Murgh musallam, a masala coated whole chicken, is a perfect party dish that takes minimal effort to make in an instant pot.
Murgh musallam definitely qualifies as a holiday-worthy dish. It’s perfect for a special occasion or a dinner party and guess what? Absolutely no one will know how easy it is to make (unless they read my blog… but don’t worry, you can totally pretend like we don’t know each other if you want).
What is murgh musallam? How is this recipe easier to make in an IP?
Murgh means “chicken,” and musallam means “whole,” so murgh musallam literally translates to “chicken whole,” which, um, turned around is obviously “whole chicken.” You get it.
This is a dish that was created in imperial kitchens during India’s Mughal era. Mughlai dishes are such a treat because they’re so rich and decadent (see also: chicken korma, egg korma, shami kebab).
Murgh musallam is typically marinated in a paste made up of yogurt, spices, nuts, white poppy seeds, and caramelized onions. We’re making the marinade much simpler by using my pre-made onion masala.
To make this chicken, you mix a bunch of ingredients to form a marinade, and then you spread that all over the chicken and let it marinate overnight. After that, you cook the chicken in an instant pot, quickly broil the whole chicken (for appearances) and then reduce the gravy at the bottom of the pot. You can make it as thick as you’d like and spread it over the chicken for more flavor:
If you’re wondering how to make this dish in an oven and without the onion masala, I have a recipe for oven-roasted murgh musallam in my first ebook. But the recipe I’m sharing here on the blog with you today is much simpler and faster and honestly just as good.
Serve this chicken with plain basmati rice, jeera rice, or pea pulao. This would be a great main dish for a holiday or a birthday or, heck, a random Wednesday night (it’s easy, so why not, lol). Enjoy!
- 1 4 pound whole chicken
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- 1 green chili to taste
- ½ cup thawed onion masala
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon almond flour
- 1 whole black cardamom
- 3 whole green cardamom
- ¼ cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and mint
- Combine all of the ingredients listed under “blend” in a blender and let the ingredients sit in the blender for 10 minutes to soften then blend. Set aside for now.
- Combine all of the ingredients listed under “gravy” in a large bowl and mix well. Add the blended yogurt mixture to the bowl and mix well. Spread this all over the chicken and keep in the fridge to marinate overnight if possible.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge, tie legs with kitchen twine and let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place ½ cup water into the instant pot and then place a trivet in the pot. Put the chicken (along with the marinade) on top of the trivet.
- Secure lid, close pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure for 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and place it on a baking sheet. Broil it in the oven for 5 minutes to give the chicken a slightly charred look.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
- Meanwhile, press sauté and adjust the heat to the highest setting to reduce the gravy until it’s as thick as you’d like (make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot). You can spread/pour the gravy all over the chicken or serve it on the side.
- Garnish with cilantro and mint if desired.
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