Murgh Badami: Curried Chicken in Almond Sauce

murgh badami:curried chicken in almond sauce

…And a little “feature” for the blog worth a mention.



The Herb Companion magazine published my recipe of the Vegan Basil Pesto in their MAY 2012 issue (in print). The magazine highlighted the herb Basil in this issue (A Basil Lover’s Guide to Basil)  and my recipe was among a couple others that they chose to publish for the month.

The Herb Companion Magazine Feature



Unlike the usual red, orange and yellow hued Indian curries, this recipe today belongs to one of those not so often talked about “korma” or “shahi” category. Laden with spices, nuts, cream and khoya (thickened milk), this category of  recipes have overwhelming influence  of the Mughals, who once invaded India and also brought along and left in our Indian soils their love for good food and heavy use of nuts and dry fruits in their cooking . I have posted a recipe for Chicken Korma before and there are many similar kinds which are usually very rich.


Badami Murgh: curried chikcen in almond sauce


Well the recipe today is not “rich”, and it relatively easy and quick to make compared to its other siblings.  The flavors are prominent  and pleasing yet subtle and delicate. I am not exactly sure when I started making this. The recipe probably came from someone whom I barely knew and it was just a mention in a totally unrelated conversation. It is not a recipe created by me but probably gone over a few changes since I first made it.

There might be a lot of variations in the ingredient list for the namesake. Some recipes use a lot of yogurt or coconut milk, or both together. I use none, but cook this with a whole lot of almonds to make the silky curry base.


Badami Murgh

The flavors of the curry comes from whole spices toasted in the skillet, lightly browned onions, almonds and very importantly the green hot peppers.

ingredients for flavors for chicken curry


If you cannot tolerate the spicy heat, remove the seeds and the membranes of the hot peppers, but please do not compromise on the peppers. The fresh flavors of the peppers, along with the ground almond is vital for this dish. If you want a richer version, feel free to use cream.

Murgh Badami: curried chicken in almond sauce


This fragrant, light hued chicken curry is best enjoyed with Naan or over cumin flavored basmati rice / vegetable pulao.


Badami Murgh: curried chicken in almond sauce

Murgh Badami: Curried Chicken in Almond Sauce

Ingredients: (serves 4-6 as a side)

  1. 2 lbs skinless chicken breasts, (with or without bones and you may use any kind of chicken part, your choice) – cut into 1.5 -2  inch pieces
  2. 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 3 tablespoon sour cream or thick/hung/Greek yogurt
  6. 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
  7. 5 tablespoon ghee or oil
  8. a pinch of sugar
  9. 1 -2  large onion; depending on the size – (about 4 cups loosely packed after sliced), thinly sliced in half moons
  10. 6-8 small green cardamom
  11. 2 inch cinnamon
  12. 8 clove
  13. 2 tej patta/indian bay leaf
  14. 2 tablespoon ginger paste (or grated fresh ginger)
  15. 3/4 tablespoon garlic paste (or minced fresh garlic)
  16. 1/2 cup almond, soaked overnight and peeled
  17. 8-10 hot green chili pepper (if you do not like spicy, remove seeds and membrane; use gloves!. The flavor of the fresh pepper is vital here. Do not skip it)
  18. 1/2 cup milk/almond milk (if you want a rich dish, use half and half or cream)
  19. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  20. salt to taste
  21. a fistful of golden raisins or sultanas (soaked in hot water) – (Optional), if you want little sweet bites
  22. fresh cilantro/coriander to garnish
  23. slivered and lightly toasted almond for garnish

Note: Paneer may be used in place of meat or make this a vegetarian dish.


Clean, cut and wash chicken. Pat dry with a paper towel.  Place chicken in a non reactive bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt and red chili powder and toss well making sure the meat pieces are well coated. Allow it to sit for about half an hour.

Whisk yogurt and garam masala powder. Add it to the chicken in the bowl and toss well. Refrigerate and let it marinate overnight if possible (try a long marination time if you can; it gets the meat tender and reduces cooking time).

Pound the whole spices to break them up. Do not powder them.

Place a large heavy bottomed pan/pot on the stove and add the pounded spices. Allow them to heat up until they get fragrant. You cannot miss the aroma. Add the oil/ghee. The oil/ghee will heat up soon as the pan is already hot. Add the tejpatta/bay leaf. Add the sliced onions and the pinch of sugar; cook at medium to high heat until the onions soften and start to get golden/light brown. It will take about 15 minutes or a little bit more depending on the heat and the water content in the onion.

Now add the ginger and garlic paste. Toss everything and cook for two more minutes.

Remove chicken from the marinade and add them to the pan. Add salt.

Save the marinade. Cook the chicken tossing them frequently so that they are in contact with the pan. The sides of the chicken should start browning /turning golden in about 15 minutes.  The chicken should have a light brown hue in all sides and there should be no liquid left in the pan. The onion and the spice mix will start to stick to the pan. Scrape it off to avoid burning the spice mix. The color of the spice mix should not be allowed to turn dark brown.

While the chicken  browns, peel the almonds and make a paste with the almonds, milk, the saved marinade and green chili pepper.

Once the chicken is browned, add the almond puree  and the nutmeg to the pan, toss well for it to combine well with the content in the pan. Add two  to three cups of warm/hot water to the pan (or as much as you would need to make more or less sauce), lower the heat and cover it. Allow it to cook/simmer until the chicken softens and the oil/ghee starts to come up on the top and leave the sides of the pan. Add the raisins if you are using them and toss.

