Methi Chicken Curry

Cook Eat WorldAsianMethi Chicken Curry

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: June 25, 2022

Methi Chicken Curry (chicken with fenugreek) is one of the most fragrant and flavourful curries I make. A rich, distinctive taste that is utterly intoxicating. Learn more about what makes this curry so delicious.

A bowl of chicken curry cooked with fenugreek leaves with a serving spoon

Methi Chicken Curry (chicken with fenugreek) is one of the most fragrant and flavourful curries I make. A rich, distinctive taste that is utterly intoxicating. Learn more about what makes this curry so delicious.

What is Methi Murgh (Methi Chicken Curry)?

My Methi Chicken recipe features one important ingredient centre stage. It’s hard to put my finger on the character and taste of fenugreek, but it really is something very special. Floral, herbal and very distinctive. It’s familiar, in that it actually summons the aroma of ‘curry’. I apologise for not being more articulate, but there’s nothing quite like it. You’ll have to take my word for it when I say it’s a wonderful aroma and taste. It acts as the backbone to this sauce, like a saag/palak spinach curry, but the added aroma and taste of fenugreek leaves elevate this delicious chicken curry into a new orbit!

Why it works

This this chicken recipe is so successful because of the fenugreek. Used in 3 forms, fresh, dried and seeds (see the lowdown below) it has a pronounced floral and earthy note. It's familiar yet completely unique, making it one of the most unusual and tasty curries on the menu.

The juicy chicken is bathed in a fragrant sauce unlike any other curry. It's worth hunting out fresh or frozen fenugreek to sample for yourself why this curry is so magical!

Stuff you'll need

Methi chicken curry requires a couple of specific ingredients, but once you're on to those, it's a simple dish to make at home. Here's the flavour lowdown. There's a full recipe below, but here are some of the key ingredients that make Methi Chicken.

  • Methi leaves - Fresh or frozen fenugreek leaves are fine, if you have frozen, just let it sit on the counter for an hour to defrost. These pics show a curry using frozen. If you’re using fresh, you’ll need to strip the stems of the leaves. It’s a labourious job, but the stems are quite woody, and don’t eat well. Be sure to wash thoroughly too to remove any excess grit.
  • Chicken thighs - Brown meat is essential for curries. You can use breast, if you like a cardboard curry (!), thighs stay moist and juicy during cooking - don't fight it!
  • Whole spices - Fenugreek seeds, bay leaf, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom and clove. Will season the oil and bring flavour to the sauce.
  • Ground spices - create curry powder with cumin, coriander, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and salt
  • Onion, Garlic & Ginger - for aroma and will help to thicken the sauce too.
  • Yoghurt & Tomato - will add sweetness and creaminess to the curry
  • Kasoori Methi - is the name given to dried fenugreek leaves. They have a heightened aroma and flavour. They're crushed/crumbled into the dish at the end for one last flourish of fenugreek!
A bowl of chicken curry cooked with fenugreek leaves with a serving spoon

Step by Step

Introductory sentence + process shots below

  1. Step 1

    Make the curry powder. It's as simple as mixing the ingredients. Set this aside while you continue.

  2. Step 2

    Season the hot oil with the whole spices and then add the onion and garlic to fry until soft. It's then just a case of adding the chicken, fenugreek leaves, tomato and yoghurt in succession. A little water rounds it off and then you can bring it to a simmer and bubble it gently for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

  3. Step 3

    More fenugreek magic happens at this stage - the Kasoori Methi, dried fenugreek leaves are crumbled into the sauce just before serving. They bring an amazing flavour to the final dish.

Serving and storing suggestions

I like to serve this dish with plenty of fluffy basmati rice or a big pile of Indian roti, naan or chapati. It won't hurt to serve a nice crunchy kachumbar salad on the side too.

Methi Murgh will stay fresh in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container. If you want to freeze, portion it up in airtight containers and they'll keep fresh for at least 3 months.

A pan with chicken curry made with fenugreek leaves

Ready to get cooking?

Creating the curry is easy, just follow the simple steps in order and you’ll achieve a fail-safe delicious flavour-bomb of a dish. One of the tastiest I know and a firm favourite in my household. I like to serve mine over rice alongside a few Indian breads. It’s not a spicy curry per-se as I like the fenugreek to be the star of the show, but if you want to turn up the heat, try adding a few spicy green chillies when you add the onion.

