Chicken Bhuna Recipe | Easy Indian Cooking

Chicken Bhuna Recipe | Easy Indian Cooking

Chicken Bhuna Recipe | Easy Indian Cooking

This Chicken Bhuna recipe will run you through some really easy, really straightforward Indian cooking techniques and show you how to make one of the great curry classics.

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Chicken Bhuna Recipe
Chicken Bhuna Recipe

Introduction

My goal with this recipe is to show you how easy Indian cooking can be. As a cuisine, it’s filled with a huge variety of flavours. The trick is in the balancing of them. And in understanding which ones are most appropriate in a given situation.

Sometimes, a dish takes a long time to cook. A lot of Indian dishes require a long, slow braise over a lengthy period of time. Most lamb dishes, for example, like this beautiful lamb rezala, are cooked for at least a little while. The same is true for anything with gosht in the name. Or, to go to the extreme, dishes like this lamb haleem.

Others require a lengthy marinade of one or more of the ingredients. Others still require exotic, complex ingredients, the likes of which most have not even heard and less still know where to buy.

And then there are dishes like this simple chicken bhuna, for which the recipe is so easy, you would be forgiven for thinking Indian cooking simple!

In this delicious chicken bhuna recipe, a perfect example of easy Indian cooking, you will see just how simple it can be.

Easy Indian Cooking
Easy Indian Cooking

About the dish

The reason this chicken bhuna recipe is such a great example of easy Indian cooking is the simplicity of the ingredients and the speed with which it cooks. It’s a chicken dish, so you can make it with legs or with breast. In either instance, frankly, it can be cooked in minutes.

As such, there’s no cooking time and no braising to be done. So the meat doesn’t really run the risk of drying out. And there’s no need to marinade, which saves time and a little effort.

As a very thickly sauced dish, it could even be eaten as a simple stir fry. Although I would always encourage rice or, better yet, naan as a side. For some absolutely fantastic Indian flatbreads, please check out the following recipe!

Even the timings are simpler than in most Indian cuisine. Because of the short cooking time, a lot of things can be thrown in together and you’re guaranteed they won’t burn. So the cook is really just a three or four stage process, rather than the usual layered process curry making can be.

The sauce is normally a lot thicker, but you can loosen it with a little stock.
The sauce is normally a lot thicker, but you can loosen it with a little stock.

About this dish – Chicken Bhuna Recipe | Easy Indian Cooking

In this version we’ll be using chicken breast. You could use chicken leg in its place. But I would advise using slightly smaller pieces so that they’ll cook through quicker.

We will also be using canned tomatoes. Some chicken bhuna recipes call for fresh tomatoes. But we will be reducing the canned tomatoes down first to make sure they’re nice and thick. This helps them coat the meat quickly and thoroughly without any chance of overcooking.

In the photographs, I used a little bit of stock to loosen up the sauce. Bhuna means to fry, so this is a totally optional step and I will highlight that in the recipe.

You could also add peppers to the dish, as it is often served in restaurants and takeaways. But again, it is not a necessary step.

Hot and sour, the chicken bhuna isn’t usually tempered with sugar.

A quick guide – Chicken Bhuna Recipe | Easy Indian Cooking

First, we’ll get the tomatoes into a pan and reducing. We want them nice and thick. Enough to coat the meat and any other ingredients.

Next, we’ll heat up our whole spices, tempering them in an unoiled pan on high heat until the scent lifts heavily from the pan. An then we’ll grind them into a fine powder and combine them with the other spices for our spice mix.

We’ll do the same again with our ginger and garlic. Chopping them up finely and grinding them together, then setting them aside with some finely diced onion and some chopped chilli.

The chicken, we will simply dice up and set aside.

Then we’ll heat up some oil and cook off those onions with the garlic, ginger and a few mustard seeds.

After a few minutes, we’ll add the meat and colour it, then the tomatoes to finish the dish off, seasoning with a little lemon juice and some extra salt.

That’s pretty much it. See what I mean about easy Indian cooking?

There really is nothing quite like chicken curry.

A few final things to remember

  • As always, adapt the amount of chilli to suit your tastes. The dish suits a little heat, but nothing crazy. Although that’s up to you!
  • Cut the chicken fairly small, otherwise it will have a hard time cooking in such thick a sauce.
  • Be ready when you start cooking. If you’re ready with everything prepared, this dish will cook in minutes.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


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Subscribe to my newsletter now for a free guide to cooking curries! AND I’ll send you weekly tricks, tips and updates that will help you elevate your cooking to the next level!


Chicken Bhuna Recipe

Chicken Bhuna Recipe | Easy Indian Cooking

This Chicken Bhuna recipe will run you through some really easy, really straightforward Indian cooking techniques and show you how to make one of the great curry classics.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lrg Chicken Breasts or 3 small
  • 1/2 can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 – 6 Green Chillies
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 inches Fresh Ginger
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Cooking Oil
  • Fresh Coriander optional
  • 100 ml Chicken Stock optional

Instructions
 

Prep

  • First, reduce 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes by about half.
  • In a hot, unoiled pan, toast 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds until the smell lifts from the pan, then combine with 1/2 turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Set aside.
  • Chop up the ginger and garlic, then grind into a paste and mix with a large diced onion and 1/2 – 1 tsp mustard seeds. Chop up your chillies and add them as well.
  • Dice the chicken into smallish pieces and set aside.

Cook

  • Heat up some oil and cook off those onions with the garlic, ginger, mustard seeds and chilli, for about 5 minutes, on a low-medium temperature. Season with salt now to aid the process along.
  • After a few minutes, add the meat and cook to colour, increasing the heat to medium-high and stirring frequently. Then add the spices and cook for a further couple of minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and bring back to temperature, then cook for 5 more minutes or until the chicken is done.
  • You can add a little stock to loosen the sauce OR you can simply season with lemon juice and salt, then serve.
Keyword bhuna, bhuna recipe, butter chicken, chicken bhuna, chicken bhuna recipe, chicken curry, Curry

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