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Malai Chicken

Did you know that Malai Chicken is one of the most popular and beloved Indian chicken dishes? Its creamy texture and rich flavors have captured the hearts and palates of countless food enthusiasts. Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or looking to explore new flavors, this recipe is bound to leave you craving for more.

So why is Malai Chicken such a hit? Let’s dive into the enticing world of this delectable dish to find out what makes it so special.

Ingredient List & Possible Substitutions

If you’re ready to embark on the culinary journey of making malai chicken, here are the essential ingredients you’ll need:

  1. Chicken (boneless, skinless) – 500 grams
  2. Yogurt – 1/2 cup
  3. Cashews – 1/4 cup
  4. Onion – 1 medium-sized
  5. Ginger – 1-inch piece, grated
  6. Garlic – 4-5 cloves, minced
  7. Green chili – 2, finely chopped
  8. Heavy cream – 1/4 cup
  9. Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
  10. Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  11. Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  12. Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  13. Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  14. Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – 1 tablespoon
  15. Fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing
  16. Oil or ghee – 2 tablespoons
  17. Salt – to taste

If you don’t have some of these ingredients or want to make substitutions, here are a few options:

  • If you’re lactose intolerant, you can use dairy-free yogurt or coconut milk instead of regular yogurt.
  • For a nut-free version, you can replace cashews with blanched almonds or sunflower seeds.
  • If you prefer a milder taste, reduce the amount of green chili or omit it completely.
  • Feel free to adjust the spice levels by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder.
  • If you don’t have kasuri methi, you can skip it or substitute with freshly chopped fenugreek leaves.

Now that you have the ingredient list and substitution options, let’s move on to the next section to learn how to make this delectable malai chicken!

How To Make It

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide for making delicious malai chicken.

  1. Step 1: Marinating the Chicken Start by marinating the chicken pieces in a mixture of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, crushed green chilies, and lemon juice. This marinade will help infuse the flavors and tenderize the chicken.
  2. Step 2: Preparing the Gravy In a pan, heat some oil and add cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter, add finely chopped onions and cook until golden brown. Next, add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Now, add the powdered spices – turmeric, coriander, cumin, and garam masala. Stir well to coat the onions with the spices. Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the oil separates from the mixture. This will enhance the flavor of the gravy.
  3. Step 3: Cooking the Chicken Add the marinated chicken to the pan and mix well with the gravy. Cook for a few minutes until the chicken is partially cooked. Then, add fresh cream (malai) and mix it in gently. This will give the dish its creamy texture and rich flavor. Cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Make sure to occasionally stir to prevent sticking.
  4. Step 4: Garnishing and Serving Once the chicken is cooked, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and a drizzle of fresh cream. The vibrant green coriander leaves will add a pop of color to the dish. Serve hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice. The creamy malai chicken pairs well with any of these accompaniments.

Follow these simple steps to create a flavorful and creamy malai chicken dish. It’s a perfect blend of spices, succulent chicken, and rich cream. Enjoy this delicious Indian delicacy with your family and friends!

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving Malai chicken, there are plenty of options to complement its rich and creamy flavors. Here are some suggestions to elevate your meal:

1. Naan Bread: Serve Malai chicken with warm and fluffy naan bread. The soft and chewy texture of naan complements the creamy sauce perfectly.

2. Basmati Rice: Pair Malai chicken with fragrant and fluffy basmati rice. The aroma and delicate flavor of basmati rice enhance the overall dining experience.

3. Cucumber Raita: Add a refreshing element to your meal by serving Malai chicken with a side of cucumber raita. The cool and tangy yogurt sauce balances the richness of the chicken.

4. Salad: Lighten up the meal with a fresh and crisp salad. Opt for a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette for a hint of acidity.

5. Mango Chutney: For a touch of sweetness and a burst of flavor, serve Malai chicken with a dollop of mango chutney. The fruity and tangy condiment complements the savory chicken perfectly.

These serving suggestions will not only enhance the taste of Malai chicken but also add variety to your meal. Feel free to mix and match to create a memorable dining experience!


What is malai chicken?

Malai chicken is a flavorful twist on a classic Indian dish. It is a creamy and rich recipe that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

How is malai chicken different from regular chicken?

Malai chicken differs from regular chicken dishes because it incorporates cream and spices that give it a unique and creamy flavor profile.

Can I use a different type of meat instead of chicken?

Yes, you can try using a different type of meat, such as lamb or beef, instead of chicken to make a variation of the dish.

Are there any vegetarian options for malai chicken?

Yes, you can replace the chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu to make a vegetarian version of malai chicken.

Is malai chicken spicy?

The level of spiciness in malai chicken can be adjusted according to your taste preferences. It can be made mild or spicy, depending on the amount of spices used.

Can I make malai chicken ahead of time?

Yes, you can make malai chicken ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. It can be reheated and enjoyed later.

What are some serving suggestions for malai chicken?

Malai chicken can be served with naan bread, rice, or roti. You can also garnish it with fresh cilantro and serve it with a side of raita (yogurt sauce) or salad.

How long does it take to cook malai chicken?

The cooking time for malai chicken may vary, but on average, it takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare.

Can I adjust the spiciness of malai chicken?

Yes, you have the flexibility to adjust the spiciness of malai chicken by adding more or less of the spices and chili peppers according to your preference.

Are there any dairy-free options for malai chicken?

If you cannot consume dairy, you can substitute the cream with coconut milk or a dairy-free alternative to achieve a similar creamy texture in your malai chicken.

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.