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 🙂

Spices | Playful Cooking

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 to mato, 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


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


Achari Murg | Playful Cooking

Did you enjoy this Achari Murg - Tangy Pickled Chicken? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

You Might Also Like

Comments are closed.

  • Soma
    October 13, 2011 at 8:27 PM

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

  • Alyssa
    October 13, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    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?

  • Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet
    Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet
    October 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    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 🙂

    HUGS <3

  • Christine
    October 13, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Sounds and looks good.

  • Priti
    October 13, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Looks so delicious, beautiful pics

  • Vanille
    October 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    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
    October 13, 2011 at 11:02 PM

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



  • Nash at plateful
    Nash at plateful
    October 13, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    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
    October 14, 2011 at 12:49 AM

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

  • Charles
    October 14, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    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!”

  • Jennifer (Delicieux)
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    October 14, 2011 at 2:57 AM

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

  • Ramona
    October 14, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    This looks absolutely delicious.

  • Kitchen Belleicious
    Kitchen Belleicious
    October 14, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    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
    October 14, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    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
    October 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

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

  • sayantani
    October 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    oh wow thats awesome. love all those clicks.

  • Priyanka
    October 14, 2011 at 11:10 AM

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

  • sarah
    October 14, 2011 at 12:12 PM

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

  • Sobha Shyam
    Sobha Shyam
    October 14, 2011 at 12:17 PM

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

  • Cucina49
    October 14, 2011 at 1:37 PM

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

  • Ann
    October 14, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    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!

  • Tadka Pasta
    Tadka Pasta
    October 14, 2011 at 10:11 PM

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

  • Kalyan
    October 14, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    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
    October 14, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    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.

  • easyfoodsmith
    October 14, 2011 at 11:28 PM

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

  • Kala
    October 15, 2011 at 12:45 AM

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

  • Roxana GreenGirl
    Roxana GreenGirl
    October 15, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    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
    October 15, 2011 at 9:16 AM

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

  • nipponnin
    October 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    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.

  • Angie@Angiesrecipes
    [email protected]
    October 15, 2011 at 10:07 AM

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

  • Spandana
    October 15, 2011 at 10:26 AM

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

  • Kate@Diethood
    [email protected]
    October 15, 2011 at 11:45 AM

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

  • susan
    October 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM

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

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    October 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    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
    October 15, 2011 at 2:24 PM

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

  • Christine
    October 15, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

  • bhavani/ameanderingmango
    October 15, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    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
    October 15, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    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
    October 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

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

  • Baker Street
    Baker Street
    October 15, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Drooling here! It looks absolutely perfect K! 🙂

  • the good soup
    the good soup
    October 16, 2011 at 2:04 AM

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

  • sally
    October 16, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    What an interesting dish! The sauce sounds fantastic!

  • Sissi
    October 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    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.

  • Richa@HobbyandMore
    [email protected]
    October 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    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..

  • Ellie | Gourmand Recipes
    Ellie | Gourmand Recipes
    October 16, 2011 at 5:06 PM

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

  • Sneh | Cook Republic
    Sneh | Cook Republic
    October 16, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Looks soooooo appetising! Lovely opening shot!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking
    Sandra's Easy Cooking
    October 16, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    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
    October 16, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    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 Saxena
    Kankana Saxena
    October 17, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    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
    October 17, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    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!

  • Reem | Simply Reem
    Reem | Simply Reem
    October 17, 2011 at 2:43 PM

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

  • Jay
    October 17, 2011 at 5:18 PM

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

  • torviewtoronto and createwithmom
    torviewtoronto and createwithmom
    October 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    yummy looking chicken and presentation

  • Sylvia@bascooking
    [email protected]
    October 18, 2011 at 6:24 AM

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

  • yummy supper
    yummy supper
    October 18, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    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!

  • Jenny @ Savour the Senses
    Jenny @ Savour the Senses
    October 18, 2011 at 9:08 PM

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

  • Kiran @
    Kiran @
    October 18, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    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
    October 18, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    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.

  • Reem | Simply Reem
    Reem | Simply Reem
    October 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM

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

  • A Little Yumminess
    A Little Yumminess
    November 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM

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

Skip to Recipe