Fenugreek Leaves in three stages. (left to right) Fresh, Dried and Seeds | methi Chicken (Chicken & Fenugreek Curry)

Everything you need to know about Fenugreek

Fenugreek is an ancient ingredient originating from Persia and the Middle East, and still widely used in the region. It is also a very common ingredient in South Asia and India and interestingly, used as a vegetable, herb and spice. In my Methi Chicken Curry, I make use of all three fenugreek products.

  1. The Fresh leaves: Fresh (or frozen) fenugreek leaves are, in appearance, most liken to watercress. Thin stems hold lots of small leaves. We use only the leaves and discard the stems.
  2. The Dried Herb: Fenugreek leaves are preserved by drying and sold as Kasoori Methi. Most commonly sprinkled over dishes at the end as a flavourful garnish. To get the most flavour, crush them in the palm of your hands.
  3. The Seeds: Fenugreek seeds are commonly used in Indian food. A major ingredient in commercial curry powders, it quite literally has a smell of ‘curry’. The amber seeds are also common as a pickling spice for Indian vegetables and pickles.

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Any questions about my Methi Chicken Curry (Methi Murgh)? Ask me in the comments below.

How spicy is Methi Chicken Curry?

Methi Chicken curry is considered a fragrant curry rather than a spicy one about 4/10 spicy. The leaves are given centre stage over the burn of chilli heat. That said, the cook has full control over the spice, so can dial it up or down as they see fit.

How can I use fenugreek leaves in a curry?

Treat fenugreek leaves like spinach. I like to sauté them a little to evaporate some of the water, it avoids a watery sauce. Fenugreek isn't widely available fresh, but most Indian supermarkets will stock frozen methi - this is perfectly suitable for this curry too. Just remember to sauté off some of the moisture. My recipe below accounts for this.

Is Fenugreek healthy?

Fenugreek is a good source of fibre and has been implicated in many other benefits to your health. Fenugreek is said to aid with with diabetes, testosterone, breast milk production, cholesterol, inflammation, appetite control and some skin problems.

 
A bowl of chicken curry cooked with fenugreek leaves with a serving spoon

Methi Chicken Curry

Rate this recipe

5 from 3 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings (adjustable) 6
Calories (per serving) | 473

Ingredients

For the curry powder

For the curry

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 bay leaf (dried)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 4 cardamom pods (lightly bruised to open up slightly)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 onion (large, peeled and finely diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
  • 1 tsp ginger (peeled and minced)
  • 2.2 lb chicken thighs (1kg)(skinless/boneless - cut into 2" chunks)
  • 11 oz frozen methi (defrosted) (about 300g)(or large 2 bunches of fresh - leaves only - rinsed)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt (plain)
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi

Instructions

For the curry powder

  • Combine all the curry powder ingredients and stir well. Set aside.

For the curry

  • Using a large saucepan, heat the oil on a medium heat until just hot. Add the fenugreek seeds, bay leaf, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom pods and cloves and let them sizzle briefly. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry gently for 7-8 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.
  • Add the chicken thighs and stir well. Turn up the heat a little and stir the chicken for 4-5 minutes to cook a little. Add the methi leaves and stir well. Cook for 5-6 minutes to evaporate most of the water from the leaves, before adding the tomato and yoghurt.
    Bring this to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Pour in about 2 cups water and stir well. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat and gently cook for 30 minutes (partially covered), stirring occasionally.
    Remove the lid and simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce the sauce to a nice, thick creamy consistency. Remove from the heat.
  • place the kasoori methi leaves between your palms and crush them over the curry sauce. Stir in, check for seasoning and serve.
  • Serve with rice or Indian breads.

Notes

Fresh Methi Leaves
Fresh leaves are called methi or fenugreek, so keep your eyes peeled for either. Lots of Indian supermarkets will stock fresh, and most will stock frozen. Either is fine.
  • Fresh: remove the leaf part only and discard the woody stem. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any dirt and grit.
  • Frozen: Defrost before use and give a gentle squeeze to remove any excess water.
Dried methi leaves and fenugreek seeds
These can be found in all Indian supermarkets and some regular supermarkets now. Look out for Methi Kasoori on the label for dried leaves. Methi seeds are most commonly called fenugreek seeds. Both are easy to find online.
To get the most flavour from dried leaves, rub the leaves between your palms to make a powder. Your hands will smell amazing all day (added bonus!).

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal (24%) | Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) | Protein: 32g (64%) | Fat: 34g (52%) | Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg (55%) | Sodium: 728mg (32%) | Potassium: 515mg (15%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 592IU (12%) | Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) | Calcium: 266mg (27%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)
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