Dahi Methi Murgh – Chicken Curry in Fenugreek and Yogurt Sauce

Dahi Methi Murgh

This recipe happened by accident. I was not going to make this exotic sounding curry to start with. One dreary day followed the other, and while the rains poured and the wind howled, I craved for a quick comforting chicken curry.

All I wanted to do was to curl up and read. I wanted to be done with the cooking and the dishes as soon as possible. So I marinated the chicken, sliced the onions and as I started cooking I lost myself in a different world. In went the spices and the onions and it was not until they starting browning and mushing up, I realized the planned simple chicken curry with yogurt was not how it was made. Habits are hard to forget: I followed it blindly without a thought to brown the onions as I always do with a chicken curry. Well, I took a  wrong turn, and it took a tad bit longer, but it did lead to a surprisingly delectable dish.

The one I was thinking of making is quite different and very typical in a Bengali home. It is almost a one pot curry where everything goes in the spiced oil and gets cooked slowly while one waits without doing much until the chicken gets cooked. It is pale, light with a whitish sauce and very fragrant. I will post that some time later.

The browning of the onions changes the color of the curry and I did not want to continue with the original plan any more. Instead I decided to add methi/fenugreek leaves to it. The rest of the ingredients remain the same. One thing lead to the other and we did end up with a darn good curry. Not so simple as a one pot recipe, it did make a satisfying dinner with steamed rice, some hot rotis and a side of salad.

Dahi Methi Murgh

Dahi Methi Murgh – Chicken Curry in Fenugreek and Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

  1. 3 lbs skinless chicken (approx.) – about 8 medium- large sized drumsticks (with bone preferred, but can do without it)
  2. 1. 5 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. salt to taste
  4. 1 small onion (about 1/3 cup chopped)
  5. 2 inch fresh ginger
  6. 10 large garlic cloves (about 1/4 cup)
  7. 4 (or more) hot green chili pepper
  8. 1-2 large onion (about 3 cups sliced), thinly sliced in half moons
  9. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  10. 1 + 1/4 cup thick strained plain yogurt
  11. 1 tablespoon corn starch/corn flour – to stabilize the yogurt and prevent it from splitting
  12. 1.5 cups of finely chopped fresh tender methi/fenugreek leaves OR 2-2.5 tablespoon of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  13. 2 teaspoon (or to taste) red chili powder/cayenne/red kashmiri chili powder (this is what I use)
  14. 6 small green cardamom, cracked & seeds released
  15. few black peppercorns – about 6
  16. 1 teaspoon ground white peppercorn
  17. 3 inch cinnamon
  18. 1 tejpatta/Indian bay leaf
  19. 6-8 tablespoon ghee or oil
  20. 1 teaspoon Garam Masala


Note: And this is for any curries where the onion (sliced or grated or paste) and ginger garlic paste needs to be cooked/browned;make sure they are well done without burning, so controlling the heat and stirring and scraping very frequently is the way to do it. If these are not well cooked, the sauce gets grainy and the curry will have a strange raw uncooked incomplete taste. So cook the spice mix/masala until you see the oil separate in the pan. The mix will have little pools of the separated oil in between them and also along the sides of the pan.

The corn flour is not really a necessity here. Yogurt tends to split/break up in high heat and I have noticed if Chickpea flour is used, the yogurt does not break. I experimented with the corn flour here to stabilize the yogurt as the corn flour/starch does not alter the taste as much as the chickpea flour.

If you using whole chicken drumsticks, make diagonal slits on the flesh. Any kind of chicken may be used for this dish. Clean and wash chicken; pat dry with paper towels.

In a non reactive bowl combine some salt, red chili powder, and lemon juice, toss the chicken with it and allow it to sit for 20 minutes.

Make a coarse paste with 1 small onion, ginger garlic and half the hot green chili pepper.

Combine half of this  paste with one cup of yogurt. Add this mix to the already marinated chicken and toss well so all the chicken pieces are really well coated with this yogurt mix. Allow this to marinate for a couple of hours if possible.

Set aside the rest of the yogurt and the other half of the ginger garlic chili paste. Whisk the corn flour/starch with the rest 1/4 cup of yogurt and set aside.

Place wide bottomed pan on the stove with oil in it. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and the bay leaf and allow the oil to heat up – a couple of minutes. When the spices start to sizzle and releases the aroma, add the sliced onion, the ginger garlic onion paste,  and the half teaspoon of sugar. If you are using the fresh methi/fenugreek leaves, add them now. Cook at medium to high meat for about 10-12 minutes, or until the onions start to turn golden and a little brown on the edges.

Now take the marinated chicken and place each piece in the pan; try to place them so that they are in direct contact with the bottom of the pan. Save the leftover marinade. You may move around the onions to top the chicken at this time. Cook the chicken on each side while tossing them midway, so all the sides are light brown. This will take about 15 minutes.

In the mean time combine the  left over marinade with the corn flour and yogurt mix, If you are using the kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves, add them to the yogurt mix. Combine one and a half  cup of water and whisk well.

