indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

The beauty of this Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt recipe is that it’s delicious and can be made fairly quickly.  You can just serve it with naan or make some rice to help soak up the sauce.  I have adapted this from Madhur Joffrey’s recipe.  Her recipe is for four people, my version is dinner for one person.

I made a few other minor changes as well.  The original recipe calls for both dried and fresh coriander.  I don’t generally have fresh coriander (and if I did, it would spoil), so I used a bit more dried instead. 

She also says to use cardamon pods.  I keep thinking about buying them, but then I remember they  break my “no hard to get ingredients” rule.  So, I leave them out.  One day, I will have to try it with the cardamon, though! If you can get them easily and want to use them, you’ll need two. Add them with the cloves and cinnamon. Make sure to remove all of the whole spices before serving. You don’t want to crunch down on a clove.

Finally, I used black raisins instead of golden raisins, because that’s what I had.

I had sliced almonds, but you can substitute slivered, or blanched if that’s easier.  You might even use whole ones, or throw them in the mini-chopper to chop them up.

There’s also a fun bit of chemistry here.  When you add the raisins to the hot pan, they plump up and revert back to grapes!

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt is ready in about half an hour and requires very little fussing. Nothing to chop, or mince. Just mix up the yogurt, brown the chicken, add a few spices, raisins, and almonds to the pan, and let the whole thing simmer. Easy.


  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • pinch salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander, plus a generous pinch
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp raisins


  1. Put the yogurt in a small bowl.  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne.  Mix that all up until it’s smooth and set it aside while you prepare the chicken and the rest of the recipe.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  3. Turn the heat on a burner to medium-high.  Add the oil to a large skillet and heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the cloves, cinnamon, (cardamon pods if using) and the bay leaf.  Stir that together.  Add the chicken thigh and brown it on both sides for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once it’s brown, remove the chicken and place it in a small bowl.
  5. Now add the almonds and raisins to the pan and stir them up.  Keep an eye on it because the almonds will turn brown quickly and the raisins will magically transform back into grapes. Once they do, add the chicken back to the pan along with the yogurt mixture.
  6. Stir that to combine everything.  Increase the heat and bring the chicken/yogurt mixture to a simmer (not quite boiling).  Stir when you add the chicken and yogurt and again after about 10 minutes. Cover, turn the the heat down to low and cook for another 10 minutes (twenty minutes total).
  7. Take the cover off, increase the heat slightly, and cook down the sauce until it thickens.  Remove the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods if you used them, and bay leaf) and discard them before serving.


Update: do get the cardamom pods if you can. They are definitely worth the trouble.

Substitutions and Variations for Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

  • try it with ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, sliced onions, and ginger paste (full recipe here)
  • add potatoes, curry leaves, tamarind paste, and coconut milk (recipe here)
  • make it Hyderabadi style with tomatoes, cashews, red chilis, saffron and turmeric

More Chicken Recipes for One Person

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

Chili Garlic Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Crispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Quick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe


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