Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style is a delicious, flavorful chicken dish that originates from the dhabas (roadside restaurants) in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. This curry features juicy, tender chicken pieces in a rich, spicy tomato and onion gravy. With its bold aromas and flavors, this curry is a favorite among those who love authentic Punjabi cuisine.

Introduction to Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style

Dhaba style chicken curries are known for their rustic flavors and satisfying taste. This curry is made by simmering chicken in a blend of whole spices, onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and fresh coriander. The chicken pieces are first marinated in a yogurt-spice mixture, which tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavor.
This is then cooked slowly over low heat to allow the chicken to absorb all the aromas and flavors of the gravy. The result is a Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style that is complex in taste, with a thick, creamy curry base.
This dish is a staple in dhabas across Punjab and a consistent favorite for its bold, authentic taste. The combination of tangy tomatoes, warming spices, and fresh herbs gives this curry its signature flavor.

Benefits of Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style

There are many excellent reasons to make Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style at home:

  • It is packed with protein from the chicken and fiber from the onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and spices. This makes it a nutritious choice.
  • The array of spices used, including turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, cumin, and coriander add tons of flavor along with immune-boosting benefits.
  • Chicken thigh meat holds up well to the lengthy cooking time needed for this curry and remains juicy and tender.
  • Using boneless chicken makes this dish easy to eat. The rich, creamy gravy can be enjoyed with naan or rice.
  • Cooking the chicken in yogurt helps tenderize the meat and adds creamy tartness to the sauce.
  • Unlike some curries, Punjabi chicken curry has a bold, upfront flavor that stands out but isn’t too spicy.

Overall, this satisfying curry makes for a delicious, crowd-pleasing Indian meal the whole family can enjoy.

Tips for Making Authentic Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style

Follow these tips for Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style with true authentic flavor:

  • Use bone-in chicken thighs for the best texture and flavor. Boneless thigh meat also works well.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight for maximum flavor infusion.
  • Sauté the spices in oil first to release their essential oils and aromas.
  • Brown the onions before adding other vegetables for enhanced flavor.
  • Simmer the curry slowly once the chicken is added for tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.
  • Finish with fresh cilantro and garam masala. This adds freshness and spices.
  • Garnish with lime, onion, chili for a delicious presentation.
  • Serve with naan or basmati rice to enjoy the luscious curry sauce.

How To Make Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style

This authentic recipe for Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style delivers incredible depth of flavor with minimal effort.

Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style Ingredients

  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken thighs, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chili powder and 1 teaspoon garam masala. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin and let sizzle for 10 seconds. Add sliced onion and sauté for 5 minutes until browned.
  3. Add tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric and 1 teaspoon garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan. Stir to coat chicken with sauce. Add 1/4 cup water.
  5. Once mixture reaches a gentle boil, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until chicken is very tender.
  6. Adjust salt and spices as needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or naan. Enjoy!

Punjabi chicken curry Dhaba style with naan

No meal of Punjabi chicken curry Dhaba style is complete without a piece of freshly baked naan! This soft, pillowy flatbread is the perfect accompaniment to soak up the rich flavors of the curry.

About Naan

Naan originates from the Punjab region and is served alongside curries and other dishes in restaurants throughout India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It is made from white flour dough that is enriched with milk, yogurt, or eggs. This gives the naan a soft texture and subtle richness.
Traditionally, naan is baked in a super hot tandoor oven. This imparts the bread with a smoky char while the high heat cooks it quickly. Home cooks can pan fry naan on the stovetop for a similar effect.

Choosing Naan for Your Curry

Plain naan is excellent served with Punjabi chicken curry. But you can also pick flavored naan for more complexity:

  • Garlic naan – studded with chopped garlic and parsley
  • Onion kulcha naan – topped with fried onion shreds
  • Peshawari naan – stuffed with coconut, raisins, and nuts
  • Keema naan – filled with spiced lamb mince

Brush the naan with a bit of butter or ghee before serving for rich flavor. Tear off pieces to soak up the curry.

Making Quick Naan at Home

While store-bought naan works in a pinch, fresh homemade naan takes the meal over the top. Here is a quick skillet method:

  1. Make a soft dough with flour, yogurt, oil, baking powder.
  2. Knead well and rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out dough balls into ovals.
  4. Cook each side 1-2 minutes in a hot skillet until puffed and charred.
  5. Brush with butter and serve immediately.

With warm, fresh naan and flavorful Punjabi chicken curry Dhaba style, you can recreate an authentic Indian dhaba meal at home. Enjoy this aromatic, comforting food any night of the week.

Frequently Asked Questions About Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style

Here are answers to some common questions about making authentic Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style:

What cut of chicken works best?

Chicken thighs, either bone-in or boneless, are the best cut to use. They remain juicy and absorb the complex flavors. Breast meat tends to dry out.

Can I use Greek yogurt instead?

Yes. Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt and works well as a marinade. Make sure it’s plain, not flavored.

Is it necessary to marinate the chicken?

Marinating is highly recommended for flavorful, tender chicken. Skip it and the dish will be missing the rich, layered flavors.

Can I speed up the cooking time?

It’s best not to rush the simmering process. The low, slow cooking allows the chicken to become fall-off-the-bone tender.

Is butter chicken and Punjabi chicken curry the same thing?

While similar, butter chicken has a velvety smooth tomato cream sauce instead of the hearty onion-tomato gravy in Punjabi chicken curry.

What protein can I substitute for the chicken?

You can make this curry with boneless beef or lamb cubes for an equally delicious dish. Add extra cooking time.

How long does this curry last in the fridge?

It will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated. The tastes mature and improve as the flavors meld. Freeze any leftovers.

Conclusion

With its finger-licking flavors and comforting heartiness, Punjabi chicken curry dhaba style is a crowd-pleasing dish you’ll want to make over and over again. The secret is in the thoughtful marinade and low, slow cooking technique. Serve this curry with freshly baked naan or fragrant basmati rice for a satisfying meal. With this easy recipe, you can enjoy authentic dhaba-style chicken curry right at home.

Punjabi Chicken Curry Dhaba Style

Punjabi chicken Curry Dhaba Style

This authentic Punjabi chicken curry with tender, flavorful chicken pieces in a rich tomato-onion gravy is crave-worthy comfort food.

  • Large bowl
  • Large pan or wok
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Chopped cilantro
  1. Marinate chicken pieces in yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chili powder, and garam masala for 30 mins up to overnight.
  2. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let sizzle for 10 seconds.
  3. Add sliced onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric, and garam masala. Cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add marinated chicken and stir well to coat. Add 1/4 cup water.
  6. Simmer covered on low heat for 25-30 minutes until chicken is very tender.
  7. Adjust salt and spices. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Use bone-in chicken thighs for more flavor if desired. Adjust cooking time.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and chopped onion for added flavor.
Main Course
Indian

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

1 Comment

  1. This looks like an amazing authentic curry recipe! I love how you explain all the different spices and flavors that go into a traditional dhaba-style curry. The photos of the rich, aromatic curry are mouthwatering. I can’t wait to try this recipe myself – the combination of tender chicken, creamy curry sauce, and warm spices sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing an easy-to-follow recipe for such a flavorful Indian classic!

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