Achari Murg – Tangy Pickled Chicken

Achari Murg | Playful Cooking

The husband has a common complain these days.. I cook mainly for the blog! He gets to eat all the food that is prepared in my tiny kitchen and yet, the complaints 🙂 I am sure most of you are smiling and nodding as you might be in the same situation.

Honestly, I can’t blame him completely for this.

Last few months, I have been experimenting a little too much with new ingredients and the husband’s requests were getting neglected! So, one fine evening I decided to surprise him with his favorite Achari Murg and Naan for dinner. Turns out, my recent habit to tweet everything I cook or eat spoiled all the surprise factor .. silly me!


Achari Murg | Playful Cooking


Anyways, the main point is that he loved it and there was no complain for a while. This dish was not really for the blog but how could I not share our favorite chicken curry with you all.. right ? 😉

In India, pickles or achar are commonly enjoyed in everyday meal. It’s made with different variety of vegetables, fruits and at times, with fish. The vegetables or fruits are partially cooked in the spice mix. Then, they are dipped in oil and left for resting in an airtight jar for few weeks. This allows the spice mix to combine nicely and enhance the flavor even before you can enjoy the first bite.  There are no artificial chemicals added in the pickling jar. It’s the salt and oil in the pickle that works as a perfect preservative for months.




Achari Murg | Playful Cooking


Achari Murg is a famous North Indian dish made with a similar pickling spice mix. It’s rich in flavor, not too hot and gives a tangy spice kick which can lift up your mood instantly.

The key ingredients for the dish are the spices that are used to prepare the pickling spice mix. Dry roasting these whole spices individually is very important as they have different textures and sizes. You have to roast them until they are slightly darker in shade and start releasing a hearty warm aroma.


Spices | Playful Cooking


Achari Murg | Playful Cooking


This is one of those few chicken recipes where I do not marinate the chicken overnight and it gets cooked pretty quickly. If you don’t like meat, you can give it a try with paneer or cauliflower and it will taste equally delicious.

We enjoyed every bit of the curry and the meat with some hot buttery naan and the husband slept happily without any complaints 🙂

Achari Murg/Tangy Pickled Chicken

Serving Size: 4

Achari Murg/Tangy Pickled Chicken


  • 1-1/2 lb chicken pieces (bone or boneless)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1" ginger, grated
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tomato, pureed
  • 3 green chilies
  • salt
  • oil
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • For the pickling sauce
  • 4 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp nigella
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 3 clove


  • Dry roast all the ingredients for pickling sauce individually until they change the color to a darker shade and start releasing aroma.
  • Cool them and grate to a fine dust.
  • In a bowl, squeeze the lemon juice, add the lemon zest and the pickling sauce powder.
  • Slit 3 green chilies and add it to the bowl. Mix it well and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  • In a hot pan, add 2 tbs oil and saute garlic, ginger and onion.
  • Season it with salt. Then, add the turmeric powder and fry until the onion get golden brown in color.
  • Once done, cool it for  while and blend it to a fine paste.
  • Pour it back in the pan and add the chicken pieces. Bring the heat to low and keep cooking for about 10 minutes.
  • Next, add the pickling sauce, tomato puree and yogurt and continue cooking in low heat for another 10 minutes.
  • If the chicken is not cooked through, add some water and continue cooking till the chicken is properly cooked.
  • Taste for salt and add if required.
  • Garnish it with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with hot rice or naan.


Achari Murg | Playful Cooking

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Soma says:

one of my favorite chicken curries.. someone dare complain after this 🙂

Alyssa says:

Ha! My husband has made the same complaint to me this week!!! Anyway, I can see why this meal is a favorite of his, it looks so good. Your photos are always so beautiful with such wonderful light. Do you use a lightbox, or are you blessed with a home with great natural light?

Oh-My-Word…All those fabulous spices! Delicious looking dish, Kankana. Seems that your husband really enjoy this lovely pickled chicken…No complain for a while…ha-ha-ha! BTW, I absolutely love that second pic 🙂


Christine says:

Sounds and looks good.

Priti says:

Looks so delicious, beautiful pics

Vanille says:

Thanks to you I discover today that what we call “achard” in my home island has actually an Indian etymology.
Your chicken curry is mouthwatering Kankana.

Rosa says:

Very tempting. That dish must be wonderfully pungent and lipsmackingly good!



Spicy and tangy huh? Girl, I want this for lunch today!! I’ve never made any achari dishes yet and looks like it’s high time I did. Yummy flavors!

Notyet100 says:

Curry looks so good,..its my fav too,,..:)

Charles says:

Whoa – I’ve never heard of this but it sounds amazing. I feel like I’m missing out – so many things in the world, not enough time to eat them all 😀 Well, I can at least start with the things I see. This for example! I’ll add it to my list of “must-cooks!”

Gorgeous curry!!! I especially love the photo of those spices.

Ramona says:

This looks absolutely delicious.

I love the idea pickled chicken. I know I love picked veggies so why wouldn’t I love this. The pictures are incredible for showing how much flavor is in this

Jessica says:

Hahaha he must try to understand that we need to at least know your secrets to these delicious recipes even though we don’t get to taste it, so we can try to replicate them, right?!

This is something I haven’t tried and would love to! I have almost all the ingredients so I might try it out this weekend! Can’t wait.

And your spice photo is simply incredible. Love your photography!

Melanie says:

This chicken looks so flavorful! I can only imagine the medley of all the different spices – it must taste so good!

sayantani says:

oh wow thats awesome. love all those clicks.

