Chicken Bhuna Masala Recipe 

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In this guide, I will share how to make Chicken Bhuna with a tangy taste, a strong aroma that wafts in your kitchen, and red gravy that looks spicier and thicker. You can eat this British Indian recipe with chapati or roti. 

chicken bhuna masala

I have made many chicken recipes, but the Chicken Bhuna is something delicious. Even though it looks more like a chicken karahi, but in this recipe I will use a little more spices and garam masala to explode the taste. 

Gravy remains a little thick in chicken Bhuna; you can add red Kashmiri mirch to give it a reddish look. But if you’re not a spicy lover, then leave it.

The recipe is so much easier; it takes almost 30 minutes to prepare, and it doesn’t need any special ingredients, and it’s dump-and-go recipe like Peshawari Chicken Karahi.

The good thing is we use a very minor amount of water in Chicken Bhuna, which gives more heat to the curry and makes it more fiery and hot. So you can say that it’s kind of a dry dish with thick gravy and spicier than ordinary chicken karahi.

What Will You Love About Chicken Bhuna Recipe?

  • This is an easy and go-to recipe that you can make in just 30 to 35 minutes. 
  • If you love spicy recipes with thick gravy, the chicken bhuna is something for you. 
  • The red hues and tangy taste of this recipe make it so special. 
  • While cooking Chicken Bhuna, a wonderful aroma wafts from the kitchen, and your neighbour will also ask about the recipe. 
  • This recipe is so special to my heart, and my sons and husband love to savor it with a cold Coke.

More About Chicken Bhuna And How Do You Make It Special?

Chicken Bhuna Masala Recipe

The “Bhuna” means sautéing, fry or searing the chicken stew to make it more tender and juicy. Chicken bhuna is a similar kind of recipe in which we use a limited amount of water to spread the taste and color of spices. 

You don’t need any fancy karahi masala for this recipe. Yup, you heard that right! 

Only natural ingredients, like onions, tomatoes, ginger, etc, are enough to elevate the taste of this recipe.

I like to add some cumin, cardamom, and a pinch of Garam masala. We do not use plenty of water in this curry, which is why spices spread quickly and make the taste so tangy. 

Ingredients Of Chicken Bhuna Masala


For Marinated Chicken 

  • Chicken: First and foremost, you need chicken, and keep in mind that you must use boneless chicken to make this recipe effective. 
  • Ground Spices: Just like any other chicken recipe, I will use some ground spices for the Chicken Bhuna. These spices include turmeric (haldi), red chili powder, salt, mixed masala, and crushed red chili (kutti lal mirch). All these spices add a sharp flavor to the chicken.  
  • Yogurts: And last, you need yogurt to marinate the chicken pieces. This will make the chicken more succulent, juicy, and tender.

For Recipe:

  • Onions: Onions are must-have ingredients in Chicken Bhuna that add flavor to our curry, enhance the overall taste, and make it a little sweet. 
  • Ginger & Garlic: I usually use the paste of ginger and garlic in every chicken recipe; this will add more aromatic depth and elevate the warmth of the chicken curry. 
  • Ground Spices: We have to add some ground spices to our curry again to give it a spicy color. 
  • Tomatoes & Yogurt: You need tomato paste to make the curry thicker and make it vibrant. Plus, the yogurt adds more flavor profile to our dish.
  • Vinegar: This is optional; if you want a more sour and tangy taste, then you can use vinegar. In the best-case scenario, if you’re using sweet yogurt, then I recommend you add some yogurt. 
  • Garam Masala: This is another must-have thing that you have to use in Chicken Bhuna. The Garam masala includes bay leaf, cardamom, cumin, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and Dry Fenugreek (optional). 
  • Garnishing: You can use green chills, lemons, coriander, and some chopped ginger.

How To Make Chicken Bhuna?

Marinate, The Chicken

  • The first step is to marinate the chicken to make it more juicy. Grab a bowl, toss in the chicken, and spoon some yogurt over it.
  • Then add all the ground spices, including turmeric, salt, red chili, and some mixed masala. Ensure the thorough blend of the medley.
  • Leave for at least 2 hours so the chicken can soak up those flavors and get all juicy.
marinate the chicken

