Chicken Hyderabadi – Traditional Indian

Chicken Hyderabadi

Chicken Hyderabadi is a traditional Indian dish where the chicken is cooked in a sauce made from a paste of caramelised onions.

Hyderabadi Chicken - Traditional Indian

This curry has a thick, flavourful gravy, and is made without the addition of tomatoes. It still manages to be a robustly flavoured dish, with spice levels that can be tailored to your own taste.

I have seen many versions of this dish. Some are quite mild and some are quite spicy.

I recently had this dish at an Indian restaurant. Their version had naga chilli in it. Not enough to be searingly hot, just enough to give that nice, warming, lingering burn.

I’ve added a tiny bit of naga pickle to this recipe. You can leave it out though. Or if you like it seriously hot, add a bit more. This is a dish that’s robust enough to take it!

I’ve used my Bhuna masala in this recipe for Chicken Hyderabadi Traditional Indian. It has the perfect combination of spices for this dish. You can, however, make your own spice mix up or use a decent quality madras curry powder.

My Bhuna Masala is available to buy from the ‘Ome Made Online Store of course.

I can also recomend this curry made with lamb. If you want to give that a go just increase the cooking time.

If you like the look of this curry, why not take a look at this traditionally cooked dish on the blog: Staff Curry

Remeber, if you cook and enjoy this dish, please share it on social media with the #omemade so we can see it. Why not post on a Facebook group such as UK Curry Group or The Curry Secret.

Chicken Hyderabadi

Chicken Hyderabadi

A traditional dish made with blended caramelised onions and chicken marinated in yoghurt, garlic, ginger, and spices. This version is topped with some crispy fried onions to finish it off.
The heat can be adjusted to your own taste by using more, or less, fresh chilies and naga pickle.
Surprisingly this dish is completely devoid of tomatoes, so great for people who have an allergy or intolerance to them.
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Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


Fried Crispy Onions

  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 200 ml oil neutral, such as vegetable or sunflower

Chicken & Marinade

  • 800 g chicken thigh cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 bulbs garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tbsp plain yoghurt

Caramelised Onion Paste

  • oil reserved from the fried onions
  • 3 medium onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp raw cashew nuts or peanuts.
  • 8 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut unsweetened
  • 3 green chillies sliced. Use more or less to suit your own taste.
  • 0.5 tsp naga pickle optional. Use more or less to your own taste.
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander stalks optional

The Curry

  • 1 portion of the above caramelised onion paste
  • 1 tbsp 'Ome Made Bhuna Masala Other masalas or curry powders would work but this Bhuna has just the right mix of spices for this dish.
  • Marinated chicken, as above.
  • 500 ml freshly boiled water
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
  • crispy fried onions to garnish


Crispy Fried Onions

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan, the same pan you are going to use for the onion paste.
  • Add the sliced onion and cook on a medium high heat, stirring often.
  • Once they are a light golden colour, turn the heat down and continue to cook, stirring and bringing the onion at the sides into the middle so that they cook evenly. If you feel the onions are in danger of cooking to quickly, take off the heat and continue to stir. Once the onions are a nice deep golden colour, remove the onions with a slotted spoon or drain through a sieve. Remember to keep the oil though.

Chicken Marinade

  • Add all the ingredients into a bowl and give a good mix. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, in a fridge.

Caramelised Onion Paste

  • Heat the oil reserved from cooking the fried onions. Add the sliced onions and cook on a medium heat until a golden-brown colour.
  • Add the cashew nuts and cook for 2 minutes until the nuts are beginning to colour slightly.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for a minute.
  • Add the desiccated coconut. Continue to cook, stirring until you can smell the toasted coconut.
  • Add all the other ingredients and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and remove the mixture to a heatproof bowl. You can strain off any excess oil if you want.
  • Let the mixture cool a little before blitzing in a food processor or blender. You want a smooth paste at the end of it.

Making The Curry

  • In a pan heat a little oil, if you have drained any from the onion paste then use that.
  • Add the onion paste to the pan and fry gently for a minute or so.
  • Add the Bhuna Masala and continue to cook for a minute. If it looks like the mixture is sticking or burning, add a splash of hot water.
  • Add the chicken and all the marinade to the pan. Give a good mix through and add around half (250ml) of the hot water. Put a lid on the pan and cook on a gentle heat for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir the curry. If the sauce is looking too thick for your liking add enough hot water to bring it to your desired consistency.
  • Add the mint sauce, sugar, fenugreek leaves and salt. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Taste the sauce and add seasoning to your liking. Add the fresh coriander and stir through the sauce. The curry can now be served, finishing off each portion with a sprinkling of the crispy fried onions.
  • Best served with rice and some soft roti to scoop up the rich gravy.


This dish is also excellent made with lamb. Just use diced lamb in place of chicken and adjust the cooking time. Lamb will usually take around 60 – 90 minutes, depending on the size of the meat pieces.
Keyword caramelised onion curry, chicken curry recipe, Hyderabadi, Ome Made, Traditional Indian curry recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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