Methi chicken is one of the most flavorful, delicious & simple dish made by simmering chicken in moderately spicy masala along with fenugreek leaves aka methi. This recipe is very simple to make and just takes about 35 to 40 mins. It goes well with plain rice, roti, naan or with paratha.
Methi leaves are one of the most commonly used greens in India. These leaves have a bitter aroma and taste. They are available around the year though they grow in abundance during the winters.
These leaves are said to keep the body warm so they are great during winters and the monsoon.
This methi chicken is made almost the same way as any other chicken curry. But here curd or yogurt is used along with methi leaves which adds a unique aroma to the dish.
The bitter taste of the methi leaves is balanced by the curd. This recipe will give you a mildly spiced gravy. For more heat you can add more green chilies.
Preparation for methi chicken
1. Pluck methi leaves and add them to a large pot filled with water. Do not use the stalks or stems as they are mostly bitter. Rinse the leaves well well a few times and drain to a colander.
How I do: I usually sprinkle some vinegar, rest the methi leaves for 5 mins. Then leave in the water for another 5 to 6 mins. Then rinse off a few times.
2. Once drained measure them and chop a few times only.
3. Chop the onions, chilies and deseeded tomato finely.
How to make methi chicken
4. Heat oil in a pot. Add cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and bay leaf. Saute just until they begin to sizzle.
5. Next add chopped onions and green chili. Fry evenly until they turn golden.
6. Lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste. Fry until a nice smell comes out.
7. Then add chilli powder and turmeric. Mix it well.
8. Quickly add chicken and fry for 3 to 4 mins on a medium heat.
9. Cook covered on a low flame until the chicken is slightly tender.
10. Chicken cooks in its own moisture and turns tender.
11. When the chicken is tender, add tomatoes,salt and whisked chilled yogurt. Whisk the yogurt well with a fork until smooth
12. Cover and cook on a low heat until the tomatoes dissolve completely. At this stage the chicken is fully cooked.
13. Sprinkle garam masala, fennel seeds and then add methi leaves. Stir and mix well. Cover and cook until the methi leaves wilt off completely.
14. Lastly add kasuri methi and pepper powder (if using). Mix and cover. Turn off the stove.
Transfer methi chicken to a serving bowl with coriander leaves or cream.
Tips to make methi chicken
Chicken: Bone-in chicken tastes best for this recipe. However you can also use boneless chicken.
Methi leaves: I usually use up to 2 cups of methi leaves for half kg chicken. This time I used about 1½ cups since that’s what I had in the fridge. The methi leaves we get here in Singapore are not very bitter so I never had a problem using so much.
But if you think the methi leaves in your place taste very bitter then add lesser. Lesser than 1½ cups may not lend a good flavor to the methi chicken.
Kasuri methi: I have always felt the flavor of methi chicken enhances with the use of kasuri methi. You may also skip it.
Whole Spices: I have used cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms and a bay leaf. You can also skip them. But use at least the cardamoms.
Curd or yogurt: Do not use sour curd as it makes the entire dish too tangy. I used this plain homemade yogurt. Whisk the chilled curd well with a fork before using in the recipe to prevent it from curdling.
Garam masala: I have used homemade garam masala. You can use any good masala you have in your pantry. I also use ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds powder for aroma & digestion. It is optional.
How to avoid bitter taste?
Do not include the stalks and stems of methi leaves as they leave a bitter taste.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ kg bone-in chicken (1.1 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup onions fine chopped (2 no)
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 tomato (deseeded & chopped)
- ½ cup curd (plain yogurt) (chilled, fresh & not sour)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/3 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1½ to 2 cups methi leaves (fresh fenugreek leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper powder (optional)
- 1 green chili (for extra heat use 2)
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds powder (optional) saunf powder
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (optional) (dried fenugreek leaves)
Whole spices (optional)
- ½ bay leaf (tej patta)
- 2 cloves (laung)
- 4 green cardamoms (elaichi)
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
How to make the recipe
- Pluck the methi leaves only and not the stems or stalks.
- Rinse the leaves well a few times in ample amount of water.
- Drain them completely and set aside.
- Rinse onions, tomatoes and green chili.
- Chop them finely and set aside.
- Deseed tomatoes and fine chop them. You can also simply puree the tomatoes.
- Once the methi leaves are drained measure 1½ to 2 cups and chop them roughly.
How to make methi chicken
- Heat oil in a pot.
- Saute bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms in the oil until they begin to sizzle.
- Then add chopped onions and green chili.
- Fry evenly until golden, stirring often.
- Next saute the ginger garlic paste until a nice aroma comes out.
- Lower the flame and add chilli powder and turmeric.
- Fry just for 30 seconds else it may burn.
- Quickly add chicken and stir fry for 3 to 4 mins.
- Cover and cook the chicken on a medium flame for about 3 to 4 mins or until tender.
- Meanwhile whisk the chilled curd with a fork until smooth. Keep it ready.
- Then add tomatoes,salt and curd.
- Cover and simmer the chicken on a low heat until the tomatoes dissolve completely.
- Sprinkle garam masala and fennel powder if using.
- Then add the chopped methi leaves & mix well.
- Cover and simmer until the methi leaves wilt off completely.
- It just takes a few minutes for the leaves to get cooked.
- Sprinkle kasuri methi and pepper powder.
- Transfer methi chicken to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with coriander leaves or cream (optional).
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.