ChickenCurriesIndianMainsMeatPakistaniQuick & Easy

Achari Chicken Perfect for Quick Dinner

35 mins Cook
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Achari chicken is an amazing curry made with some juicy tomatoes spiced up with green chillies, sliced ginger and some home spices.

No toasting or grinding spices, no stuffing chili peppers, and no hard to find ingredients. This easy Pakistani & North Indian Achari chicken recipe requires one pot and takes less than 40 mins to make.

You can also try my recipe of Delhi Style Nihari, Punjabi Cholay or Butter Chicken. I’m sure you’ll love these recipes.

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Achari Chicken Perfect for Quick Dinner

What is Achari Chicken?

Achari chicken is a chicken curry made with ingredients used to make achaar, or South Asian pickle. So whilst the bird itself isn’t pickled, it’s livened up with a zesty, tangy, ‘pickled’ flavor.

ingredients that make Achari chook curry exceptional from a regular chicken curry are:

  • Seeds or complete spices used to make achar.
  • Whole green chili peppers, sometimes stuffed with achari spices.
  • Yogurt, which offers it a richer, tangy base.

In terms of method, it cooks like Chicken Karahi, in that the curry is cooked down with an extra dose of tomatoes.

Ingredients for Achari Chicken

further to foundational curry ingredients, Achari chicken requires some more ingredients. right here are a few notes on them:

  • Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana) – Fenugreek seeds are an crucial factor for Achari chook. although they give a punchy flavor, they may be pretty bitter, so experience loose to reduce the quantity in case you find it too strong.
  • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji) – Nigella Sativa, no longer to be burdened with onion seeds, are any other important ingredient. I’ve kept them minimal because they can flavor quite sturdy. if you need them greater seen during the curry, sense free to boom those by way of some other 1/four teaspoon. (greater recipes that use Nigella Seeds: Haleem and Gluten-free Naan.)
  • Fennel Seeds (Saunf) – The moderate, sweeter taste of fennel seeds helps offset some of the sour flavors of the fenugreek and nigella.
  • Chicken portions: Like Karahi, Achari chicken is made with an entire chicken that’s break up into small to medium pieces, also referred to as karahi reduce (~18 pieces). I opt for it with bone-in chicken, however I’ve shared how to make this curry the usage of boneless chicken underneath.
  • inexperienced Chili Peppers: massive, moderate inexperienced chili peppers are from time to time filled with achari masala (or a blend of achari spices + lemon) and delivered to Achari chicken. To hold matters simple, I’ve introduced a few unstuffed complete chili peppers (such as Serrano or Thai chilis) toward the give up of cooking.
  • Yogurt – Use undeniable, whole milk (complete-fat) yogurt. Yogurt substitutes: I haven’t tried these myself, but coconut milk/cream, dairy-unfastened yogurt, or cashew paste would all paintings right here.
  • Oil – you may use any neutral oil, and even a chunk of mustard oil in case you’d like.
  • Mustard Oil – Mustard oil, a pungent oil crafted from mustard seeds, is frequently used to make Achari chicken. My father-in-law as soon as informed me that once he changed into a baby, his mom used mustard oil to make curries. here in the U.S., it’s banned for consumption because of excessive ranges of erucic acid (source). even though I haven’t attempted it myself but, in case you’re secure using it, a small amount would be perfect here.

How to Make Achari Chicken

Right here’s what we’re trying to obtain at each step:

Heat the oil and add the seeds. adding them early on helps reduce their bitterness while infusing the oil with the achari flavor.
Brown onions: Brown the onions to form the base of the curry, then add garlic and ginger.
Sauté the chicken: This method, called ‘bhunai‘ sears the beef and gives it richer flavor and coloration.
Add the tomatoes, inexperienced chili peppers, and spices. The moisture from the tomatoes at the side of a piece of water can be enough to prepare dinner the fowl while preserving it wet.
Cover + cook: Like a braise, a slow simmer will make certain smooth chicken and properly-developed flavors.
Sauté to reduce: once it’s accomplished cooking, sauté out the extra water until you could see the chicken turning sleek and the oil beginning to separate.
Add yogurt and green chili: I experimented with adding yogurt earlier but found I loved the pronounced taste and consistency it gives when added at the end. After adding the yogurt, continue to cook it through until the oil starts leaving the sides again.

How to Make This With Boneless Chicken

If the use of boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut them into 1.5-inch pieces. There are three fundamental variations when making this with boneless chicken breast or thighs:

  • To save you it from drying out, sauté it for much less time after including it to the onions (~2-three-ish mins).
  • Because of extra moisture from the chicken breast + tomatoes, you may now not need to upload any water earlier than covering to prepare dinner.
  • Prepare dinner/simmer for a shorter time. relying on the size and in case you use breast or thighs, 13-15 mins of cook time need to be enough.

What to Serve With Achari Chicken

Because it’s on the ‘drier’ side, Achari Chicken is typically eaten with Naan, roti, paratha, or other flatbread. Some say it gets better with time as the flavors have more time to develop.

But you can also enjoy it with white basmati rice and if you’re living in USA I highly suggest you to buy Meraki’s Organic Basmati Rice, they are so aromatic and flavourful.

Easy Achari Chicken Perfect for Quick Dinner

Easy Achari Chicken Perfect for Quick Dinner

No toasting or grinding spices, no stuffing chili peppers, and no hard to find ingredients. This easy Pakistani & North Indian Achari chicken recipe requires one pot and takes less than 40 mins to make.
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
35 mins
total time
50 mins



  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) neutral oil

  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, methi dana

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, saunf

  • 1 tsp nigella seeds, kalonji

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, zeera

  • 1 medium to large (~250-270 g) onion, finely chopped

  • 6-8 (~1 tbsp heaped) garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1- inch (~1 tbsp ) ginger, crushed

  • 2 lb bone-in cut up, skinless chicken pieces

  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided

  • 3-4 small (~270-290 g) tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1-2 green chili peppers, chopped or sliced

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp red chili powder, or to taste

  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/4 cup (61 g) plain, whole milk yogurt

  • 2-4 whole green chili peppers

  • Garnish

  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

  • 1-2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

  • 1/2 tbsp julienned ginger, optional, for garnish


Heat a huge, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-excessive heat. once hot, heat the oil and add the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, and cumin seeds. The seeds will begin to sizzle. at once add the onions and sauté till they're gently golden (~10-12 min). If wanted, deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water. as soon as the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute, till fragrant.
Add the chook and half of tsp salt and sauté for five minutes, until it adjustments colour. add the tomatoes, green chili pepper, coriander powder, crimson chili powder, turmeric powder, and final salt (1 ½ tsp). hold to sauté until the tomatoes soften (~2-3 min). add 1/3 cup water (the water need to cowl approximately 1/3 of the chicken) and produce to a boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer (low-medium), cover, and permit the chicken to cook dinner for 20-25 minutes (depending on length), stirring as soon as in between.
Discover and lift the heat to high. Sauté for four-5 minutes to reduce extra liquid. you may word the chicken taking over a smooth look as the oil starts offevolved to split, but it’ll still have plenty of curry.
Decrease the heat to low-medium and stir in the whisked yogurt. add the complete green chili peppers. lightly sauté for two-three minutes until nicely integrated and you may see the oil separated from the curry. taste and alter salt, if needed. (I normally want another 1/8 tsp.)
Turn off the heat. add lemon juice and stir to mix. Garnish with cilantro and julienned ginger. Serve hot with naan, roti, paratha, or different bread.
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