Chicken curry with saffron

Murgh kesari


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Floyd's India

Floyd's India

By Keith Floyd

Published 2001

  • About

This is a really rich and creamy saffron-flavoured chicken curry. Not a dish for the health conscious!


  • 1 kg/ lb boneless chicken morsels
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • 100 g/4 oz unsalted cashew nuts
  • milk
  • 225 g/8 oz red onions, peeled
  • ghee or butter
  • 7.5 cm/3 inch cinnamon stick, broken into flakes
  • 4 or 5 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 or 4 whole cloves
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and puréed
  • 4 cm/ inch piece of root ginger, peeled and puréed
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt, thoroughly whisked with 2 tablespoons cold water or, better still, whizzed up in the blender with 2 ice cubes
  • a very generous pinch of saffron threads (preferable to powder wherever possible)
  • ½ cup double cream
  • chopped fresh coriander leaves, to garnish


    1. Put the chicken in a dish, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice and leave to marinate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, put the cashew nuts in a bowl, pour in enough milk to cover and leave to soak for 1 hour, then transfer to a food processor or blender and purée.
    2. Boil the onions until tender, drain and purée in a food processor or blender.
    3. Heat some ghee or butter in a pan and sauté the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves for 1-2 minutes, then add the puréed garlic, ginger and onions and stir-fry until the onions turn slightly golden.
    4. Reduce the heat and stir in the whipped or blended yoghurt and the saffron.
    5. Add the chicken pieces and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the cashew nut purée and mix well. Continue cooking gently until the chicken is tender.
    6. Stir in the double cream, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.