When the chicken is  light brown, and the oil seems to leave the sides of the pan (watch for this, as this means that the spice mix is almost cooked), and the onions kind of mushed up,  add the yogurt mix to the pan, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook until chicken is tender and falling off the bone.

Uncover and simmer for about 7-10 minutes at low flame for the extra moisture to evaporate. If you want less sauce, simmer for longer.

Adjust salt and add the garam masala. Garnish with the rest of the green hot peppers sliced up and/or fresh cilantro/coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or any kind of bread or flat- bread (Parathas, Naan are good choices).

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hr 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Dahi Methi Murgh

Related Posts:

Methi Murgh  – Chicken Curry with Fenugreek Leaves

Chicken Curry with Tomato and Green Chili Pepper

Mangshor Jhol – Bengali Mutton Curry

Achaari Murgh – Chicken Curry with Pickling Spices

Chicken Kolhapuri

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30 comments to Dahi Methi Murgh – Chicken Curry in Fenugreek and Yogurt Sauce

  • A beautiful curry! What exhalirating flavors.



  • Yum, interesting combination of flavors

  • Wow, that is stunning–I would love some of this for lunch right about now!

  • All the same it looks delicious and from your kitchen I more than agree that it would taste fantastic.

  • Sreeparna

    Hi Soma, if I may ask, where do you get the chicken? The chicken parts dont look fatty and bland, as found in most grocery stores. Do you get a whole chicken cut up into parts…and where do you get it from, in DFW?

    Thanks a lot,

    Sreeparna, I get chicken from Sprouts Farmer Market. Yes you are right about the drumsticks more lean than found in the other grocery stores. Besides I think, even the ones that are not marked as “organic” are hormone free in Sprouts. This I am not sure, but I think that is what it is. I will go check on it next time I go. I do not get whole chicken; just the parts as in other stores.

  • poornima krishnan

    I have tried most of your chicken recipes and they all have turned out so well. Another one to try! My fav is your achari murg.

  • Mouthful of Yum… I must try this 😀

  • My Gosh..Your Murg curry is such a classic presentation yaa..Yummy recipe too !

  • This is torture….came back after a run and seeing this at 10 am, all I want is a bowl of this chicken and a plate of steaming white rice….:D…

    Sohini x

  • Chicken curry ki darun hoeche dekhte! Ami ekta similar type er chicken curry banai with fresh fenugreek but in a different way. Will try this version sometime soon!

  • anh

    oh yum! I love your curries!!! Will try this one one day :>

  • What a beautiful presentation. It certainly is an interesting recipe. I would love to taste the sauce.

  • This looks so comforting 🙂

  • Love recipes that happen by accident. This looks so good 🙂

  • That looks gorgeous and delicious Soma!!

  • Accident recipes are the best!!!!!this one looks comforting, rich and delicious,Soma!

  • s

    love all the different flavours, Soma. and the photos are lovely, as always. x s

  • I can imagine the flavors of this tantalizing curry by looking at the recipe. Another great one Soma!

  • Oh wow this looks so good!! If I could have this in my own home (with hot rotis to boot!) I would be one happy camper! 🙂

  • snigdha

    loks very tasty

  • I love this recipe. Photos are very delicious ^ – ^

  • really looks so delicious, i can almost smell the spices from my computer screen!

    and you have such lovely plates and bowls, so photogenic!

  • Shipra

    Hi..m a big fan of ecurry.com…i have tried quite a lot recopies from here and all of them are so yummyy…i prepared this chicken for dinner n it came out so well…thanks n keep posting more recipes with a twist 🙂

    Thank you so much!

  • samrana

    Hiii Soma, prepared dahi methi murgh for lunch with ghee rice..It came out so well. It was tasty.. Specially the yogurt sauce umm… Used kasuri methi..

    My better half said next time try with fresh methi leaves..

    Thanks a ton for this recipe..Keep posting some more new recipes.

  • Edgardo Mulcahy

    Fenugreek is a great herb and almost similar to charantia when it comes to helping diabetics. –

  • Torsha

    Greetings from Kolkata.
    A newbie to your site and to the wonderful world of cooking
    (Just turned 18 and officially earned the right of cooking more than maggi).
    With no idea of the basics of cooking,i followed your instructions to the T. Exact quantities,no approximations,no deviations. What turned out was something so heavenly that the folks had trouble believing that i tossed it up.And just so that you know,i have hidden some in the freezer to have tomorrow.
    You have just earned yourself a fan.

  • Nidhi

    This turned out to be awesome!! Great flavours and a simple recipe!! Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Dalia Roy

    Today I and my daughter Oiendrila will cook Dahi Murg Mechi chicken. Viewing your tips is so good and I realy prefer to see the making of the things. It is very much essential to me and my daughter Oiendrila. It is very helpful to make the menu. Thanks.

  • Thank you for your excellent recipes. I feel that they must be written differently. The method described for cooking
    doesn’t flow in a way which will make the procedure smooth in progression.

    Otherwise, congratulations. You are a foodie and your cooking shows passion for food.

    Thank you.

    Mahendra Sinh

  • Jon

    Love your recipes, just what my family needs down here in Tasmania in winter.

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