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Chicken Onion Seeds

Chicken Pickle-Style
(Murg Achari)

Cumin Seeds Chicken

Chicken (called murgh in India) cooked in mustard oil and spices that make a typical north Indian pickle (achar is the north Indian name for pickle).

Indian Non - Vegetarian Recipes

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Serves: 4 
Cooking time (approx.):  minutes
Style: North Indian (Punjabi) Non-Vegetarian

8  medium sized pieces (about 800  grams) of chicken
½  teaspoon(s) each of fenugreek seeds(methi), cumin seeds and turmeric powder
4  whole dry red chillies
2  tablespoon(s) each of ginger and garlic pastes
1  teaspoon(s)each of mustard, fennel(saunf) and onion seeds(kalonji)
2  teaspoon(s) red chilli powder
2  large onion(s) cut into cubes
1  cup(s) tomato puree
1  tablespoon(s) lemon juice
½  cup(s) water
2  tablespoon(s) mustard oil / cooking oil
salt to taste
finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan till hot add the mustard, fennel, fenugreek, cumin, onion seeds, whole dry red chillies and fry for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry on high level for a few seconds till the onions are well coated with oil and are still crunchy (neither fried nor soft). Transfer to a bowl, leaving the oil in the pan.
  2. To the same pan, add the ginger-garlic pastes, turmeric, red chilli powder and saute for a few seconds. Add the chicken pieces and fry on high level for about 2  minute(s) or till the chicken is a little white in color.
  3. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low level for about 20  minutes or till the water evaporates, oil separates from the sides of the pan and the chicken is well cooked.
  4. Add the tomato puree and fry on high level for a few seconds. Now add the fried onion mix and sprinkle salt to taste. Mix well. Saute on high level for about 2  minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.

    Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.


  • Traditionally this dish is cooked in mustard oil. If it is difficult to obtain mustard oil, any other oil could be used.
  • Although the north Indian pickle has whole spices, some people prefer to roast and then coarsely grind the whole spices to use in the above recipe.
  • For a less spicier version simply the amount of red chilli powder can be toned down.
  • Nigella is another name for onion seeds.

Serve hot with: Green Peas Rice (Matar Pulav), white rice or Indian bread (Roti).

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