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Dhaba style chicken curry

3.79 from 38 votes
Total: 40 minutes
Serves 4 PEOPLE

Dhaba pronounced as “Dha- bah” refers to roadside restaurants which are situated on highways. Dhaba’s are like a shed or a hut shaped building that has a center island. Underneath that center island are huge burners and huge utensils filled with local food is place over it to keep the food warm.

To welcome the city crowd they have a proper table setting with comfortable chairs an umbrellas on top to block the sun.Though they may not give you a restaurant style ambiance but their food is really really good. I traveled a lot with my dad on Delhi – Jodhpur highway and along the side of these highways are some great dhabas which are an embodiment of homely food.


Roadside dhaba

Today’s recipe is pretty close to a dhaba style chicken curry. Very simple and easy to follow recipe, a great starting recipe for beginners. Chicken is sauteed in onion tomato masala and flavored with aromatic spices and that is what makes this dish is so delicious. If you don’t have onion tomato masala ready – no worries just follow the ingredient list and prepare some fresh masala. Once the onion-tomato masala is ready from there on the recipe is just assembling and boiling ingredients. The longer the gravy simmers, the smoother it will turn out to be. After adding water my gravy too thinned out but allowed it to simmer for 15 minutes and the consistency was perfect!

Like thick gravy/curry add less water and just remember if chicken curry is allowed to sit for a while, then gravy will thicken up. Can be prepared ahead of time and reheats pretty well. Enjoy it with hot Naan or Kulchas.

While you are here have a look at our other chicken recipes –  Chicken keema, Keema kofta curry, Dhaba style chicken, Saag chicken, Chicken chaap, Butter chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Chicken kebab, Kalmi Kebab Kakori kebab , Keema samosa.

Dhaba style chicken curry

3.79 from 38 votes
Dhaba style delicious, creamy and perfectly spiced chicken curry! So delicious and super yummy!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 PEOPLE




  • 2 medium size Onions, grinded to paste
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 3/4 cup Homemade tomato puree
  • 2-3 tablespoon Oil


  • Assemble: all the ingredients- onion tomato masala, bay leaves, cinnamon, moti eliachi, curd and spices. Clean and wash the chicken pieces.
    dhaba style chicken curry
  • In a saucepan heat oil and add bay leaves, cumin seeds, cinnamon and moti elaichi to it. When they start to crackle add onion tomato masala and saute it for 3-4 minutes. When the oil starts to separate stir in the spices.
    dhaba style chicken curry
  • Mix well, added spices will not only release a great aroma it will also add dark red color to the gravy. Stir in the beaten curd. Adding curd will make you loose that rich red color for a while but don't worry it will come back again. Saute on a low flame till the curd blends in the gravy and the oil separates - dark rich color returns.
    dhaba style chicken curry
  • Time to move in the chicken pieces. Drop and mix well until they are coated with gravy.
    dhaba style chicken curry
  • Add water and give it a good stir. Gravy will become liquidy, no worries.
    dhaba style chicken curry
  • Cover and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is tender. And you will notice that the gravy has a smooth and thick consistency.
    dhaba style chicken curry
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and
  • Serve with hot naan or on a bed of boiled rice.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi

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  1. Sonia sharma says:

    Hello Ruchi, I tried this recipe from link you shared. It came out soooo yummy. Thanks for sharing a great chicken recipe.Need some more.

  2. Sangeeta says:

    I am really delighted to glance at this website which contains lots of detailed recipes. Have tried your chicken curry recipe 3 or 4 times and every time it is a winner and a huge success. Update your picture and it will make the rounds. Simple and very tasty. Thanks for sharing Ruchi.

    • RK says:

      You are welcome Sangeeta! Glad you liked the recipe. Will surely update the picture pretty soon πŸ™‚

  3. Kennedy Cole@Kcole's Creative Corner says:

    This looks so flavorful and delicious! Great recipe and thanks so much for sharing this with us! The picture are beautiful!:)

  4. Neha says:

    Picture really make a huge difference. I had passed this recipe many times but this time when I saw your clicks I was hooked on to it. Tried it over the weekend, hardly took any time. I prepared fresh masala and it taste yummy and served it with rice. Great recipes and happy me.

  5. Franklin says:

    Hi Ruchi,
    I tweaked this a bit- marinated the chicken overnight in yoghurt, cumin powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric and red chilli powder and they followed your instructions to the T. The end result was fantabolously awesome! Never had chicken like this before. Thanks for the recipe.

    • RK says:

      Thanks for trying out the recipe Frank. Marinating and then cooking sounds YUM!! Glad to hear that you liked it.

  6. rajiv naren says:

    tried it in my kithen..great recipe and yummmm tasty would like to get dhaba style mutton kheema recipe

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks Rajiv for sharing your feedback with me. Glad to hear that you liked the recipe.
      Have taken down your request and will keep you posted!

  7. rohit kamble says:

    Hi ruchi mam.i have done hotel management but I alws followed ur simple but nice recipes.
    Thanx fr share.

  8. Sujata kedia says:

    Very tasty chicken recipe… Thanks for sharing…

  9. Neemit says:

    Really mouthwaterIng recipe.. yummy..

  10. Lilo says:

    Hello ruchi, what is The reason why you removed the skin from the chicken? The dish looks wonderful btw πŸ™‚ x

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks Lilo!
      That’s my personal preference (my kids don’t like it). There’s no particular reason behind it. πŸ™‚

  11. paul says:

    I am going to try and make it this weekend

  12. MrsG says:

    Hi Ruchi,

    A lovely recipe again. I made this with chicken breast fillets instead of chicken on the bone. Do you have any tips for making sure chicken breast doesn’t get hard and rubbery during cooking? I marinated in lemon juice for a few hours but my chicken always goes like this. What am I doing wrong Ruchi?! Thank you! xx

    • Ruchi says:

      Hello MrsG,
      Thank you!
      Rubber Chicken – overcooking is the cause. When I cook with chicken breasts, I cook at a high heat as possible and when done take it off the flame.

  13. Alka Dighe says:

    I love your site , you always have answers ready before we can ask the question
    Thanks so much

  14. Alka Dighe says:

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner yesterday such an easy and tasty recipe. I was wondering why you did not ask for ginger and garlic then remembered that the tomato onion paste has it. Out of habit though I put turmeric in it and therefore did not get the beautiful red color I saw in the picture. Next time i will remember to not put it. Thanks again

    • Ruchi says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience.
      Glad you liked the recipe.
      Yes, turmeric makes a considerable difference in gravies.