include the following.

Dish VariationInstructions
Aloo ChickenAdd chopped potatoes with chicken just after adding chicken to masala.
Green Peas with ChickenIncorporate green peas with chicken and simmer together.
Daal ChickenAdd split chickpeas lentil (chana daal) with chicken.
Chicken PulaoAdd rice with chicken and make chicken pulao.

Chicken ka salan with shorba

FAQs

What is Chicken Salan?

It is an authentic Pakistani chicken curry that is mostly cooked at different events and gatherings. It is made with bone-in chicken, which simmers on low heat in a delicious, flavorful broth, which is called shorba. It is the same like Chicken korma but korma don’t have thin runny shorba. 

Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

My personal opinion is No, you can’t? Chicken shorba salan is only made with bone-in chicken for a deeper taste, which can only be extracted from the bone of chicken and meat as well. But if you don’t have bone-in you can utilize the boneless chicken but the taste will not be the same.

Is Chicken Salan spicy?

Yes, it is. But you can make it less spicy by adjusting the spice level or adding cream or yogurt. You also have an option to make it thick by adding less water, about one cup instead of 3 cups of water.

How many Calories are in single serving of Chicken Salan?

The calories in a single serving depend on the amount of chicken, spices, oil, and other ingredients used, as well as the cooking method. Mostly, a single serving of 100g chicken contains 130 to 155 calories. 

Conclusion

I’ve shared all the tips and tricks to make delicious Chicken Salan Shorba at home. I hope you follow the instructions carefully to create this tempting dish. If you try it, please share your thoughts and photos of your curry here or on Instagram stories and tag me there. Bye and happy cooking.

Chicken Salan – Pakistani Chicken Curry

This is a classic Pakistani Chicken curry. It consists of chicken pieces cooked in an aromatic onion-tomato masala(sauce) until tender. Easy to whip up and within 40 minutes. This savory curry is mostly served with rice, paratha, roti and a salad bowl. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistanti
Keyword: Chicken ka salan
Yield: 4 Servings

Equipment

  • 1 Deep Vessel
  • 1 Bowl

Materials

  • 700 Grams Chicken
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2-3 Pieces Medium size onions (150g)
  • 2-3 Pieces medium size (150g) tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 120 Grams Whisked Yogurt
  • 1&⅓ Tea Spoon Salt
  • 1&⅓ Tea Spoon Red chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ Tea Spoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2-3 Cups Water
  • 1 Tea Spoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 Piece Bay leaf
  • 6 Pieces Cloves
  • 8-10 Pieces Black pepper corn
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Coriander Leaves

Instructions

  • Heat the oil – First of all, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil in a deep and large vessel over medium flame. Then add whole spices and wait until it starts to crackle.
  • Add onion—Now, we will add sliced onion to the pan and saute until it turns light brown, stirring often. This takes 5 to 6 minutes at medium heat.
  • Add Ginger Garlic– Add ginger garlic paste and saute it for 30 minutes with onions by stirring frequently. It helps to eliminate the chicken smell with other spices.
  • Add Tomato & Spices – Add tomato puree and all spices to the pot. Sauté the sauce on medium heat. Keep cooking until oil separates from the sauce/masala mixture. Make sure the tomatoes are very soft mushy and well combined with the other ingredients then add yogurt and mix it well.
  • Add Chicken – Next, add the chicken with masala (sauce) and stir it frequently on medium to high flame. Cook it until chicken becomes pale in color.
  • Add Water – Now is the time to combine a lot of water to make shorba. Add at least 3 cups of water and deglaze the pan with a spoon. First, cook on high flame for 3 minutes or water starts to boil. Then, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes at low flame.
  • Add Garam Masala – Once the chicken is tender and succulent, add in garam masala powder and chopped coriander leaves to make it more aromatic and appealing
  • Server Hot – Give a taste test and adjust the salt level if needed. Then serve this salan (curry) hot with roti or rice.
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