Chicken bhuna recipe

(1665 ratings)

You can't beat a classic chicken bhuna recipe and this one is exactly that. Plenty of flavour, a kick of spice and tender chicken pieces - yum.

Chicken bhuna recipe
(Image credit: imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock)
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories329 Kcal16%
Sugar8.9 g10%
Fat19.2 g27%
Saturated Fat3.7 g19%
Salt0.41 g
Protein25.3 g51%
Carbohydrates12.9 g5%
Salt0.41 g

Our chicken bhuna recipe packs plenty of flavour, with a kick of spice and tender pieces of chicken. 

This homemade chicken bhuna recipe is easy to make and cheaper than your typical takeaway (opens in new tab). It’s thick medium-hot sauce is made from a tasty blend of spices that generously coats the vegetables and chicken thighs, leaving you with a mouthwatering meal.  Rustle this up in under an hour for a mid-week supper or weekend treat, and serve with traditional Indian sides like saag aloo (opens in new tab), bombay potatoes (opens in new tab) and pilau rice (opens in new tab). The classic dish gets it’s name from the Urdu word ‘bhunna’ - to be fried - which is how we’ve cooked the chicken here.


  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 green chillies, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 25g root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • 2tsp ground turmeric
  • 2tsp garam masala
  • 6 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley or coriander and lemon slices to garnish
  • Steamed basmati rice to serve




  1. To make your chicken curry (opens in new tab), place the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add 3tbsp water and whizz until you have a textured paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion paste. Cook over a medium heat, stirring for 3-4 mins then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes until the paste begins to turn golden.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and 300ml water. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and bring up to the boil. Stir in the chicken and lemon juice and re-cover.
  4. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the paste and tomatoes have combined to make a thick sauce (add a little more water if necessary during cooking).
  5. Serve straight away garnished with parsley or coriander with lemon slices and serve with steamed pilau rice.

Top tip for making chicken bhuna:

If you don’t have a food processor or blender chop the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger as finely as possible. For extra ease replace the ground spices with 2tbsp medium curry paste.

Jessica Dady
Jessica Dady

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.