Chicken Pasanda

When I started looking for variations in chicken recipes I realised that the most popular ones use the basic preparation and ingredients like onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. However some spices here and there, changes in cooking time, one step here and there  and you have a whole new dish. Yes, that is so true and Chicken Pasanada is one of them! Though to be honest, I have used small variations in the actual process, omitted some steps (as usual) and here is my version of it. This preparation uses no turmeric at all, instead uses paprika powder so it has a reddish-brown color. Also there is no gravy and the masala is dried up so that it sticks and coats the chicken pieces. Best served with Naan, roti or parantha.


  • Chicken – 1 kg
  • Lime juice/Vinegar – 1.5 tbsp
  • Yogurt – 1 small cup (4 oz approx.)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Garam Masala – 2 tsp
  • Paprika/Kashmiri Mirch powder – 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp or to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Onions, sliced – 2 medium
  • Whole Garam Masala
    • Green Cardamom – 4
    • Cloves – 2
    • Cinnamon – 2 one inch stick
  • Ginger, grated or paste – 1.5 tbsp
  • Garlic, grated or paste – 2 tbsp
  • Tomatoes, crushed or finely chopped – 1 medium
  • Cilantro – to garnish


  • Wash the chicken thoroughly and cut into big chunks or pieces. Poke small holes using a fork or a knife and add lime juice or white vinegar to it and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Make a marinade of yogurt, salt, garam masala, paprika and red chilli powder. Marinate the chicken with this mixture and keep it aside in a refrigerator overnight or for 3-4 hours/more.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan.
  • Fry the sliced onions till browned. Then remove from oiland set aside for cooling. Once cooled make a paste of the drained fried onions in a grinder.
  • In the pan, (heat the oil again if required) add whole garam masala, ginger and garlic and saute for a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the moisture evaporates. Cover and cook till oil starts leaving.
  • Add the chicken pieces along with the marinade and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the fried onions paste, adjust salt and red chilli powder to taste.
  • Cover and cook, stirring in between. Add water in small amounts in batches if required. Cook till the chicken is done.
  • Uncover and let the excess moisture if any evaporate. and the masala is well coated on the chicken pieces.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot!

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