Let’s Prepare The Gravy

  1. Place the wok or pan on the stove, add one cup of oil, toss some garam masala, and then add 2 chopped onions. Sauté it until the onions turn light brown, for it took nearly 3 minutes on medium heat.
add garam masala
golden the onion
  1. Once the onion gets golden, add the paste of ginger and onions. You can skip the ginger if it’s not available in your kitchen. But I love the ginger taste; it makes the curry aromatic and gives it a little spicy taste. While putting ginger and onion, keep the flame low and mix this medley for a minute. 
add ginger garlic paste
  1. Now it’s time to add the chicken into the wok and add all the ground spices. Keep the medium flame and add all the ground spices one by one. Don’t forget to add a splash of water to spread the spices. Stir the stew for one minute. 
add chicken
add ground spices
  1. Add the tomato paste to the curry. Keep in mind that this is not a slurry (more water), so keep the flame medium. Let the stew simmer for at least 5 minutes.
add tomatoes
  1. Lastly, toss yogurt in the curry and a little dry fenugreek and stir it well. Leave the stew on a medium flame for the next 5 minutes to tenderize and juice up the chicken. Stir occasionally to blend those spices nicely.
toss yogurt
dry fenugreek


1- First Variation

Kashmiri red chili

With the Chicken Bhuna, I can make many variations, but here I’m telling you the one way to make the gravy reddish and spicier. 

If the paprika (Kashmiri red chili) is available in your kitchen, you can take advantage of that to give a little red hue to chicken bhuna. And if you’re not a big fan of spices, then I would never recommend you add paprika to your recipe. 

For those looking to spice things up with Kashmiri red chili, toss it in during step four when you’re adding the tomato paste to the stew. 

Personally, my husband and my sons don’t like it; most of the time, this ingredient can impact your digestive system. So, only use it if you’re addicted to spices. 

2- Second Variation

While pouring the yogurt into the gravy, you can also add a little sweet cream to make it a little creamy and to get the mildly sweet flavor. 

Further, the cream will balance the spices and make the gravy so smoother. However, adding cream can impact the vibrant hues of the gravy and make it a little dull. So, if you don’t prefer a milder taste in the Chicken Bhuna recipe, then I don’t recommend you add cream. 


No, I don’t recommend you add chicken karahi masala in chicken bhuna. Instead, you can opt for simple mixed masala, which is available in almost every kitchen. 

For garnishing chicken bhuna, you can use fresh coriander, lemons, cooked onions, chopped Garlic, and some green chilies. All this stuff will elevate the appeal of your final recipe. 

You must use the yogurt to thicken the gravy. Besides this, you can use an extra paste of tomatoes to darken and thicken the gravy of chicken bhuna. 

What To Serve With the Chicken Bhuna Curry?

chicken bhuna

A must-have accompaniment for chicken bhuna is warm, fluffy roti or chapati—a perfect pairing to savor the rich flavors and indulge in the delightful experience.

Don’t forget to prepare a Rita or Chutney; this gives additional heat to your flavors. Now, to cool the heat, open the Coke Cola cap and zip it. For extra fun, you can use carrots or mango pickles. 

With Chicken Bhuna, you can further serve complimentary salad or Russian salad, which is a good option. But whatever salad you’re going to make, you must add Mayonnaise sauce or dairy cream to it. 

More Chicken Recipes

Chicken Bhuna Masala Recipe

Chicken Bhuna Masala Recipe 

Here is a quick recipe Chicken Bhuna with a tangy taste. This recipe has a strong aroma that wafts in your kitchen, and red gravy that looks spicier and thicker. You can eat this British Indian recipe with chapati or roti. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3


  • 0.6 Kg Chicken
  • 1 Cup Oil
  • 2 Onions Chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 Tomatoes paste
  • 3 – 4 Green chilies 
  • 1 tsp Vinegar Optional
  • 1 cup Dairy Yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt Per your taste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika Kashmiri Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Mix masala Optional
  • 1 tsp Dry Fenugreek optional
  • ½ tsp Cumin Zeera
  • 1 Bay leaf Optional
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • 2 Cinnamon Dar chini

For Garnishing

  • Lemon
  • Cooked onions
  • Chopped ginger
  • Coriander
  • Green Chilis 


  • Marination: Add chicken in a bowl, add 1/2 cup of yogurt. Toss all ground spices, including half tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 red chili, and 1/2 mix masala. Mix the medley well, and leave it for 2 hours. 
  • In a pan, put a cup of oil, add garam masala and 2 chopped onions. Cook it until the onions turn golden. Keep the flame on medium. 
  • Add garlic ginger paste and stir it for 1 minute. Stir it for the next 1 minute. 
  • Now add the marinated chicken to the wok. Toss all the ground spices. Don't forget to add a splash of water to dilute the spices throughout the curry. Leave it on a medium flame for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the tomato paste and yogurt. Additionally, you can add the dry fenugreek for more flavor. Now, stir the stew for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken gets juicier and soft. 



  • If the chicken quantity is double, then double all the spices, yogurt, and oil. And double the salt as per your taste. 
  • If you don’t like dairy items, then skip the yogurt and use nut yogurt. 
  • After marination, leave the chicken for at least 2 hours so the flavors dissolve deeply in the chicken. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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