Suvir Saran’s Braised Indian Chicken in White Sauce with Garam Masala

I like to serve this with brown rice and any number of Indian pickles or relishes — preferably homemade.


3 medium red onions, quartered

3 garlic cloves, peeled

3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup canola oil

1 inch piece cinnamon stick

12 green cardamom pods, pounded in a mortar and pestle just to break open the shells

16 whole cloves

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

5 bay leaves

¼ tsp. white or black peppercorns

3 whole dried red chile peppers

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 cup plain yogurt

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in small pieces

¾ cup hot water

½ teaspoon garam masala

½ cup heavy cream (optional)


Combine onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor and process until finely minced.

Combine the oil, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns and dried red peppers  in a large, heavy-bottomed casserole over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon stick unfurls and the spices brown lightly, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add onion mixture and salt.  Cook until onion turns light brown.  Add water, 1 tsp. at a time if onion starts sticking.  Add ground coriander and cook 1 minute.  Add 3 TBSP yogurt and cook until yogurt is entirely blended and the moisture has evaporated.  Continue adding yogurt slowly until incorporated.  Add chicken and cook 5 minutes.  Add hot water and stir.  Boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in garam masala and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in cream, if using, and remove from heat.  If you can, allow the dish to rest for 1 hour so the flavors can marry.  Season with additional salt and a drizzle of cream, if desired.

From Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness.


One thought on “Suvir Saran’s Braised Indian Chicken in White Sauce with Garam Masala

  1. Pingback: On The Menu — 9/19/2015 | Dining With DINKS

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