Restaurant Style Chicken Handi | Classic Handi Chicken Curry Recipe

Chicken handi is a quintessential Indian dish found in almost all restaurant menu in India! Here is my take on this restaurant favorite delicacy which is an ultimate indulgence!

Chicken HandiOut of uncountable Indian chicken curry recipes, few make it to the restaurant menu simply because of their uniqueness which make people crave more for them. Chicken tikka masala, chicken do pyaza are the classic restaurant dishes to name a few along with their vegetarian counterparts – palak paneer or paneer tikka masala. If you think you cannot recreate the restaurant like lip-smacking taste at home, you are utterly wrong! Today I bring to you another authentic Indian chicken delicacy – chicken handi! This chicken handi is a rich, creamy and flavorful chicken curry recipe which you won’t be able to forget if you taste it even once.

Chicken handi is very different from my regular home-style chicken curry and may be that’s the very reason for it to be a restaurant-favorite! The name ‘chicken handi’ implies that the chicken is cooked in an earthen pot of round shape which is called ‘handi’ in Hindi. In earlier days, the food was cooked on wood fire using the earthen pots and it is said that cooking in earthen pot enhances foods’ flavors. Unfortunately, I do not own that typical earthen cooking pot as yet which is why I had to do a make-shift arrangement with my heavy-bottomed stock pot. You can definitely use a regular wok for making chicken handi at home.

Chicken HandiChicken HandiNow I must warn you that chicken handi is a very decadent dish! If you are here looking for diet food, then it’s not the right page for you; but you can certainly check out my healthy chicken and broccoli stir-fry recipe which I am sure you will love to bits! As of now I am on the ride of a luxuriously rich & creamy chicken handi best enjoyed on a relaxed Sunday lunch with some super-hot naans or rotis. This is definitely not an everyday dish but must be enjoyed in full throttle occasionally! Chicken handi is quite a sinful dish as mentioned above but I strongly believe that we must include some indulgence into our life to make it more enjoyable and if you do it in moderation you will get the best of both worlds.

This chicken handi is that kind of dish which will make you happy instantly. Because I wanted to the create the similar flavor of restaurant style chicken handi, I didn’t cut down on the cream as cream is an essential ingredient in any restaurant style curry recipe. Now if you want to be a little more adventurous, then do this – omit the vegetable or mustard oil and cook the dish entirely with ghee i.e. clarified butter. Yes! You heard me right! Ghee will make the chicken handi more delicious along with slightly increasing its sinfulness quotient. I personally could not do it due to some restrictions but if you are okay to consume ghee then I strongly suggest you to use ghee to enjoy the restaurant style chicken handi to the max! But don’t forget to let me know how it turned out!

Chicken HandiChicken Handi

Restaurant Style Chicken Handi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • Chicken – 1.2 kg, bone-in & skinless, cut into medium size pieces
  • Onion – 5, large, thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes – 2, large, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
  • Vegetable/mustard oil – ¼ cup
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 tsp (1 tsp if using the regular chilli powder)
  • Green chilli – 2 to 3 (adjust per your taste), chopped
  • Yogurt – 1 cup, beaten (I used Greek yogurt; add 1 & ½ cups if using regular yogurt)
  • Cream – ¾ cup
  • Dried fenugreek (Kasoori methi) – 3 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  1. Take a large pot or wok, big enough to cook all the chicken, and heat the oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add sliced onion and fry them until deep golden brown. Then take them out on a plate and set aside.
  2. To the same pot, add the chopped garlic and sauté for a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes turn soft. This would take about 5 minutes.
  3. Then return the fried onion to the pot and stir. Add ginger paste and sauté well.
  4. Now add the cumin seeds, half of the coriander seeds and chopped green chillies. Give them a quick stir.
  5. Next goes in the spices – turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Sauté the spices well for couple of minutes.
  6. Add the chicken pieces to the wok, season it with salt to taste and cook the chicken covered on medium-low heat until the chicken is almost cooked through. This would take about 15 minutes. Slowly sautéing the chicken will enhance the flavor, so do not expedite this step by putting it on high heat.
  7. When the oil separates from the spices, add the beaten yogurt keeping the heat on lowest so that the yogurt doesn’t split. Sprinkle the remaining coriander seeds and add half of the dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
  8. Finally add the cream and give a final mix to combine everything well.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining kasuri methi and garam masala and serve the chicken handi hot with naan or rotis. Enjoy!
Tip: Replace oil with ghee (clarified butter) for more richness but do keep in mind that it would be a bit too sinful!


  1. Diane S. says

    I made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious! I didn’t have the whole spices on hand, so I substituted ground spices to taste. I guessed that Kashmiri chili powder/regular chili powder isn’t the same as standard U.S. “chili powder”, so I substituted ground chipotle powder. I also simmered everything for about 45 minutes, then raised the heat and cooked uncovered for about 5 minutes longer to reduce the sauce a bit before adding the yogurt and cream. My family loved it, and I will be making this often! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Priyanka says

      Hi Diane! Can’t tell you how happy we are to know that you & your family loved our chicken Handi so much! Words like yours inspire us everyday to create more and more delicious recipes for you all! Yes, Kashmiri chili powder is different from regular chili powder – kashmiri chili is mainly used for giving the curries a vibrant red color without much heat whereas regular chili powder is mainly for spiciness without much color. While substituting Kashmiri chili with regular chili, you can use half of the amount mentioned. Do visit us for more such recipes and let us know how it turned out! Love from India!

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