Chicken bhuna masala recipe with step by step photos & video recipe. It is basically a chicken curry that is cooked in spicy onion-tomato masala. This popular North Indian chicken curry is easy to make at home.
This chicken masala is spicy!!! But there is a perfect balance of sweet & sour flavors coming from the onion and tomatoes. This bhuna chicken recipe is now added to our family’s favorite dishes.
If you love spicy food, like me, then you should try this super delicious chicken masala recipe at home. It’s so delicious that you will love to make it again. You can reduce the spice level if you prefer less spicy.
A few popular chicken recipes that you may also like from this website:
- Mughlai Chicken
- Dhaba style chicken curry
- Chili Chicken
- Hyderabadi Chicken Masala
- Hyderabadi Hariyali Chicken
Table of Contents
What is Bhuna?
Bhuna is a “Hindi” word that means “roasted”. This term comes from a cooking technique where the spices, onion & tomatoes are roasted in oil until they release their flavor into the dish.
What is chicken bhuna masala?
This chicken curry gets its name from the cooking technique used to make it.
“Bhuna” means roasting the spices, onion & tomatoes in oil (traditionally in clarified butter) until the oil is released from the spices. It brings out the exotic flavors from each ingredient of bhuna chicken.
The chicken is cooked on high heat with the spicy onion-tomato masala. Later, the chicken is simmered in the masala until the chicken pieces are tender & reach a semi-dry or dry consistency.
What does a Bhuna masala taste like?
Bhuna masala is spicy, with a slight tinge of sweetness coming from the caramelized onions and sourness from the tomatoes.
Although bhuna masala is spicy there is a perfect blend of a sweet and sour taste in the curry. When you are making this bhuna chicken recipe at home, you can balance the level of spiciness as per your liking.
What to serve with chicken bhuna masala?
- Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or overnight. The longer it marinates the better it tastes.
- Use a heavy bottom pan to make this dish. You have to cook onion-tomato on a high flame, stirring frequently & the chances are it may stick to the bottom.
- Cook it stirring occasionally, to avoid burnt bottom.
- Chop the onions and tomatoes as fine as possible. You can use a food processor too. This will reduce the cooking time.
- Do not use onion puree for making this recipe. This is not buttery soft gravy. Finely chopped onions and tomatoes add texture to the gravy.
- Cook the onion-tomato masala until it reduces and becomes thick & oil starts to release from it. This is an indication that the onion-tomato masala is cooked perfectly.
- Use clarified butter for making bhuna masala. It will increase the flavor of the chicken masala.
- You can skip adding the green chilies and chicken masala powder in the recipe to reduce the spiciness.
- You can adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your liking. Make chicken gravy or completely dry chicken.
- Use Kashmiri red chili powder that gives a bright red color to the dish and is less spicy too.
How to make Chicken bhuna masala
- Finely chop the onion & tomatoes. Keep it aside.
- Marinate the chicken with curd, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder & salt. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
Making the bhuna chicken:
- Heat a Kadhai/Indian Wok over medium heat. Add oil & clarified butter to it.
- Add the whole spices and sauté it for a minute.
- Next, add onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and cook until raw smell from ginger & garlic leaves.
- Now lower the flame, add red chili powder, coriander powder & cumin powder. Sauté until oil starts to release from the spices. Keep stirring continuously to avoid burning of spices.
- Add tomatoes and salt. Mix it well. Keep the flame on medium. Cover & cook until tomatoes is soft & pulpy. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Be careful while adding the salt. We have already added salt while marinating the chicken.
- Keep the flame on high & add the marinated chicken. Mix it with the masala. Cook, it uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Now add 1 cup water, green chilies & chicken masala powder. Cover & cook for 15 minutes on medium flame, stirring occasionally until the chicken is tender.
- Lower the flame and add lemon juice, kasuri methi & coriander leaves. Cover & cook for 10 minutes.
- Bhuna chicken is ready to serve. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve it hot with Roti/Naan/Parathas.
Chicken Bhuna Masala | Bhuna Chicken | Spicy Indian Chicken Curry
- 1 Heavy bottom pot or pan
To marinate the chicken
- 500 g chicken
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder add as per taste
To make chicken bhuna masala
- 2 tsp oil
- 3 tsp ghee/clarified butter
- 2 onions chopped (1 and 1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 3 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- 4 tomatoes finely chopped (2 cups)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garam masala powder or chicken masala powder
- 1 green chili slit (optional)
- 1 tsp roasted kasuri methi
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 dried red chili deseeded
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1- inch cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 3 green cardamoms
- 10 peppercorns
Preparations to be done
- Finely chop onions and tomatoes. Keep it aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine chicken with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Marinate it for 30 minutes.
Making the chicken bhuna masala
- Heat 2 tsp oil + 3 tsp ghee in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the whole spices. Sauté it for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
- Next, add onions and sauté until onions start to become golden.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté until raw smell from ginger and garlic leaves.
- Now lower the heat, stir in coriander powder, cumin powder and Kashmiri red chili powder. Cook stirring continuously until masala starts to leave oil from the sides.
- Add tomatoes and salt. Stir and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Cover & cook until tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Stir it in between to avoid burning of spices. Be careful while adding salt. We have already added salt while marinating the chicken.
- Next, add the marinated chicken. Stir to combine the chicken with the masala. Cook until the color of chicken turns from pink to white.
- Cover and cook it for 5 minutes on low heat. Chicken will release water. Stir it well. If it looks dry add 1/4 cup water. Again cover and cook it for 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.
- After 10 minutes, open the lid, oil starts to float on the surface. This is an indication the the masala is cooked well.
- Taste and adjust salt or chili powder as per taste.
- Add ¼ cup water, lemon juice, garam masala powder, green chili and roasted kasuri methi. Stir to combine, cover and cook it for a minute.
- Chicken bhuna masala is ready to serve. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve it with Roti, Naan bread or Parathas.
- Use a heavy bottom pan to make bhuna chicken.
- Keep stirring it as required to avoid the burning of spices.
- You can skip adding green chilies and chicken masala powder (or garam masala powder) to reduce the spiciness of the dish.
- If you cannot find chicken masala powder then substitute it with garam masala powder.
- Use Kashmiri red chili powder to give bright red color to the bhuna masala. It is less spicy too.
- If you prefer a spicy dish then add 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper to spice it up.
- If you do not have all the whole spices mentioned in the recipe card, add whichever is available.
- The recipe is updated with new recipe video.
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