Chicken Pasanda

Chicken Pasanda

Chicken Pasanda is a typical Mughal recipe and originated in Lucknow the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India also famous as the birth place of Sir Cliff Richard!

In Urdu Passanda means “favourite one” which refers to the fact that it was always cooked using special cuts of meat. I cannot get nicely prepared chicken thighs here in Berlin, so I choose to use diced chicken breast, my favourite cut and I reduce the sauce on this to make it stick to the meat rather than making it like a gravy. It is not supposed to be too hot, but more mild and fragrant, but you can increase the heat if you wish with chili, but I don’t think it needs it really.

This recipe serves 4


3 tbsp (15g)ghee or vegetable oil
5cm cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
15g/3cm ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely crushed
1tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp chili powder
4 chicken breasts cut into pieces
200g Greek style yoghurt
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp salt
100ml water

To Finish: Sprinkle a handful of toasted flaked almonds and a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve with Boiled Basmati Rice.

Preparation method:

Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy pan or pot over a medium heat, add the cinnamon and cardamom and fry for 30 seconds, then add the onion fry for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Stir in the ginger and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the ground coriander, turmeric and chilli powder and fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir well to coat the chicken with the spices then add the yogurt, ground almonds, salt and water. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat slightly and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes until reduced to a thick, rich, almost dry sauce that coats the chicken. I added a bit of extra water to make a bit of extra sauce..optional. Scatter the toasted flaked almonds and freshly chopped coriander leaves over then serve.


Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and if you can get Greek yogurt use instead of Greek style as it is much creamier.