Achari Chicken Masala– Spicy Pickling Chicken Curry

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Achari Chicken is an upgraded version of Chicken Karahi, reminiscent of the pickle taste. This is a very quick recipe made of basic ground spices and some basic ingredients, but this recipe has an exceptional taste. You can prepare this recipe in just 30 to 35 minutes.

Achari Chicken Recipe

If you’re familiar with pickles, this recipe is just a breeze. In Chicken Achari Masala or Achari Chicken, we don’t directly add pickles. Instead, we use the ingredients that are commonly used in making pickles. 

I have been growing up in a backcountry sde, and in desi (traditional) culture, pickles (achar) are a must-have side dish along with every meal. That’s why I feel like smarty pants about all the pickle’s ingredients for Achari Chicken. 

Your eyes will start pooping out after seeing the result of this tangy recipe. Hah! my mouth is starting to drool while writing this zesty recipe. 

Stick with this recipe because I’m going to share a secret ingredients that will further elevate the flavor and aroma of the Achari Chicken. I will also tell you how to serve this dish and some variations. 

Why We Love This Recipe 

we love this recipe

We love this chicken curry for the following reasons. 

  • Some pickle-related ingredients like black mustard seeds (Rai Dana) and Fenugreek seeds (Methi Dana) make this recipe so favorable and tangy. 

  • The aroma of this recipe is something that makes you drool. 

  • Achari Chicken is so easy to make it would take around 30 – 35 minutes to get ready. 

  • The zesty kick in this dish makes it a favorite among spice enthusiasts. Plus, this recipe holds a special place in my family’s hearts.

  • You don’t need any grinding spices or exotic spices. Just basic ground spices and pickle-related ingredients are the core ingredients that give this recipe a unique, delectable taste.

Related Post: Chicken Bhuna Masala Recipe



marinate the chicken

First of all, collect all the ingredients that we are going to use for the marination. 

  • Chicken: The main thing in the Achari Chicken recipe is chicken. You can go for both boneless and bone-in chicken. I can’t live without a leg piece, so I always use mixed chicken meat for this recipe. 
  • Ground Spice: For marination, you need some basic spices, including Turmeric powder, Red chili powder, and salt. These spices will make the chicken tender, juicy and favorable. 
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is a must-have item for marination; it will help spices stick with the chicken and bring a more tangy taste. Always use whole milk yogurt for marination.

Achari Chicken Masala Ingredients: 

achari masala
  • Dried Coriander:I will use Dried Coriander or Khushk Dhania to add a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor. Plus, this is my secret ingredient that also helps digest Achari Chicken. 

  • Black Mustard Seeds (Rai Dana):I We often use Rai Dana or Black mustard seeds in making pickles. This is a common Indian and Pakistan spice; I know most American and British desi people know this ingredient. 

  • Black Pepper:I I’m also using a minute of black pepper for this recipe; it will add a mildly spicy flavor and create a nuanced dish. 

  • Fennel Seeds (Saunf):I Fennel Seeds not only waft a refreshing aroma but are also an excellent ingredient for digestion. It will add depth to the dish and complement other spices, creating a well-balanced flavor profile. 

  • Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana):I This is a must-have ingredient in the recipe. It will elevate the nitty flavor of the dish and make it more aromatic. 

  • Cumin Seeds (Zeera): The last ingredient for Achari Chicken masala is Zeera, which is easily available in every kitchen.

Other Ingredients :

Other Ingredients
  • Onions: I think every curry is incomplete without onions; this is a must-have ingredient for our recipe, too. 
  • Oil: I’m using a mix of soya bean and canola oil. You can also go for mustard oil. 
  • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji): Kalonji is a common ingredient in pickles, making the Achari Chicken slightly bitter and creating an earthy profile. 
  • Chopped Tomatoes: I’m using chopped tomatoes for the recipe. You can also opt for tomato paste. 
  • Green Chilies: I’m using a few green chillies to make our curry spice. 
  • Chat Masala: I will use the chat masala to fill green chillies; I just love this step. Later, you can use it for garnishing as well. 
  • Coriander and garlic: This is a basic ingredient I will use for garnishing. Plus, garlic will add a more pungent taste to the recipe. 
  • Cardamom & Cumin powder: I’m using 2 – 3 cardamom and half a teaspoon of cumin powder for the perfect aroma and taste. Both these ingredients will also balance the taste of other tangy spices.