Garnish with fresh herbs and almond flakes if you wish. Serve hot with  hot buttered Naan/or any flat bread or over steamed basmati rice/vegetable pulao.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Standing/Marination Time: a few hours to overnight

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Serves: 4-6 as a side

murgh badami: curried chicken in almond sauce

Related Posts:

Dahi Methi Murgh – Chicken Curry in Fenugreek and Yogurt Sauce

Rajasthani Red Chicken Curry

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Chicken Korma

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

33 comments to Murgh Badami: Curried Chicken in Almond Sauce

  • Aamar chhobi dekhe pet bhore gaelo, Soma! And a big congratulations on that feature. You are a great photographer, but you already know that.

  • Congrats on your feature! That is awesome.

    This dish looks droolworthy and so refined tasting! A wonderful recipe.



  • Congratulations on the feature Soma!! My next post is about a vegetable korma but I use coconut milk and cashew-almond paste instead of cream and milk!

  • Murgh badami looks delicious! Actually I was going to put up my recipe for badami murgh tomorrow.

  • I love this lighter version of the sauce! Absolutely have to make it sometime. Tomar chhobigulo khub shundor! And I have never seen anyone use torn up jeans as a prop! Great job! 🙂

  • So happy to see the recipe featured in the book. That must be such a happy moment 🙂
    I love meat cooked in creamy nut based sauce. This looks delicious and absolutely loved the styling!

  • Congrats on the feature Soma 🙂 Beautiful pictures and great styling ! Love all the pics, but I love the skillet with spices n almonds the most . Lovely chicken recipe.

  • This looks so delicious!! Love the styling, the way you used the jeans cloth!!!
    Congrats on the feature in the magazine!!!

  • Congrats on the feature …more to come…Gravy ja dekhte hoyeche na ufffnot to mention the great pics..

  • OHHHHH my word. Congrats and I’ll take like 400 servings!

  • I have the print version of that magazine and saw your feature when I bought it. Kudos! You go girl! Lovely chicken recipe too 🙂

  • Congrats Soma on the magazine feature so well deserved. Love this chicken korma and missing you girl~!

  • Shabitha Karthikeyan

    Congrats on the feature.Loved the flavors in the curry !!

  • Congrats, you deserved it ! 🙂
    I love the photos so much, dear. The recipe sounds and looks yummy, especially with almond sauce in it !

  • Congrats Soma on the feature article!! Way to go! Gosh my mouth is watering just looking at the pics of this murgh badami! Almonds make this dish so festive & tasty!

  • Congrats on the feature Soma. That is truly remarkable. The photographs in this post do complete justice to the dish. Loved that wooden tray in which you have placed the Kadhai 🙂

  • The spice combination in this dish is so appealing–I am a relatively new fan of curry and am enjoying experimenting with all the different combinations. I look forward to trying this one!

  • How fabulous, Soma! Congratulations!!! So delicious and the photos are a feast on the senses!

  • Congrats Soma on the feature, U deserve it ! 🙂 chicken look absolutely delecious….Love to use badam in my curries as DD don’t eat Cashews….I have a feeling we gona eat this dish sometime this week,no…no..I’m not inviting over myself but going to the kitchen to defrost the chik…:) and I love how u have been using old jeans as a prop….I’m saving few torn jeans for recycling projects but would have never thought of this use……Congrats once again….

  • Congratulations on the publication Soma! Awesome..;) and this chicken curry looks delicious. Lovely clicks too!

  • Pia

    congratulations on the magazine feature, soma! it looks stunning on the page. as does the murgh badami – almonds, chillies and those spices – i can smell it in my head! and i like that touch of denim with the very indian kadhai.

  • That is one tasty looking curry!

  • Congratulations of the feature, great news! The mugh badami looks just delish.

  • wow, congrats on the feature that must have been a super-proud moment 🙂 been searching for a badam based curry and this looks just great so thanks

  • Saritha

    Congrats Soma on the feature!
    Btw, I made the murg badami today, it was yumm!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • thanks, its lovely recipe.i like this food.

  • Mona

    Stumbled across your blog through Pinterest – I’m married to a Bong, so I’m loving the site! We made this for a party this weekend and it was a HUGE hit – thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    Thank you so much!!

  • Patricia

    Tried this out the other week and it was delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Thank you for trying!! xo

  • Hi soma, was looking out for a creamy chicken recipe and came aacross this. Had only 750 g chicken, so had to tweek the ingredients accordingly, but it turned out great. Thanks for the lovely recipe. It turned out great. Not to forget, I added little coconut milk towards the end instead of cream or milk for richness. Wonderful. I hope there would be some left overs for me to shoot tomorrow! XX

    Thanks for trying Shabs!

  • Ardilla

    Hi Soma, wanted an indian curry recipe for my friends in the Christmas dinner, found one now! It looks so yummy, keep it up!

  • Congrats, Somadi on the publication. Chicken looks damn easy. I make something similar, but with cashew paste.

  • RS

    Hi i tried this recipe today, following your instructions to the letter. I made naan as well to have with this dish. I can only describe this dish and recipe as absolutely amazing and finger licking. Cheers and Bravado to this recipe. My girlfriend, who is aussie, absolutely loved it and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Very simple instructions and easy to follow. Thank you.

    Thank you! Thank you for trying and letting me know 🙂 So happy to know that you guys enjoyed it.

  • JK

    Looks delicious! Will try tomorrow, although have to do without Indian bay leaves.
    So: all the chilies go into blender and paste?

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

subscribe twitter icons


Find eCurry in: