The Best Homemade Curry/ Murgh Makhni with Tarka Dal

The Best Homemade Curry/ Murgh Makhni with Tarka Dal



  • Two large Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic paste
  • 1/2 Tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam masala
  • 2 Tbsp Yoghurt or Oil
  • Makhni Sauce

  • 8 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 6 Cloves
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • 600g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 25g Optional Butter
  • 4 Tbsp Optional Cream
  • 1 Tbsp, chopped. Cashew Nuts
  • Tarka Dal.

  • 150g Yellow Split Peas
  • 1 small finely chopped Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Coriander
  • 200g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Tsp Tumeric
  • 1 Tsp Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Garlic
  • 1/2 Bunch Chopped Coriander
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon


  1. Mix chicken marinade ingredients together.(Use yoghurt if you don't have any allergies, otherwise use oil) Rub into chicken and give it at least two hours. Overnight is best.
  2. Start the Tarka Dal, wash yellow peas until water runs clear. Then simmer for 40mins until cooked. Do not add salt. Then fry remaining ingredients together except the coriander and lemon juice. Add to the dal, then season with the coriander and lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. For the sauce, fry cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, cardamom, chillies, cloves and bay leaves until aromatic. Add tomatoes and simmer for 20 mins. Sieve tomatoes, and remove as many large spices from the remaining pulp and add the spice free pulp back to the sauce. Season the sauce adding a little sugar to balance, salt and pepper. Then add the optional butter, cream and cashews as you see fit.
  4. Meanwhile, heat grill to high, and cook the chicken breasts until they just begin to char and turn black. Turn over and do the same again. Once cooked, cut into chunks and add to the sauce.
  5. Serve with steamed basmati rice.


  1. I am so glad that I have found this recipe, it looks so easy to make and full of flavor!

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Catalina, pleased you like it. I was amazed at how good it was after reading the recipe. It really will change your curry cooking forever. There’s hardly any mess too!

  2. a dish packed with flavours! I am not keen on eating grilled chicken breast, but I believe that this amazing sauce keeps the breast nice and moist. PS great new blog layout

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Rita, the chicken will be juicy as long as its had an overnight marinade. But as you say the sauce is so deep in flavour it just goes so well with the chicken anyway.

      A bit of hassle changing the blog but definitely worth it.

  3. Dave, love the new look and your recipes keep getting better and better!

  4. This is a wonderful recipe – can’t believe all the healthy (and tasty) ingredients packed into this dish. Posting this one on Pinterest because I’d like to find the time to try it one of these days…

    • Dave Crichton

      It will change the way you cook curry forever. I’ve just added the P’interest pin onto the blog. It’s not on the homepage but if you open the post you’ll find it under the picture to make life easier.

      Thanks Jen

  5. Hi Dave, yesterday I cooked Murgh Makhni! The sauce was very interesting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t grill the chicken because my oven does not work and to use the barbecue was impossible (rain, rain and rain here in London!). Delicious!

    • Dave Crichton

      Oh good Rita, shame about the weather. I couldn’t believe how nice and simple the curry was, hence putting it on the blog. The chicken would be delicious on its for a BBQ should the weather ever improve!

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