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Chicken curry with panch Phoron

Panch Phoran literally translates into five spices and the blend consists of the following: cumin, fennel, onion, fenugreek and mustard seeds. This is a very common blend that gives a lovely flavor and aroma while cooking and is frequently used in Bangladeshi cuisine. The recipe that follows is almost like a Rogan Josh recipe, but does not have some of the Rogan josh ingredients as I have used the panch phoran! This blend is usually found in most local Indian shops and is sold in just one packet and is not expensive to purchase either! I know the recipe has a lot of chilies, but just use what you feel comfortable with, but just remember at the end we add the yogurt which makes it milder! This chicken is one of my husband’s favourite recipes so Hope you enjoy it too! 🙂

Cumin, fenugreek, fennel, mustard and nigella seeds

Panch Phoran :Cumin, fenugreek, fennel, mustard and nigella seeds


8 Chicken Thighs

1 Tbsp Panch Foran

5-6 Cloves

2-3 Bay leaves

4-5 Cardamoms

5-6 Black peppercorns

2-3 Green chilies

2 Onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Garlic, minced

1 Tbsp Ginger, minced

1 Tsp Red Chili Flakes

1/2 Tsp Red chilli powder

1 Tsp Garam masala powder

3 Tbsp Yoghurt


Heat some oil or ghee in a karahi or in a pot big enough to fit the 8 chicken thighs.

Now add the panch phoran mixture and let it sputter for a minute, please don’t let it sit and burn as it will get bitter.

Sautee panch phoran

Now add cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves, black peppercorns, green chilis, chili flakes and onions and sauté till the onions are well browned.

Add ginger-garlic paste, and mix well. Cook for a further a few minutes.


Take the mixture out of the pot and let it cool, then put it in a food processor with half a cup of water so that it becomes a thick curry paste.

Making curry paste

While the paste cools, chop each chicken thigh into two pieces.

Then add the chicken pieces to the pot and brown on both sides. While browning add the garam masalas and the red chili powder.browning chicken

Since adding the spices with the chicken you will see a thin sauce forming in the pot. So the chicken needs to be tossed in this for about 10 minutes.

When the chicken has browned add in the prepared paste from the food processor.

Adding the curry paste

Mix well to coat the chicken. Stir intermittently and cook this for another 10-15 minutes.

Then add the yogurt and simmer by covering with the lid, for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

simmering chicken

Serve with steamed rice or paratha.