Indian · Recipe

RECIPE: Kohlapuri Chicken


I love Indian chicken-you name it, I love it. Well, except for Chicken Tikka Masala but that’s not really Indian now :p.  I first heard about this recipe through Madhura’s Recipes and thought it looked absolutely delicious.  A few months ago, when my boyfriend was coming back from South Africa, I decided to cook him a little something so he wouldn’t starve.  Before I gave it to him, I gave a couple pieces to my dad to test it out-he’s been hooked ever since.  Oh and yes, my boyfriend gave his full approval as well ;).  The chicken is so incredibly juicy and tender; it literally falls off the bone! Now now, don’t get too scared to try it because the gravy looks red.  It’s really not spicy since I used chili powder that’s not packed with heat but feel free to make it deathly spicy if you wish ;).  I marinated the chicken in dry spices for a couple hours but feel free to let it sit overnight-it’ll be worth it.  If you’re in a rush, you can let the chicken set for half hour. What’s amazing is that the chicken takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, which is a perfect meal if you’re coming home late from classes or work and you’re too lazy to spend an hour or so in the kitchen.


Marinate for Chicken

  • 1-1.5 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder, or to taste
  • 21tbsp garlic and ginger paste (you can buy jarred paste from Indian grocery stores or just grate garlic and ginger, which is what I did)
  • ~2 tbsp of lemon juice (enough to turn the dry ingredients into a paste)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt, to taste

Ingredients for the gravy preparation

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Whole garam masala (1 bay leaf, 1 green cardamom, 2-3 cloves, 4-5 peppercorns)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 big white onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • a little less than 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut powder (or dry unsweetened shredded coconut)
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chili powder (Degi Mirch), found in Indian grocery stores. You can substitute with mild paprika or regular red chili powder if you cannot find Kashmiri powder.  If you use regular chili powder, start off with less since 1 tbsp will be really spicy for some.
  • 2-3 tbsp of garlic, chopped
  • Salt, to taste


For marinating the chicken

  1. Combine all the spices and rub it on the chicken pieces until it is evenly coated.
  2. Allow it to marinate 30 minutes minimum to overnight.  The longer it sits, the better it will taste

For the gravy preparation

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil on med-low heat
  2. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Add whole garam masala, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chopped garlic. Cook until the spices start to change its color
  3. Add the coconut and onion and cook until the onion turns a light brown color
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool down for 5-10 minutes
  5. To the blender, add the cooked masala, chopped tomato, and couple splashes of water. Blent to form a a smooth paste.
  6. In a pan, heat up 2.5 tbsp of oil on medium heat.
  7. Add the masala paste and cook for a couple minutes.  Add the kashmiri powder, salt, and garam masala powder and cook for 5 minutes
  8. Add the marinated chicken and mix well.  Add water to desired consistency (I made mine a bit more gravy like) , cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Taste the gravy to make sure it’s to your taste.
  9. Serve with roti, naan, or rice!

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