15+ Pakistani & Indian Chicken Recipes
Here’s a compilation easy-to-follow and authentic Pakistani & North Indian chicken recipes. This roundup includes popular main dishes like chicken curries, rice dishes, baked recipes, and more. All of these recipes are tested, perfected, and adored by thousands!
Chicken in South Asian Cuisine
Guess what the number one search is on Tea for Turmeric blog?
Makes sense. Chicken is mild in taste, easy-to-cook, affordable, and widely available. In South Asian cuisine, chicken lives its best life – it’s juicy, succulent, and so flavorful.
Most homestyle curry recipes are made using a whole, skinless chicken that’s pre-cut into small pieces, sometimes called a curry cut. While not widely available in U.S. supermarkets, bone-in, skinless chicken is the most popular chicken cut at Halal meat markets. You can also use cut up leg quarters (a blend of bone-in thighs & drumsticks) for many curries and rice dishes.
The second most popular chicken parts are boneless chicken breast or thighs, which are especially popular at restaurants and in Indo-Chinese cuisine.
Some recipes will use a whole chicken or leg quarters (like Tandoori Chicken or Peri Peri Chicken).
Pakistani and Indian chickens are generally smaller, and Halal meat markets tend to have smaller-sized chickens. They weigh around 2.5 lb per chicken as opposed to the 3-4 lb chickens you’ll see at supermarkets.
Skinless vs Skin-on Chicken
In Indian and Pakistani cooking, there is no concept of skin-on chicken. Chicken is almost always consumed without the skin.
Pakistani and Indian Chicken Recipes
Simple Bone-in Chicken Recipe
Ovens weren’t the norm in South Asia, so most chicken recipes are made on the stovetop. A stand-in for the oven was a Tandoor, which yielded chicken kabab recipes like Chicken Malai Boti, Chicken Tikka, and of course, Tandoori Chicken.
Bone-in Chicken Thigh Recipe (Stovetop)
Chicken Curry Recipes
It’s a wonder how many creative ways you can cook chicken in a curry. Here are some of the most popular chicken curries in South Asian cuisine.
Pakistani Chicken Karahi
Authentic Chicken Curry (Easy Chicken Salan)
Instant Pot Pakistani Chicken Curry
Easy Achari Chicken
Coconut Chicken Curry with Potatoes
The BEST Authentic Chicken Korma
Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Easy and Authentic)
Chicken is the meat of choice for the majority of Indo-Chinese dishes.
Chicken Manchurian (Crispy with Gravy!)
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry (Indo-Chinese Style)
Chicken Jalfrezi (Easy and Authentic)
Chicken Shashlik (Saucy with Gravy) – Indo-Chinese Recipe
Baked Chicken Recipes
Though not traditional, these fusion recipes make use of ovens while delivering on South Asian flavors.
Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry (Easy & Authentic)
Homemade Peri Peri Chicken Recipe (with Sauce)
What’s better than chicken served with rice? Chicken and rice infused together!
Pakistani Chicken Biryani (The BEST!)
Pakistani Chicken Pulao (Yakhni Pulao)
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao
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15+ Pakistani and Indian Chicken Recipes, including this simple Bone-in Chicken Chicken Thighs (Stovetop)
- 2 lb bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, See Note 1
- 2 ½ tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil or neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, or 1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt or table salt
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes, plus more to taste
- ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- wide pan or Dutch oven with lid
- Optional (but optimal) marination: Place the chicken in a medium bowl and toss with everything but the ketchup. Cover the bowl and let it marinate at room temperature for up to 2 hours; or in the refrigerator up to 12 hours. If skipping the marinade, start with the next step.
- Heat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with lid over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and its juices (if you didn’t marinate, add all of the ingredients except the ketchup to the pan). Mix well to combine, then and spread out the chicken pieces into a single layer.
- Reduce the heat to low or low-medium to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cover the pan and cook, tossing halfway through, until the chicken is fully cooked, about 25 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high. Bring the remaining liquid in the pan to a boil and cook until most of it has evaporated (~5-6 minutes). Stir in the ketchup. Sauté, stirring only as necessary to allow the chicken to lightly sear (~2 min). Once the moisture has completely evaporated, turn off the heat. Serve immediately.
- I’ve used thighs in the pictures and split leg quarters (drumsticks and thighs) in the video.
- If you can, try to use small chicken thighs (typically 2-3 oz each). Smaller cuts of chicken cook faster and soak up more flavor.
- See post for notes on skin-on vs skinless chicken.