Achari Murgh translated to pickled chicken is a famous Indian Chicken Curry which is also referred to as Achari Chicken. It is mildly tangy, spicy and is quite common in Indian restaurants.
Achari comes from the word Achar, which means pickle in India. Pickles in India are spiced, tangy, and prepared with several ingredients throughout the year using seasonal produce.
But then when I have some time in hand, I made the spice mix just for the Achari Murgh. It is one of our fav chicken curry.
You can definitely find these spice mixes in Indian store. But homemade is definitely better, and it is actually very easy to prepare too.
Ingredients you need for Achari Murgh
Achari Spice Powder - cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon stick and Kashmiri chili powder.
Chicken - You can make this dish with boneless chicken, or make the spice powder to make Achari chicken wings too. For this recipe, I used curry cut chicken, which are small pieces with a mix of boneless and with bones.
Onion, Tomato, Ginger, Garlic - The usual ingredients that are often used to make any chicken curry. Now, if you are making this for a big portion, you can use canned tomato sauce to make it easy and quick for you. Also, using tomato purée from canned tomato definitely adds a gorgeous red color to the curry.
Green Chili - The heat in this dish comes from using fresh green chili. I don't make it very spicy, so I added just two. But you can add more to adjust as per your spice level.
Yogurt - I add a little yogurt at the end, which gives a creamy texture to the dish.
Lemon Juice - The pickling spice paste is made with lemon juice. I sometime use the bottled lemon juice, and someday I use the zest and the juice of a fresh lemon.
Mustard Oil - Most Indian pickles are prepared in mustard oil. It adds a mild heat and the pungent flavor. To keep the flavor authentic, I used mustard oil to prepare this Achari Chicken.
PRO TIP - To avoid the yogurt from curdling, always whisk it properly and add a small quantity of all purpose flour to the yogurt. Also, add yogurt right at the end, keeping the heat low and do not cook for too long once you add the yogurt.
Achari Murgh 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 make achari gobi too, and it will taste equally delicious.
Steps to prepare
1 - Dry roast the spices for the pickling sauce for a few minutes to release the aroma.
2- Once done, grind it using a spice grinder and then add lemon juice to it to make the spice paste. Slice two green chili in half and add it to the spice paste and keep it aside to be used later.
3 - In a heavy bottom pan, add mustard oil and once it heats up, add the ginger garlic paste and sauté it for a while.
4 - Add the sliced onion, season with salt and turmeric, and cook until it's mild golden brown.
5 - Add the sliced tomato or tomato purée and cook everything for a while.
6 - Add the chicken pieces and stir it around. Add a little salt to season everything.
7 - Add the pickle spice paste and mix everything.
8 - Cover the pan and let it simmer for 15 minutes for the chicken to cook. Depending on the quantity and the chicken pieces, it may take more or less time.
9 - In a bowl, whisk yogurt with little flour and once the chicken is cooked, add the whisked yogurt. Stir it around and taste for salt at this stage. Also add little water or more based on how much gravy you prefer.
If you enjoy Indian spices, and especially Indian pickle, then this chicken curry will not disappoint you at all.
It takes roughly 30 minutes to prepare the chicken curry. But depending on the big a portion you are cooking and the size of the chicken pieces, it might take more or less time.
I don't! I cook the chicken straight away and it tastes amazing. But you can definitely marinate the chicken using the spice paste overnight or few hours.
YES! You can prepare the dish the same way I did in an instapot or any electric pressure cooker. I don't pressure cook, but I assume it will cook even faster if you pressure cook.
Achari Murg/Tangy Pickled Chicken
- 1.5 lb Chicken pieces (Mix of bone & boneless)
- 1 Medium onions (6 oz) (Thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
- ¼ cup Plain yogurt
- 1 tsp All purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 3 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 Tomato (6 oz) (Thinly sliced)
- 2 green chilies
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Mustard Oil
- Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
For the pickling sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon Nigella seeds
- 1 teaspoon Black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 Small (1 inch) Cinnamon bark
- Dry roast all the seeds for pickling sauce for a few seconds, then grind into powder. Add it to a bowl along with chili powder, lemon juice and slit green chili. Give a mix and keep aside to be used later.
- In a heavy bottom medium hot pan, heat the oil and sauté garlic ginger paste. Once done, add the sliced onion, add salt and turmeric powder and stir it around until mild golden brown.
- Next, add the tomato and cook for a while.
- Layer the chicken pieces, add salt and mix everything. Add the spice paste and mix again. Then cover the pan and let it simmer for 15 minutes for the chicken to cook though.
- Once done, whisk the yogurt with all purpose flour and add it to the pan. Mix it around and check for salt. Add more if needed.
- Garnish it with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with hot rice or naan.