Bengali roast chicken

Serve this spiced chicken in an aromatic masala for a starter at a family feast. Packed with flavour, it’s a popular Bengali dish – one you’re sure to cook time and time again

  • Prep:35 mins
    Cook:55 mins
    plus marinating
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 362
  • fat 25g
  • saturates 11g
  • carbs 9g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 1.5g


  • 4-6 bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks, flesh scored
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 5 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 5 green chillies, sliced, to serve
  • chopped coriander, to serve


  1. Put the chicken in a bowl, add the marinade spices and yogurt with ½ tsp salt and mix well. The chicken can be left to marinate for a few hours, or cooked straight away – leaving it to marinate will make it more tender.

  2. Melt the ghee in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the chicken for 5 mins on each side until golden. Remove from the pan and transfer to the bowl, leaving the ghee in the pan.

  3. Keep the pan on the heat and scrape it to release any caramelised bits stuck to the bottom. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom pods and fry until they start to smell aromatic. Add the onions and garlic, followed by the ginger and 1-1½ tsp salt. Stir, cover and cook until soft and translucent, about 8-10 mins.

  4. Stir in the rest of the spices and fry over a low heat for 5-8 mins. Add 200ml water, cover and cook for a further 3-4 mins, or until the ghee separates from the masala (it should be bubbling around the edges of the pan).

  5. Add the chicken back to the pan, including any meat juices. Spoon some of the masala over the chicken and cover. Cook for a futher 10-15 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the sliced green chillies and chopped coriander and serve immediately.

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