Hyderabadi Chicken

Yesterday was Sunday.. One of those rare days I turned on the television and did the usual – flip through channels. This Satyamev Jayate, honestly, is not all that great. The topics he has picked up are no doubt relevant. But the format should have been spruced up. Oh common! It’s getting so predictable, his reactions and googled information..

So there was this cooking show on Fox Traveller. I love this channel. Simple, no frills, entertaining. Love.

I have no idea what the show was, but the format was so refreshing. Are you listening, Mr Khan? Refreshing is the key word. A cooking show in a new style.

This Indian Chef made Hyderabadi Chicken. And what really got my attention was, that while he spoon of a cup of this and a teaspoon of that, he used his hands for all the measures. A cup was a handful and 5 grams was like holding a flower.



  • 1 kg chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 10 peanuts
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 tbsp oil 
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 tbsp each of ginger and crushed garlic
  • 1½ tbsp crushed green chilli
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli
  • Salt
  • 1½ cups yoghurt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

– Cut chicken thigh fillets into large cubes. Don’t remove fat, remember fat will keep it moist.

– In a pan, dry roast the white sesame seeds and peanuts. Grind them to a paste. Mix with a little milk to make a thick paste. This will thicken and bind the sauce.

– The trick is to cook the onions right. Cook them in the oil with salt (salt will prevent the onions from burning) until caramelised and golden brown about 5 minutes. Set aside.

– Combine ginger, garlic, crushed chilli, pinch of salt, turmeric, peanut paste, yoghurt, garam masala and cumin seeds. The acidity of the yoghurt will help to tenderise the chicken.

– Mix together and add cooked onions.

– Add chicken cubes and marinate for 10 minutes (no longer – these are powerful spices and the acidity will draw too much moisture from chicken).

– Using a thick-bottomed pot, put the chicken and the marinade into the pot and then sit a large stainless steel bowl into the top of the pot so that it seals around the rim. The heat will create suction and hold the bowl in place and this steams the dish similar to a pressure cooker. Fill the bowl with 1/4 cup (maximum) of water and cook over medium heat for 30 – 40 minutes. When the water has evaporated you’ll know it’s cooked.

– As it cooks in its own juices it’s amazingly tender – like it’s been steamed but with all those great flavours.

– Just before serving add the lemon juice.

I have not tried this yet, but this is on for Saturday night… And oh look, I found the video of the show!!! It’s the FOOD SAFARI WITH MAEVE O’MEARA..

Mr. Khan, please watch some episodes to comprehend the reality of refreshing formats.


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