How To Make Achari Chicken 

  1. Marination: Take a bowl, throw in the chicken, sprinkle in the ground spices (turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt), and pour some yogurt. Give it a good mix, leave it for 30 minutes, and let those flavors soak into the chicken.
marination of chicken achari
  1. Cook The Onions: The second step is to add a cup of oil to a pan and add chopped onions. Now, cook the onions on medium heat until they turn golden. 
cook onions
  1. Add The Chicken: Add the marinated chicken and garlic to the pan or wok and sauté the stew. Turn the flame from medium to high and cook it for 2 minutes. You must add garlic paste; it will enhance the flavor of the chicken and make it more savory.  
add chicken in achari masala
add garlic
Garlic On Chicken
  1. Add the chopped tomatoes, Achari masala, Nigella Seeds (Kalonji), and cardamom. Don’t forget to add a little splash of water to spread the taste of spices. Keep the flame medium; a slow simmer will make the chicken juicy. Stir the spoon in the stew, and leave it for 3 – 4 minutes.  
add tomatoes
add cardamom
  1. Add Water: After 3 or 4 minutes, check the gravy; if oil separates from the chicken and spices, add a half glass of water to the stew. Sauté the gravy for 13 – 15 minutes until the chicken gets tender and juicy. 
add water
  1. Deseed the green chilis, fill chat masala in them, toss them over the curry, and you’re good to go. 

Nabeel a’s Pro Tips

Tips 1: Always use Achari Masala in powder form. Use the mortar and pestle to mix all the spices I mentioned for the Achari masala. The ground (minced) spices easily diffuse in the curry, leaving a stronger taste and enhancing the flavor. 

Tip 2: If you’re not familiar with the ingredients of Achari Masala, you can simply use the ‘Shan Achar Gosht Masala” for this recipe. 

Tips 3: Add a few tablespoons of yogurt to make the gravy thick in the final step. The last time I tried it, the taste was amazing, and the gravy was a little creamy. Don’t forget to add lemon juice at the end, just squeeze 2 lemon on the curry.


No, it’s not recommended to add pickles directly to Achari Chicken; it will make the curry so sour it will not be edible. Instead, use the ingredients that we often use to make pickles, like nigella seeds, black mustard seeds, Cumin, and Fenugreek Seeds.

Yes, you can use boneless chicken breast or thighs for this recipe. But in this scenario, you must simmer the stew for a shorter time. Plus, reduce the water in the curry; the moisture from chicken breast and tomatoes is enough to diffuse the spices. 

Yes, you can use store-bought Achari Masala to prepare Achari Chicken. This masala comes with all the ingredients we generally use in this recipe. 


I have tried Achari Chicken many times, and I love adding or eliminating a few items from the dish to make it more delicious. 

  • Last time, I added a little dairy yogurt along with the store-bought dairy cream. The nodes of the recipe were so pleasant and a little sweet. 
  • You can add pickle oil at the end for more zingy and fiery experiments. I just love the heat and spiciness of the pickle oil that adds a delicate flavor to our recipe. 
  • You can also add chopped capsicum to the Achari Chicken; it will make the recipe nutritious and add a crunchy texture.

Complimentary Serving With Achari Chicken Curry?

what to serve with achari chicken

Achari Chicken has a nuanced flavor, so people love to eat it with parathas, naan, roti or chapati. And don’t skip the raita, salad, and mint chutney—it’s the cool gang. Cold drinks? Yup, they’re the real MVP with this spicy dish!

Other Chicken Recipes

Achari Chicken Recipe

Achari Chicken Masala

Achari Chicken is an upgraded version of Chicken Karahi, reminiscent of the pickle taste. This is a very quick recipe made of basic ground spices and some basic ingredients, but this recipe has an exceptional taste. You can prepare this recipe in just 30 to 35 minutes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 3 people


  • 1 Cup Of Oil
  • 1 Cup of Yogurt
  • ½ Kg Chicken
  • 3 Tomatoes (Chopped)
  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black mustard seeds (Rai Dana)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana)
  • ½ tsp Cumin (Zeera)
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
  • 1 tsp Dried Coriander (Khushk Dhania)
  • ½ tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Nigella Seeds (Kalonji)
  • 3 – 4 Green Chilis
  • ½ tsp Garlic Paste
  • Coriander
  • 3 – 4 Cardamom
  • ½ Chaat masala (for filling spices)– optional


  • Marinate the chicken in a bowl. For marination, use 1 tsp of each ground spice– turmeric powder, red chili, and salt. Add a half cup of yogurt, mix the medley well and leave it for 30 minutes so that the flavors mingle effectively. 
  • After 30 minutes, heat the oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Cook the onion on medium heat until it turns golden. 
  • Add the marinated chicken and 1/2 tsp of garlic paste into the pan, stirring the stew. Crank up the heat and cook for 2 mins. The garlic paste boosts the chicken's flavor, making it extra tasty.
  • Toss tomatoes, pickling spices (ground form), and cardamom. A splash of water spreads to spread the spice's flavor. Simmer on a medium flame for juicy chicken. Stir, and wait 3-4 mins. You can use a mortar, pestle, or machine grinder to grind all Achari Masala spices. 
  • Check after 3-4 mins; add half a glass of water if oil separates. Sauté for 13-15 mins until the chicken is tender and juicy.
  • Lastly, Remove the seeds from green chilis, stuff them with chat masala, and throw them on the curry. This is an optional step that you can also skip. Voilà! Our chicken curry with pickling spices is ready to serve.



  1. Add 2 – 3 tsp of dairy yogurts in step 5 if you want a creamy taste.
  2. Always use the smaller chicken pieces for the Achari Chicken recipe.  
Keyword Achari Chicken
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