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A close shot chicken handi.
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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Handi Recipe (boneless)

Many versions of chicken hands as evolved over time, this is the basic chicken handi recipe that can be used to make more flavors. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Keyword Chicken handi
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 374kcal


Marinate chicken

  • 500 grams chicken
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour optional
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For Gravy

  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 medium onion fine chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green chilli paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 medium tomato cut in chunks


  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or paprika powder
  • ½ -1 teaspoon red chili powder skip for less spicy


  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon butter more for serving
  • ½ tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • ¼ cup cream or coconut cream


  • In a bowl mix cornflour, salt, and chicken. Mix well and set aside.
  • Next, heat ¼ cup oil to a wok and fry onions for 5-7 minutes until golden. Then add the wet spices that is green chili paste and ginger garlic paste.
  • Give the spices a stir and let it sizzle. Then add the dry spices and tomatoes.
  • Cover the pot and cook tomatoes for 10 minutes on medium heat until tomatoes turn soft and oil separate on the sides of the wok.
  • Transfer the gravy to the blender also add the yogurt. Blend until gravy is very smooth and set aside.
  • Now, add marinated chicken and butter to the same wok and stir fry until the color of the chicken changes.
  • Add the blended gravy and fenugreek to the chicken.
  • Cover the wok and cook the gravy on medium heat for for 7 minutes until oil separates. Then add cream and mix well. Remove lid and simmer the gravy for last 3-4 minutes. Then serve.


  • Chicken: Boneless chicken matches best with the smooth gravy of handi. Bone-in chicken can be used.
  • Tomato: Tomato paste and tomato purée can also be used in the handi instead of fresh tomatoes, cooking time reduce.
  • Yogurt: Use plain and unsweetened yogurt. Substitute yogurt with coconut milk or nut milk and lemon for a dairy-free option.
  • Spices: Using other spice blends can add more depth of flavor. Spice variations like achari masala, tikka, or tandoori masala are few to try.
  • Oil: I’ve tried this recipe with vegetable oil and olive oil. Both work well. Use mustard oil if making handi with achari masala.

Other Handi variations to try!

  • Smoke: Smoke the karahi with red hot charcoal. Drizzle a few drops of oil and cover the pot tightly to make a koyla chicken handi.
  • Buttery ( Makhni): For a makhni handi, use a mix of 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in the beginning to fry onions. And add 4 tablespoons butter in the end. 
  • Macaroni and cheese: This is less common but delicious, add ½ cup cheese, ½ cup milk, and ¼ cup boiled macaroni in the handi. If you like it sweeter also add 2 tablespoons of ketchup. Adjust red chili powder to taste. 
  • Shahi Chicken handi: Just switch ¼ cup cream in the recipe with ¼ cup cashew powder. Add the powder along with spices.  Adjust water as needed. 
  • Fiery ( Kashmiri chili paste): Make Kashmiri chili paste as shown in this recipe and add 2 tablespoons Kashmiri chili paste instead of red chili and black pepper. Enjoy! 
  • Tikka handi: Just switch red chili, garam masala, and black pepper in the recipe with 2 teaspoon tikka masala and smoke the handi with charcoal. Similarly, you can make achari and tandoori handi. 
  • Tempering: You can temper the chicken handi in the end with brown garlic, mustard seeds, red button chili, and curry leaves for an aromatic dhaba style handi.


Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 476mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1054IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg