Murg Mussallam – Gourmet Dish

This Dish is piece of Art and Science in the field of Gastronomy and best example of cooking in ” DUM : … I read the origin of the Dish in a article by famous food writer in English Tabloid  THE DAWN… The Dawn elaborates as :

Murgh Musallam literally means whole chicken; it is a rich dish in which a whole chicken is marinated, stuffed with eggs, prepared with spices like saffron, cinnamon, cloves, poppy seeds, cardamom and chilli, and decorated with almonds and silver leaves. It is considered a gourmet dish in the book of Moghul cuisine Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh, where it is described as lending a certain majesty to the dastarkhwan (tablecloth upon which the dishes of a meal are places).

Ibn Battuta describes it as one of the favoured dishes at the court of Sultan Muhammad Ibn Tughlaq (1325 AD) .

The Murgh Musallam in Ain-e-Akbaris is referred to as Musamman, which probablye later evolved into Murgh Musallam. Therefore the claim that theMurgh Mussallam is one of the thirty dishes mentioned in the Akbarnama written by the famous Navratan (one of the nine gems in Akbar’s court) .

Recipe of  Murg Mussallam . Try it home … Be patient … If your neighbors come and ask you what’s cooking , that means you have done it … Slow cooking … In Dum …


1 whole chicken (approx. 3lbs)

2 green chillies

10 to 15 cloves of garlic

½ inch piece of ginger

1 tsp garam masala powder

Pinch of turmeric powder

8 onz. yogurt

1 tsp. red chilli powder

4 to 6 brown cardamom

8 to 10 cloves

1 piececinnamon

8 to10 peppercorns

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tsps.coriander seeds

15 almonds

2 to 4 oz. oil (or to taste)

2 large onions

salt to taste

2 to 4 oz. water

freshly chopped coriander for garnish


Blend ginger, garlic, yogurt, green chillies, salt, ½tsp red chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala into a thick marinade for the chicken. Marinate whole chicken, spreading masala inside the cavity and let rest in the fridge for 4 to 5 hrs.

Roast whole garam masala, cumin, coriander seeds and almonds and set aside. In a large heavy pan, or pot, heat oil and fry thinly sliced onions; once golden brown blend the strained onions with roasted spices, adding a little water if required.

In the same pan as used for frying onions, braise marinated whole chicken for a few minutes, (saving the marinade for later use) and then removing and setting aside. Using the same pan heat a little oil and fry the onion paste on high heat, adding the rest of chillie powder, marinade, and salt if required.

Fry on high for a few minutes adding the whole chicken and water, sealing with lid entirely and setting the heat to medium. Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes on one side and 10 to 15 on the other.

Once the meat is tender, set in a platter pouring the masala on the top or side and garnish with greens. Serve with a side of your favourite vegetables and boiled eggs, (both optional), hot naan and raita. I served it with a side of shallow fried peas, tomatoes, potatoes and bell pepper. Truly a delectable meal.


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