Cardamom Chicken Curry – Elaichi Murgh BIR Style Recipe

cardamom chicken curry Here’s my take on a British Indian Restaurant version of a cardamom chicken curry. I didn’t manage to find another BIR recipe for this in video format. So I have brought together a large dose of knowhow to create a tasty dish that I hope you’ll like.

Green cardamom is one of my favourite spices. It’s a serious taste experience if you find one in your takeaway and bite into it without realising. And I’m not so keen on that myself. But to spread that wonderful flavour evenly throughout a curry sauce is just divine.

I have used a good half a dozen whole green cardamom pods in this recipe, as well as some green cardamom powder, which you can find in your local Asian supermarket, or online.

This dish is a popular one in traditional Indian cuisine too. Although the traditional version and my BIR recipe are entirely different, I thought it would be nice to include both here. They are simple to create in your own kitchen and hopefully you’ll agree both will tantalise your taste buds.

Traditional Indian Elaichi Chicken with Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

Here’s the Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana recipe for a lovely, and quite minimalist, cardamom chicken curry. It’s also known as elaichi murgh, or simply elaichi chicken.

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I definitely will. It looks great.

Not overly spiced, this one puts the cardamom front and centre, accented with fresh root ginger and a little coriander powder and garnished with freshly chopped cilantro. Just simplicity with a sauce made using water and the cooking juices.

If you fancy getting sucked into a truly gigantic recipes channel on Youtube, and getting lost in it for weeks, this channel will do the job just fine! It boasts well over 6000 videos now.

My BIR version takes the well-established route of using Base Gravy and pre-cooked diced chicken breast. Here’s what you’ll need to make it for yourself.


Here’s the Mix Powder recipe.
And the Base Gravy Curry Sauce recipe.

  • cooking oil, 3 tbsp
  • 6 green cardamom pods, split open
  • half inch length cinnamon stick
  • small onion, finely chopped
  • ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp (or equivalent fresh garlic and ginger, finely chopped)
  • turmeric, 0.5 tsp
  • chili powder, 0.5 tsp
  • coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Mix Powder, 1 tsp
  • green cardamom powder, 2 x 0.5 tsp
  • ground black pepper, 0.33 tsp
  • blended tinned tomatoes, 4 tbsp
  • Base Gravy, approx 300 ml
  • pre-cooked chicken, 1 breast, diced
  • chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), 2-3 tbsp

How To Make Cardamom Chicken Curry – BIR Style

Start by getting your pan or wok hot and adding the cooking oil. Let it warm up and then add the green cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Stir for a minute or two to infuse the oil with the spices.

frying green cardamom pods

Next, add the chopped onion and stir while cooking. You don’t need it to brown at this stage. Just fry until the onion becomes translucent and softens.

frying chopped onions

Then add the garlic ginger paste, or the freshly chopped equivalents and mix them into the fried onions. Continue to fry for a minute, taking care not to burn it if using the fresh ingredients. (Garlic ginger paste has more water content, and is better protected from burning.)

garlic ginger with fried onions

Once the mixture is nicely cooked, add the powdered spices, but only add half of the green cardamom powder at this stage. In the ingredients list, I have described it as 2 x 0.5 tsp. So just add the first half a teaspoon here.

Also add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, Mix Powder and black pepper. Stir to combine.

Take the heat out a little by adding the blended tomatoes and a little Base Gravy (approx 50 ml). Stir and then bring to a vigorous simmer to cook out the spices and tomatoes.

completing sauce for elaichi murgh

Once you begin to see the oil separating and floating to the surface add the pre-cooked chicken pieces and stir to coat with the sauce. Then begin adding the Base Gravy, starting with 100 ml. Simmer vigorously and don’t stir too much at this stage.

adding chicken to curry sauce

Let the sauce reduce down and thicken. Then add the second ladle of Base Gravy followed by 2 tbsp of the chopped fresh coriander (cilantro). Now add the second 0.5 tsp of green cardamom powder. Stir everything to combine and then simmer again.

Finishing the Curry

Once the oil has begun to separate again, add any remaining Base Gravy and season with salt to taste if you like. (You can add salt at the table if you prefer. I like this as it comes, without any added salt.)

adding coriander to cardamom curry

Continue to simmer hard one last time, again until you see the oil rise and the sauce has reached a nice rich consistency. And that’s it. Finished.

Serve this garnished with the remaining fresh chopped coriander and a sprinkle of green cardamom powder. It’s great with rice or naan bread, rotis, etc.

I absolutely love this recipe because I’m mad about cardamom in my curries. Delicious! Let me know in the comments how you get on with this recipe.

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