Of Marsupials and Men: Dahiwalla Murgh

The Boy is as obsessed about food as I am. But with a difference.

In his opinion, the more complicated and elaborate a recipe is, the more points it gets. So much so that whipping up mundane, simple, everyday fare in our house is considering the equivalent of ordering bad pizza.

Much as I love cooking, eating and feeding, I tend to be more of a realist, and will pick the massage over the masala.

I made this chicken curry with an hour to spare before his grand entry from a business trip to the Outback. Where I am sure copious quantities of marsupial meat (which I am told tastes like chicken, incidentally) were consumed between business meetings.

I was convinced that he would sniff disdainfully at the simplicity of it all, and chew on his boarding pass instead.

Surprise… curry was devoured, fingers were licked and the plate was spotless.

Dahiwalla Murgh

The flavor in this curry comes predominantly from the tanginess of the yogurt that beautifully balances the spiciness of the peppercorns. You can use full or low fat yogurt depending on how virtuous you feel. As far as the chicken goes, I always recommend using cut up whole chicken or a mix of bone-in thighs and drumsticks.

2 lbs chicken
1.5 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp oil
4 fresh green chillies
8 black peppercorns
10 curry leaves
½ cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves
Salt to taste

Mix together the yogurt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chilli powder. Skin/clean the chicken, chop the thighs into smaller pieces if you wish and make a few small slits in each drumstick. Rub with salt.

Toss the chicken into the yogurt marinade and let it stay there for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better, but 30 minutes will do just fine.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok. Slit and throw in the fresh green chillies, peppercorns and curry leaves. When they start sizzling, add the coriander powder, followed by the chicken pieces. Try to reserve as much marinade as you can in the bowl. Fry the chicken gently for about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved marinade, half a cup of water and lower the flame. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more salt if necessary.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan, roti or plain white rice.

Serves 4


  1. Hmmm I wonder what The Boy would say about the meals at our house - almost all of them slapped together in a furious hurry, but, dare I say it, quite edible, tasty even.
    Thanks for the recipe. Anything that does not involve chopping onions is a must-try. A quick question that exposes my ignorance: does the yogurt remain unseparated through all that cooking? Thanks!

  2. Kamini- the key is to fry the chicken pieces first, then add the reserved marinade, and then lower the flame before cooking. The yogurt then does not separate.


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