Chicken Bhuna: A Flavorful Indian Delight

Chicken Bhuna is a popular Indian dish known for its rich, aromatic, and spicy flavors. This dish involves cooking chicken in a thick, flavorful sauce made from a blend of spices, onions, tomatoes, and yogurt. Unlike some other Indian curries, Bhuna is cooked until the sauce reduces and clings to the chicken, intensifying the flavors. Perfect for a cozy dinner, this dish pairs wonderfully with naan, roti, or steamed rice.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour


  • 2 pounds (900g) boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water (as needed)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


1. Prepare the Chicken:

  • In a bowl, mix the chicken pieces with a pinch of salt and set aside.

2. Sauté Onions, Garlic, and Ginger:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

3. Cook the Tomatoes:

  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they soften and start to break down, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the Spices:

  • Reduce the heat to low and add the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, garam masala, chili powder, and ground black pepper. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes to toast the spices and release their aromas.

5. Cook the Chicken:

  • Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Stir well to coat the chicken with the spice mixture.
  • Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown.

6. Add Yogurt and Simmer:

  • Lower the heat and add the plain yogurt to the pan, stirring continuously to prevent it from curdling.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the yogurt to blend with the spices and chicken.

7. Reduce the Sauce:

  • Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan to adjust the consistency of the sauce. Simmer the mixture on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and clings to the chicken, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Season with salt to taste.

8. Serve:

  • Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, remove the pan from heat.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve Chicken Bhuna hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice.
  • Accompany the dish with a side of cucumber raita or a fresh salad for a balanced meal.

Cooking Tips:

  • Use bone-in chicken pieces for a richer flavor if preferred, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  • Adjust the level of chili powder to suit your heat preference.
  • For an extra depth of flavor, marinate the chicken with some of the spices and yogurt for 30 minutes before cooking.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Rich and Flavorful: The combination of spices, tomatoes, and yogurt creates a deeply flavorful and aromatic dish.
  • Versatile: Serve it with different types of bread or rice for a complete meal.
  • Easy to Make: Simple steps and ingredients make this dish accessible to all home cooks.


Chicken Bhuna is a delicious and aromatic Indian dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Its rich and spicy flavors, combined with tender chicken pieces, make it a satisfying and memorable meal. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a comforting dinner option, Chicken Bhuna is sure to impress. Enjoy this flavorful dish with your favorite sides and savor the taste of homemade Indian cuisine!

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