Priyanka says:

Wow…thats a lovely recipe…and as usual stunning pics 🙂

sarah says:

Well aren’t you a good wife! 🙂 I think my husband would love me 10x more if I made him this! Gorgeous!

My hubby too complains at times the same thing..;)…chicken looks too good, very lovely recipe..

Cucina49 says:

My husband does the same thing! Any chance you could share your naan secrets? Mine always comes out heavy.

Ann says:

Wowza! That looks incredible….that was SO nice of you to do that for your hubby! I cook for the blog, too….but so far, honey bunny loves it!

Wow! That chicken looks absolutely delicious and flavorful, like its just come from a nawab’s kitchen 🙂

Kalyan says:

Oh well the second pic is still keeping the water in my mouth flowing…somehow I can just feel the taste of the dish at this moment, as I have tasted a similarly tangy chicken once…looks so easy to prepare and delicious!

athena says:

Yep, smiling and nodding over here 🙂 But I bet my husband would not complain if I made this as long as I was quick with the shooting. Stunning photography, Kankana; I especially LOVE the pic of the spices.

My husband has the same complaint so I can understand your predicament 🙂
Yummy chicken and of course, the pictures say it all 🙂

Kala says:

The photos are excellent as usual. And your husband is a lucky man to have you to prepare such delicious meals for him.

i think at least once in each blogger’s life another family member complain about cooking/baking for the blog 🙂
Love your curry and I’m goign to try it with cauliflower. Can’t wait to hear the complains afterwords LOL

Joanne says:

Pickled chicken is new to me but it sounds super tasty!

nipponnin says:

This dish looks great. I love your photos. My family loves curry rice and I’d like to try making but first I need to find fenugreek and nigella.

The chicken looks lipsmacking! Love the flatbread you served with the chicken too.

Spandana says:

Beautiful pics kankana….. How can ever complain after this delicious feast 🙂

Holy moly! I can see why your husband wanted something he was familiar with…this looks DELICIOUS!! I can almost smell it! YUM!

susan says:

Looks fantastic! What kind of green chillies are they? Hot? So I can look for some please….

Haha I’m sure your husband thinks that his favorite dishes worth to be on your blog and I agree! I’m sure we will love anything you cook and I’d love to know what kind of food your husband likes. 😉 Like this one, looks so yummy Kankana! You never know what kid of food we’d love to see! Looking forward to seeing more of your husband’s dishes. Have a great weekend!

rebecca says:

he he looks great and my poor hubby is missing Indian dishes he cooks some for himself, luckily I am cooking some again

Christine says:

Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

This dish looks super tasty and full of flavour. Will have to try making it sometime – I love using yoghurt in my curries too!

Tanvi says:

This looks lovely! I’ve actually never cooked with nigella before, even though it’s in so many Indian recipes! I’ll have to try it out now.

Vijitha says:

Aww!! Looks spicy good. Even I make a similar paste but my chicken is more drier.

Drooling here! It looks absolutely perfect K! 🙂

I’ve never had this curry- I love that it’s named for the spices normally used in something else!

sally says:

What an interesting dish! The sauce sounds fantastic!

Sissi says:

I have never heard of this dish, but is sounds incredible! I adore tangy dishes and sauces, so I’m sure I would love it.

nice.. my hubbs cribs when i forget about dinner and bake up a storm..:) then he has to help me with dinner.. instead of getting a freshly hot allr eady dinner when he gets home! but those are very rare occasions and usually there is enough baked stuff which he loves!
i love anything in pickly sauces. yumm!. lovely clicks kankana..

I have never heard of this dish but the flavour is so good and I want to try it soon.

Looks soooooo appetising! Lovely opening shot!

I completely understand what are you going through when it comes to food complains:)) I am having the same issue lately:))) but it all good:))

This is so new to me, but does look very your styling and photos are incredible!!!

tigerfish says:

Hahha, I agree with you. When I cook for the blog, I neglect a lot of other dishes. More often now, I post about food that I usually cook (and eat) at home, rather than eat what I want to post (or blog)…LOL

Kankana says:

Thanks so much for dropping by leaving those lovely comments. As for the complain .. well, it’s off for a while and then it will start again 🙂

Divya says:

I tried this out last night, but without the nigella seeds since I didn’t have any lying at home. Turned out really well! Another great recipe, Kankana!

I think all husband are same LOL….
Yours Acahri chicken looks finger licking good girl….
Beautiful pics as usual.

Jay says:

that looks super good n tonguetickling recipe…
fantastic cliks dear..
Tasty Appetite

yummy looking chicken and presentation

What a great combo of flavors. Your chicken curry sound divine. I could eat up two dishes of this right now

Kankana, Seeing the your photo of this delectable chicken at the top of your blog stopped me in my tracks. I can practically taste all those luscious spices. Yum!

Oh I am SO sorry for your husband.. NOT! This looks too delicious. I love pickled things, so this is right up my alley. =)

I’ve never had achari meat dish before. Shocker, I know. But the truth: this dish is so mouth-watering. I am literally salivating 😀

Anamika says:

Looks delicous..but it turns out that I’m one of those rare Indian girls..who can’t stand the smell of achaar, forget about eating it..So my husband is never ever going to taste anything which has achaari flavour, but to make up for that my mom & MIL send bottles of pickles for him..which of course I don’t touch.

Kankana I made this today………..
God this came out superb…..

This looks so delicious. My mouth is watering!! I make many chicken curries but this one is unique!