Murgh Mussalam by Soni Sahai


  1. Chicken – 1kg (whole)
  2. Yoghurt – ½ kg
  3. Bay Leaves – 4
  4. Cinnamon – 1 ½ inch piece
  5. Brown Cardamoms – 4
  6. Cloves – 7
  7. Peppercorns – 6
  8. Cumin Powder – 1 Teaspoon
  9. Coriander Powder – 3 Teaspoons
  10. Chilli Powder – 2 Teaspoons
  11. Posta (Poppy Seeds) – 3 Tablespoons
  12. Onions – 4 large, ground to a paste
  13. Garlic – 10 cloves, ground to a paste
  14. Onions – 2, thinly sliced
  15. Salt – To Taste
  16. Boiled Eggs – 3
  17. Ghee – 250 gms
  18. Saffron – 1 Teaspoon
  19. Kewra Water – 2 Tablespoons
  20. Water – To cover the chicken
  21. Silver Varq, Almonds and Pistachios – Sliced, for Garnish


Marinate the whole chicken in the yoghurt for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, grind all the garam masala, the bay leaf, cinnamon, brown cardamoms, cloves, and peppercorns into a paste with a little water. Similarly, soak and grind the posta (poppy seeds) into a paste. This has to be done in a mortar and pestle.

In a ‘degchi’ heat the ghee and fry the sliced onions till golden brown. Then add the ground masalas and stir till the masala leaves the side of the degchi, then sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of water and keep stirring till the masala is dry. Add the posta (poppy seed) paste, salt and the saffron and stir on a low flame making sure that the posta does not burn.

Remove half the cooked masala and mix it with the boiled eggs. Use this mixture to stuff the chicken, rubbing the masala into the inside of the chicken. Tie up the hole in the chicken with thread.

Put the chicken back, add salt and cover the chicken with water. Cover and seal the lid with dough and let it cook on a low flame for 30 to 40 minutes. Open the lid. If there is any thin gravy, reduce it to a thick gravy by cooking on a high heat. Sprinkle kewra water, cover with silver varq, sprinkle with slivers with almond and pistachios and serve.

To see the other recipes in the Avadhi Menu, click here.

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