Griddled Chicken - Murgh Taka Tak

Griddled Chicken - Murgh Taka Tak

This dish gets its Indian name from the sound of the spoon or spatula hitting the pan and breaking up the food while it cooks - taka tak is the rhythm of chopping.

bar Griddled Chicken - Murgh Taka Tak

Picture by Werner Van Peppen

Serves 4

4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions, sliced
2.5cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3 green chillies, chopped
500g boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
A pinch garam masala
A handful of fresh fenugreek leaves or 2 tbsp dried kasoori methi leaves


Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium heat, then add the cumin seeds and fry, stirring constantly for 30 seconds, or until they splutter. Watch carefully so they do not burn.

Add the onions and continue frying stirring for 3 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and continue frying for 2 minutes or until all the spices are blended. Tip in the chicken and fry for 4 minutes, breaking the chicken into smaller pieces against the sides of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon, until the chicken changes colour.
Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric and garam masala and continue frying, stirring for 4 minutes.

Stir in the fenugreek leaves and fry for a further 5 minutes until all the chicken pieces are cooked through. Check by cutting a piece of chicken in half - the juices should run clear. Serve hot with wholemeal pitta bread and a raita.


(c) 2012