The Big Boys Curry Book

Murgh Ras Chawal (Green Chicken Curry)

A carpenter in Calcutta makes a door frame by hand

This is based on a Parsee dish often as not made with white fish. In this variation, though I have used chicken and the result is a dryish fragrant, mild dish that suits a simple rice and salad as accompaniments. The recipe is for one person, so scale up as required.


For the marinade

  • 1 chicken breast cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • Lg. pinch turmeric powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the spice paste

    1/2 tbsp. white poppy seed
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 sm. onion chopped roughly
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 cardamoms
  • Small piece of blade mace
  • 1/8 tsp. fennel seed

For cooking

  • Lg. handful of fresh coriander, chopped very finely and mixed with a little water
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder mixed with a little water
  • 1/2 tsp. white cummin seed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • A few mint leaves to garnish (optional)


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and leave for 1/2 hour
  2. Grind the poppy seed with a mortar and pestle until smooth.
  3. Blend all the spice paste ingredients thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Avoid adding water if possible.
  4. Heat the oil gently in a wide pan and add cummin seed
  5. When cummin starts to sizzle, then add coriander powder and cook for a few seconds more
  6. Add the spice paste and saute for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add a little water if necessary to avoid sticking.
  7. Add the coriander leaf, salt to taste and sugar. Stir thoroughly.
  8. Add chicken and stir fry into the mixture until chicken almost cooked.
  9. Add 1/2 a cup of water and mix. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked. You may need to add a little more water but do not waterlog the dish.
  10. Serve garnished with a mint leaf or two if available.

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