How To Make Chicken Malai Handi

Indulge in the creamy decadence of Chicken Malai Handi, a sumptuous dish that combines tender chicken with a rich, velvety sauce. This recipe elevates the traditional Handi by infusing it with the delicate flavors of cream, creating a dish that’s both luxurious and comforting. Let’s embark on a culinary journey to prepare this exquisite Chicken Malai Handi.

Step-by-Step Ingredients

  1. Boneless Chicken: Start with boneless chicken pieces, preferably breast or thigh meat, cut into bite-sized cubes for a tender texture.

  2. Cream: Use fresh cream or heavy cream to create a rich and creamy sauce that coats the chicken beautifully.

  3. Yogurt: Incorporate thick yogurt to tenderize the chicken and add a hint of tanginess to the dish.

  4. Ginger-Garlic Paste: Prepare a paste by blending fresh ginger and garlic, infusing the dish with aromatic flavors.

  5. Tomatoes: Finely chop or puree ripe tomatoes to create a luscious base for the sauce, adding natural sweetness and acidity.

  6. Spices: A blend of spices including cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder enhances the flavor profile of the dish.

  7. Butter or Ghee: Use butter or ghee for cooking to enrich the sauce and impart a delightful richness.

  8. Fresh Coriander: Garnish the Chicken Malai Handi with freshly chopped coriander leaves for a pop of color and freshness.

How To Make Chicken Malai Handi
How To Make Chicken Malai Handi


  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a mixing bowl, combine the boneless chicken cubes with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, and a pinch of salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes to infuse it with flavor.

  2. Sauté Aromatics: Heat butter or ghee in a deep skillet or Handi pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.

  3. Cook the Chicken: Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook until it turns golden brown on all sides, sealing in the juices and flavors.

  4. Prepare the Sauce: Stir in finely chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and form a thick base. Add ground spices including cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder. Cook until the spices are fragrant and well incorporated.

  5. Add Cream: Pour in the cream, stirring gently to combine with the spice mixture. Allow the sauce to simmer gently, thickening and developing a creamy consistency.

  6. Finish and Garnish: Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce reaches the desired consistency, garnish the Chicken Malai Handi with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan bread, rice, or roti for a delicious meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Chicken Malai Handi? Chicken Malai Handi is a popular South Asian dish, particularly in Pakistani and Indian cuisine. It consists of tender chicken pieces cooked in a creamy, mildly spiced gravy. The word “malai” refers to cream, which gives this dish its rich and luxurious texture.

  2. What ingredients are needed to make Chicken Malai Handi? To prepare Chicken Malai Handi, you will need boneless chicken pieces, cream (malai), yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, onions, tomatoes, various spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Additionally, you may require oil or ghee for cooking and garnishes like fresh coriander leaves and sliced almonds.

  3. How do I make the creamy gravy for Chicken Malai Handi? To achieve the creamy texture in Chicken Malai Handi, start by sautéing onions, ginger-garlic paste, and green chilies in oil or ghee until they turn golden brown. Then, add tomatoes and cook until they soften. Next, add spices according to taste, followed by cream (malai) and yogurt. Allow the mixture to simmer until the flavors meld together and the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

  4. Can I customize the spice level of Chicken Malai Handi? Yes, absolutely! The spice level of Chicken Malai Handi can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a milder dish, you can reduce the amount of green chilies or omit them altogether. Conversely, if you like it spicier, you can increase the quantity of green chilies or add red chili powder to intensify the heat.

  5. How long does it take to cook Chicken Malai Handi? The cooking time for Chicken Malai Handi typically ranges between 30 to 45 minutes. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the size of the chicken pieces and the thickness of the gravy. It’s important to ensure that the chicken is cooked through and tender before serving.

  6. What can I serve with Chicken Malai Handi? Chicken Malai Handi pairs well with various accompaniments such as naan (traditional Indian flatbread), rice (steamed or flavored), or roti (Indian bread). Additionally, you can serve it with a side salad or raita (yogurt-based condiment) to complement the flavors of the dish.

How To Make Chicken Malai Handi

Perfect Presentation Platters

For an elegant presentation, serve the Chicken Malai Handi in traditional Handi pots or ceramic bowls, garnished with a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of finely chopped coriander leaves. Accompany it with fragrant basmati rice, warm naan bread, or flaky parathas for a complete dining experience that’s sure to impress your guests.

Tips and Tricks

  • For extra creaminess, you can add a tablespoon of cashew paste or almond paste to the sauce.
  • To enhance the flavor, add a pinch of saffron strands soaked in warm milk to the sauce before serving.
  • For a touch of freshness, squeeze some lemon juice over the Chicken Malai Handi just before serving.

Final Thought

Chicken Malai Handi is a dish that epitomizes indulgence, with its creamy texture and rich flavors. Whether served for a special occasion or as a comforting meal at home, this recipe is sure to impress. With its simple yet luxurious ingredients, Chicken Malai Handi offers a delightful culinary experience that will leave you craving for more.

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