A well-made Murgh ka Salan from Hyderabad

Murgh ka Salan

A beautifully crafted Murgh ka Salan is a marvel. I’ve been very fortunate in having been able to try a couple of them as well as observe the production process. The Murgh ka Salan, which is made in a similar manner but with mild chilli peppers steeped in the gravy, is the one that most people think of. The ideal partner for a Hyderabadi biryani, adding a hint of heat and gravy to a flavorful dish.

I’ve changed the salan in this recipe to include bone-in chicken, which allows for a much more filling meal. Murgh ka Salan is cooked in many homes, and the paste can differ depending on who you ask. Some of my friends like to add a few more ingredients to the paste along with the peanuts.

The roasted peanuts impart a distinct flavour to the curry, which is further enhanced by the addition of sesame seeds. In a Hyderabadi salan, the flavours must be balanced: sweet, tangy, spicy, and hot. The tamarind paste adds a sour note, while the chillies provide the required heat. As a side dish, serve with roti or rice.

Many of you have written in asking about ideas for what to do with leftover turkey this Christmas, and this is a delicious recipe to try. Substitute turkey for the chicken, and add it to the curry along with the tamarind paste while it’s cooking. All have a wonderful Christmas!

How to make Murgh ka Salan

  1. Add the paste ingredients to a small frying pan and cook on low heat for 7-8 minutes. Stir often to ensure that the colour is uniform throughout. Take the pan off the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes to cool. Create a thick smooth paste in a blender with 70 mL water. Remove from the equation.
  2. Heat the oil in a big heavy-bottomed nonstick frying pan over a medium flame. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter for a few seconds before adding them. Add the onions and cook for 15-16 minutes, stirring constantly as they brown and change colour.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the curry leaves for a few seconds before adding the garlic and ginger paste. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Along with the paste, apply the chilli and turmeric powder. Return the heat to medium and add the chicken bits, stirring well.
  5. Mix thoroughly, ensuring that the paste coats the chicken parts as it seals for 7-8 minutes. At this stage, add the water and salt, and cook for 20 minutes on low heat with the lid off. Halfway through, stir.

  1. Cook for another 5 minutes after adding the tamarind paste. Serve with roti or rice and salad, garnished with fresh coriander.