Bihari Style Chicken Recipe: Authentic Flavors and Cooking Tips

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine the rich, aromatic flavors of Bihari cuisine enveloping your senses as you dive into a dish that’s a true gem from the heart of India. Bihari Style Chicken, a beloved recipe from Bihar, is not just food; it’s a celebration of spices, slow-cooked to perfection. Known for its vibrant blend of seasonings and tender meat, this dish brings the traditional cooking styles of Bihar right to your kitchen.

As you prepare to cook this delightful recipe, you’ll be working with ingredients that sing with authenticity. From the smoky flavor of roasted cumin to the fiery kick of red chili powder, every element adds a layer of depth and excitement. This isn’t just dinner—it’s a culinary journey to the bustling streets of Patna, where this dish is a staple. Get ready to impress your taste buds and perhaps, steal some hearts with this exquisite creation.


To embark on your culinary journey to Bihar, begin by assembling these fresh and aromatic ingredients for your Bihari Style Chicken.

For the Marinade

  1. Yogurt: 1 cup, thick and creamy
  2. Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 tablespoons
  3. Roasted Cumin Powder: 1 teaspoon
  4. Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon, adjust to taste
  5. Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  7. Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons
  8. Salt: 1 teaspoon, or to taste

For the Chicken

  1. Chicken: 2 pounds, bone-in, skinless, cut into pieces
  2. Mustard Oil: 1/4 cup, for an authentic flavor
  3. Onions: 2 large, finely sliced
  4. Tomatoes: 2 medium, pureed
  5. Green Chilies: 3-4, slit lengthwise
  6. Fresh Coriander Leaves: a handful, chopped
  7. Mint Leaves: a handful, chopped

For the Other Ingredients

  1. Bay Leaves: 2
  2. Cinnamon Stick: 1 inch
  3. Cloves: 4-5
  4. Cardamoms: 3, green
  5. Water: As required, for cooking
  6. Additional Salt: As required, for adjusting seasoning during cooking

Tools and Equipment

To recreate the delightful Bihari Style Chicken recipe, you’ll need specific tools and equipment that are essential for achieving that authentic taste and texture. Here’s a detailed list to ensure you have everything ready before you begin:

Cooking Utensils

  • Heavy-bottomed Pan: This is crucial for slow cooking the chicken and spices evenly without burning.
  • Sharp Knife: Essential for finely chopping onions and tomatoes and for cutting the chicken into pieces.
  • Cutting Board: Preferably wood or plastic, to help with your prep work.
  • Mixing Bowls: You will need various sizes for marinating the chicken and preparing the spice mix.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: To stir the ingredients effectively, preventing them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Measuring Tools

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure out your ingredients accurately, since the right proportions of spices and seasonings are critical to achieving the perfect flavor.

Other Equipments

  • Food Processor or Blender: Handy for making a smooth paste of the ginger and garlic, if you prefer not to use pre-made pastes.
  • Strainer: Useful for rinsing the rice, if you plan on serving the chicken with a side of rice.

Gathering these tools and equipment before you begin will streamline your cooking process and help you focus on the flavors and techniques typical of Bihari cooking. Make sure each item is clean and ready to use, setting you up for a successful culinary experience.


Having gathered your essential tools, you are now set to begin the mesmerizing journey of preparing Bihari Style Chicken. Follow these steps closely to ensure each flavor is beautifully infused.

Marinating the Chicken

To start, clean and pat dry approximately 2 pounds of chicken pieces. Make deep cuts on each piece to help them absorb the marinade thoroughly. In a large mixing bowl, combine the following:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil

Mix these ingredients well until you achieve a smooth, cohesive mixture. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl, ensuring each piece is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate. Let the chicken marinate for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight, to allow the spices to fully permeate the meat.

Preparing Spices

While the chicken marinates, get a head start on the spices. You’ll need your blender or food processor for this. Assemble the following:

  • 4 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger, chopped
  • 4 green chilies (adjust according to your spice tolerance)

Add these ingredients into your blender or food processor. Blend them to a smooth paste, using a little water if necessary to facilitate the blending. This paste will serve as the base for your curry, creating layers of flavor that are characteristic of Bihari cuisine. Keep the paste aside until you begin cooking, as it will be used to sauté and build the curry’s foundation.

Cooking Process

After marinating the chicken and preparing your spice paste, you’re ready to bring the flavors of Bihar to life. This part of the process is where you cook the chicken and simmer the spices to achieve a harmonious blend.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Heat Oil: Start by heating a generous amount of mustard oil in a large pot over medium heat. Mustard oil is preferred for its pungent flavor, which is characteristic of Bihari cuisine.
  2. Sauté the Spice Paste: Once the oil is hot, add the spice paste you prepared earlier. Sauté the paste for about 5 to 7 minutes until it turns golden brown and the oil begins to separate from the spices.
  3. Add the Chicken: Next, add the marinated chicken into the pot. Ensure each piece is coated with the spice paste. Cook the chicken on high heat for a few minutes until the pieces start to brown slightly.
  4. Mix and Fry: Reduce the heat to medium and continue to fry the chicken, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. This is crucial as it helps the chicken absorb the spices and become infused with flavors.

Simmering the Chicken

  1. Add Water: Once the chicken is well-coated and fried with the spices, pour in about a cup of water (adjust according to your desired consistency).
  2. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes. During this time, the chicken will cook thoroughly, and the flavors will meld together to form a rich, aromatic sauce.
  3. Check and Stir: Occasionally, check on the chicken and stir to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a little more water.

Each step in this cooking process plays a pivotal role in ensuring the chicken becomes tender and the spices penetrate deeply for a truly authentic Bihari style chicken.

Plating and Garnishing

After mastering the cooking steps of the Bihari Style Chicken, the final touches of plating and garnishing will enhance both the aesthetics and the flavor of your dish. Here’s how to serve your Bihari Style Chicken beautifully and authentically.

Plating the Chicken

Start with a warm plate to ensure your chicken stays hot. Scoop a generous portion of basmati rice into the center of the plate, creating a bed for the chicken. Carefully arrange the tender, spiced chicken pieces on top of the rice. Ensure that the pieces are neatly laid out to showcase their golden-brown crust.

Adding the Sauce

Ladle the rich, aromatic sauce over the chicken, allowing it to drizzle down onto the rice. The sauce not only adds moisture but also infuses the rice with the flavors of the spices.

Garnishing for Authenticity

Sprinkle finely chopped fresh cilantro over the chicken to introduce a burst of color and a hint of freshness. For a traditional touch, add slivers of fresh green chilies, which provide a vibrant contrast and a slight kick. If you enjoy a bit of acidity, a few squeezes of lemon juice can be added to brighten up the flavors.

Final Touches

For a truly Bihari experience, accompany your dish with slices of red onion and a wedge of lemon on the side of the plate. These additions offer a crunchy, fresh texture and tangy taste that complements the rich flavors of the Bihari Style Chicken.

Following these steps, you ensure that every serving of your Bihari Style Chicken is not only delicious but also visually appealing, making your culinary creation a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.


Ready to dive into the rich, aromatic world of Bihari cuisine? Your next kitchen adventure should definitely include Bihari Style Chicken. With its unique blend of spices and thoughtful preparation, you’re not just cooking; you’re creating an experience. Serve it over steaming basmati rice and enjoy the burst of flavors in every bite. Don’t forget those final garnishes—they’re the key to an authentic presentation that’s sure to impress. Happy cooking!

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