Hyderabadi Murgh ka Salan

Chicken curry cooked with sesame, chilli, peanuts & tamarind

A well made salan is a thing of wonder. I’ve been so lucky to have sampled a few of them and also being able to watch how it’s been made. The more common one people think of of course is the Mirchi ka Salan made in a similar way although with mild chilli peppers steeped in the gravy. The perfect accompaniment to a Hyderabadi biryani, lending a slight heat and gravy to a flavoursome biryani. I’ve adapted the salan in this recipe using chicken on the bone which makes much more of a hearty meal. Murgh ka Salan is cooked in a lot of households and the paste can vary as some friends I’ve spoken to also prefer adding a few more ingredients to the paste along with peanuts. The roasted peanuts lend a unique flavour to the resultant curry and with sesame seeds it makes the most delicious rich. Flavours in a Hyderabadi salan have to one with a balance- sweet, tangy, spicy and hot. The sour flavour comes from the tamarind paste and the chillies lend the required heat. Served with roti or rice.

So many of you have written in for suggestions of using up leftover turkey this Christmas and this would be a delicious recipe to try. Swap the chicken for turkey but adding it along with the tamarind paste while the curry is simmering. Merry Christmas everyone!hyderabadi-murgh-ka-salan-3


  1. In a small frying pan add the paste ingredients and fry on a low heat for 7-8 minutes. Stir often making sure it gets an even colour all the way through. Take the pan off the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add to a blender with 70 mls water and make a thick smooth paste. Set aside.

  2. In a large heavy bottom non stick frying pan add the oil and heat over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry for 15-16 minutes, stir continuously as they change colour and go brown.

  3. Lower the heat and add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds followed by the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for a minute stirring well.

  4. Now add the chilli and turmeric powder along with the paste. Stir well, turn the heat back to medium and add the chicken pieces.

  5. Mix well making sure the paste coats the chicken pieces while it seals all over for 7-8 minutes. Add the water at this stage along with salt and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on a low heat. Stir half way through.hyderabadi-murgh-ka-salan-2

  6. Add the tamarind paste and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Garnish with lots of fresh coriander and serve with roti or rice and salad.

  • rcjr

    This looks delicious! I’m going to try it.

  • Justin

    Hi do you dry fry the paste ingredients or in a little oil?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      The spices and peanuts are dry fried with no oil. Nuts and spices have alot of their own oils which are released when in the pan. Hope you like the recipe!

  • Rahul Sardesai

    I made this today, it is absolutely delicious. Thank you Maunika.

  • Jozee

    Can you substitute curry leaves with something else? It’s hard to find curry leaves in my town.thank you!!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      You can just leave them out as there isnt really a substitute. You will still have a delicious curry. Enjoy!

  • Shams

    Hi, I am making this right now and substituted the peanuts for cashews as I didn’t have any. Fingers crossed it works out! Thank you for sharing.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Thats brilliant to hear!

      • chams habib

        It was delicious and kids and husband loved it. I made it in my IP pressure cooker and posted your link to our FB group.

        • Maunika Gowardhan

          Yay! So glad to hear this:)

  • Lindsay

    Are the chicken pieces skinless?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      You can opt for skinless or with skin which gives more flavour.

  • Nimmi

    Hi your recipies look nice but i think they have been toned down for the more international taste buds. Is that a correct assumption?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Thank you for your comment. They are recipes from homes across India so cater to everyone including Indians, many of whom have tried and loved the dishes. Hope you enjoy the recipes!:)

  • Nimmi

    I look forward to trying them. I was just concerned with making sure the dish has the right level of spiciness. Thanks

  • Maha Khan
  • Meghna Lakhani

    Hi, I need to double the recipe. Can I just double all the ingredients?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yes you can Meghna although always add spices based on personal taste.

      • Meghna Lakhani

        Thank you! Also, is there a substitute for the sesame seeds? Poppy seeds perhaps?

        • Maunika Gowardhan

          Yes poppy seeds or even cashewnuts would work well:)

  • Vicki

    The combination of flavours in this sounds interesting and delish!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Thank you:)

  • Tania Bates

    I’m cooking this at the moment and have noticed that you mention chillies in your introduction and they are in the photo yet not in the recipe. Are green chillies necessary in the recipe? I’ve added them as I like a bit of heat but just wondering if it makes a difference if they’re there or not?
    Your recipes look delicious and can’t wait to try more of them ?

  • Susmitha Burra

    This was amazing. I made it with chicken breast still so yum

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yay! Good to hear this.


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