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Gaggan Anand teaches his recipe for a home-style chicken masala

If you love cooking, you’ll know there’s nothing quite as therapeutic as indulging in the art of slow braising a dish — to develop layers of flavour and texture otherwise unattainable without the magic ingredient of time.

Award-winning chef Gaggan Anand — the man who propelled a modernist approach to Indian cuisine — has shared his recipe for chicken masala, perfect to be eaten with roti or rice (“NO NAAN,” he says).

The recipe calls for plenty of spice and staples of the Indian pantry, and most importantly, at least an hour to prepare the ingredients and allow the moisture to evaporate into a thick gravy.


500g Free range chicken
1 pinch cumin seeds
2 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
3 bayleaf
250g sliced red onions
50g garlic
15g shredded ginger
Whole green chilli to taste
Black salt to taste
1 pinch turmeric powder
1 sprig coriander
1 Tomato, chopped
2 tbsp oil


1. In a heavy bottom pan with hot oil, throw in cumin and whole spices then add in the sliced onion cook them slowly in medium heat for 20 mins occasionally stirring and until they just start to caramelise.
2. Next add the garlic, green chilies and ginger and then cook for 2-3 minutes and add in the chicken. Keep cooking, stirring gently and season with salt.
3. Continue cooking in low heat and keep stirring every 5-8 minutes. Remember to always cover the lid so moisture stays in.
4. Then add the chopped coriander with stems, stir and cover.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cover again.
6. Add the turmeric. The chicken should now only be cooked 50 percent.
7. Stir the dish occasionally to prevent onions from sticking to the bottom of pan and get burnt.
8. Repeat the process for 40-45 mins. By the end, there should be no water left. Portion in a bowl.

This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

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