Quick Malai wali Murghi (Indian Chicken with Cream)

I absolutely love Indian food and enjoy making it at home, but I’ve found that it’s often a fairly time-intensive undertaking. Time is not something I seem to have when it comes to getting dinner on the table during the week (who does?). However, I’ve been determined to enjoy cooking an Indian dish and yesterday I finally had success in cutting down kitchen time and still getting a tasty dish. What’s more, my kids loved it and ate it right up! This is a nice, mild, creamy dish and a good introduction to Indian flavors.

This recipe is an adaptation of one from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Illustrated Indian Cookery,” which is an excellent book, especially if you’re new to Indian cooking as the instructions are very clear.

The main time-savings here is that I used previously cooked chicken (I had some shredded chicken left over in my freezer from a previous dinner – I thawed it prior to starting). You could use any pre-cooked chicken to save time.


  • approximately 2 cups shredded or bite sized pre-cooked chicken
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 inch peeled ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin (divided into two 1/2 tsps)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (divided into two 1/2 tsps)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (divided into two 1/4 tsps)
  • cayenne pepper to taste (we used very little – a pinch – you could try 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream


In a large bowl, sprinkle pre-cooked chicken with 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and half your desired amount of cayenne pepper. Add salt and pepper, if desired. Stir and set aside.

Heat 3tbsp coconut oil over medium high heat in a large, wide pan. Add onions and cook until browned.

Meanwhile, place garlic and ginger and 1/3c water in a blender or food processor and process until everything is an even, loose paste. (Alternatively, you could mash the garlic with the side of your knife and grate the ginger with a fine grater.)

Add garlic and ginger paste to the browned onions and cook until the water from the paste has evaporated. Add the second half of each spice (1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and half your preferred amount of cayenne) and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring.

Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes. Cook for 3 more minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a slotted spoon. Next, add yogurt (stir in one tbsp at a time), 1/2 cup water and the cooked chicken. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove lid and add garam masala and cream. Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring and cooking until sauce is thickened.

Serve over Basmati rice.

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