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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicken Hariyali

chicken hariyali

A few years ago, on our way from Delhi to Jaipur, we stopped at a roadside dhaba and D ordered their murg hariyali which is chicken (murg) in green (hariyali) sauce without knowing much about it. As it turned out, he loved it, said it was delicious and spicy.

In those days I did not eat or cook chicken, so, I just took his word for it. Now that I started cooking chicken for him, and take a bite or two to test the flavors, I've been making many different versions of chicken in some sauce.

This recipe is not traditional, and as always, I took some epicurean-license to suit our tastes. The green sauce is usually puréed spinach, but, I added some coriander, tiny bit of mint, jalapenos and some spring onions.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
salt to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil
marinade: some of the hariyali sauce mixed in some plain yogurt
1 cup coconut milk or evaporated milk
cilantro and spring onions for garnish

For the (hariyali) green sauce:
2-3 cups packed cleaned fresh spinach leaves
(or 2 cups chopped frozen spinach leaves, thawed and drained)
1 Tbsp dry mint (or, ¼ cup fresh mint leaves)
2 cups finely chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
¼ cup finely chopped spring onions
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 medium onion finely sliced
1-2 inch sticks of dalchini, indian cinnamon sticks
1 clove
1 star anise
1 jalapenos or green chili, finely chopped

  1. Hariyali Sauce/marinade: sauté the spinach, mint, coriander if using fresh, then combine the rest of the ingredients and blend to a smooth paste
  2. Toss the chicken chunks in some of the hariyali sauce with some plain yogurt and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, heat a little of the oil in a pan and sauté the onions; then, pour the rest of the blended sauce and allow to simmer, adding some coconut milk or evaporated milk as desired and turn off when thickened a bit
  4. Heat the oil in another pan, drain some of the marinate and cook the chicken till almost done, then transfer it to the simmering sauce, and allow them to simmer together till chicken is fully cooked
  5. Alternately, throw the chicken in with the simmering sauce and cook them all together. (I prefer not to do this as it takes longer to cook the chicken in the sauce and this sort of degrades the coconut milk a bit for my tastes)

  • Adjust salt to taste and garnish as desired

  • If preferred, replace chicken with chunks of potatoes and soya nuggets to enjoy a delicious vegetarian version. (Same goes for chicken in guaje sauce - just savor the sauce the vegetarian way by replacing chicken with potatoes, soya nuggets or even some bell peppers, summer squash and eggplant)

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    • At 6:37 AM, Blogger Cynthia said…

      Well, cooked in coconut milk, it gets my vote :)

    • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Kay said…

      I made an almost similar recipe last month, Sheela, using a bunch of mint leaves and coconut milk.. turned out delicious. I'll try your spinach version next. It looks so good!

    • At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Indian Food said…

      Nice recipe for chicken hariyali. Another chicken hariyali recipe with (masala) sauce is at
      chicken hariyali recipe


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