I’ve never been a huge fan of cooking much with boneless chicken for Pakistani/Indian style cooking. Bone-in has always been the way forward for me – more flavour, more body, just what I’m most used to eating.
But recently, I’ve come around to cooking with boneless chicken more and I’m surprised to say I’m actually enjoying it! Particularly in this particular Hariyali Chicken (Green Chicken) recipe, I find the boneless element really complements all the smooth, creamy flavours really well!
I think the reason I’ve begun to gravitate towards boneless chicken is because leftovers become so so versatile and easy! Like, this particular recipe has been such a gem and I purposely make lots extra for leftovers.
We got some tortillas and the kids are hungry? BOOM, Green Chicken quesadilla. Lazy Sunday evening and not made dinner? BOOM, Green Chicken atop a frozen pizza. Feeling snacking at 11pm on a Sunday night because that frozen pizza wasn’t enough? BOOM, Green Chicken with cheese in a toastie. Like, forreals, Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken wins majorly at life.
But what draws me EVEN MORE to this Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken recipe?
IT’S SO SO SO QUICK!
Like, do you ever get those day where you would rather CRY than chop an onion?
Or would prefer to starve than stand over the stove stirring at something for longer than 20 minutes?
Then, friend, THIS recipe is FOR YOU because this recipe has no chopping involved whatsoever! You literally just blitz up a paste of beautiful ingredients, fry up some chicken and then add the paste to the chicken. It takes like 20 minutes MAXIMUM, start to finish.
What is Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken masala made out of?
The base is a really simple and easy mix made of yogurt (preferably full-fat greek), vinegar, fresh mint, fresh coriander, garlic and fresh green chillis. It is spiced with just salt and coarsely ground black pepper to keep the focus of the flavours on the herbs and aromatics.
You simply have to blitz together all the ingredients for the base and it’s ready to use! Could it be ANY more simple than that?!
As always, I’ve broken in down into a pictorial step-by-step, but honestly this is so darn quick and easy it potentially doesn’t even need any pictures for the more seasoned cooks amongst us.
How do you make Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken?
Start off by grabbing some greek yogurt, vinegar, fresh mint leaves, fresh coriander leaves, garlic and green chillies (quantities are in the recipe card).
Blitz these in the blender until smooth, adding a very small amount of water if you feel like the mixture needs some extra liquid. Set aside till needed.
In a wok or deep frying pan, heat some oil, then add your chicken pieces and salt. I highly recommend using chicken thigh for this – generally this is the only type of boneless chicken I ever use. Dry breast just meat doesn’t cut it, and particularly in this recipe where the masala base and flavours will be very smooth and creamy.
Fry the chicken pieces.
Once your chicken has lost its pink colour all over and has begun to lightly turn gold, add in your paste.
Continue to cook this on high – the paste may become more liquid before it begins to thicken.
You want to keep frying this, stirring it constantly, until it becomes quite dry and the masala begins to coat the chicken.
Once the chicken starts to get dry and you begin to see the oil release around the edges, seperating itself from the pasta, the more you fry everything, the deeper flavour will develop. So don’t hold back, keep going until you feel like you’ve reached the maximum frying potential of the paste.
At around this stage, taste-test things and see how you find the heat. If you want to add some more heat, add in some coarsely ground black pepper – quantities are listed in the recipe card.
It is totally up to you how thick or liquid you’d like to keep this. I have served it in both forms – maybe you have a large crowd to feed and you want there to be more gravy to go around. Or maybe you want to serve this as an appetiser. At this point, if you are happy with the consistency of the chicken, you’re all good call it a day. HOWEVER, if you’d like there to be more gravy, go ahead and add in some water, adding it slowly and stirring to make sure the water and masala mix together. Add as much water as you need until you are happy with the consistency.
If you’ve added water, cook this uncovered on a medium heat until it comes to a simmer, then take off the heat. once it is at your desired consistency
If desired, skim off any excess oil after cooking. Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken does tend to become extra oily if it is dried out quite a lot. You can use the oil for something else – anything you don’t mind turning a slight hue of green that is 😉 My kids LOVED having green eggs for breakfast the next day lolllllll
How to make Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken with bone-in chicken
If you wish to make this with bone-in chicken, simply replace the boneless chicken with this. It will not affect the quantities of the recipe.
Can I make Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken with less or no oil?
If you are keeping conscious about oil, there are a lot of ways to cook this without oil.
Start by marinating the chicken in the paste made from the ingredients for about half an hour. You can use this to now either grill, bake or air-fry. You can use as little or as much oil as you want like this.
What do I do if I don’t have a blender?
If you don’t have a blender, you can use a pestle and mortar to grind this by hand. It will not be completely smooth though – this is definitely a recipe that does better with a blender.
Additional Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken Tips
- I have fallen in love with Greek yogurt as of late and I highly recommend using this in the recipe. I have tried it with regular yogurt and honestly, there is no comparison. In the UK, greek yogurt is pretty easy to get your hands on – I get mine from Aldi. You can also make Greek yogurt yourself too, it’s not too tedious – see this! If you can’t get greek yogurt for this recipe, I recommend using full-fat regular yogurt.
- Chicken thigh boneless works BEST for this – I said this earlier too but want to repeat for added weight. For reals, the texture of chicken thigh boneless is so GOOD I don’t think I can ever go back to having chicken breast.
- When using the black pepper to season if needed, please do not use black pepper powder. It will really darken the colour of the paste, whereas coarsely ground pepper does not. You can see in the pictures – the green really shines through – with the addition of black pepper powder it will dull down. Use coarsely ground black pepper (I use TRS brand but any is fine, you can even grind it yourself at home from peppercorns).
- If you want, you can make the yogurt blend in advance – it will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days and freezes well too.
- On that note, Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken sits great in the fridge – it gets a chance to develop its flavours even more and so it makes sense to make a big batch to enjoy the next day!
- It freezes great too – I would say it’s best to use it up within 3 months.
What can you serve Green Chicken/Hariyali Chicken with?
Here are some ideas:
- Serve alongside naan, chutneys and a zesty salad
- Serve cooked with a more liquid gravy alongside a rice dish such as Matar or Chana Pilau
- Make a paratha roll using this as a filling alongside lots of green chutney, tamarind chutney and red onions
- Cook a bulk amount of this at the start of the week and use as filling for sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas etc
- Cook this without adding any additional water and use in salads
- Though I haven’t tried this, I am certain this would be a delicious addition to a pasta for a bit of a flavour kick!
- Eat it with just a fork and a side of chutney if you feel the need. It tastes great on its own too!
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 30g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
- 15g mint, leaves only
- 250g yogurt, full fat and ideally greek
- 6-8 green chillies for a spicy kick, otherwise 4 for a mild flavour
- 6tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4-1/3 cup of oil, as per preference
- 500g boneless chicken, ideally thigh
- 1-1.5tsp salt, or to taste
- 2tsp coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
- In a blender, blitz the garlic, coriander, mint, yogurt, chillies and vinegar until smooth. Set aside until needed. Add as little water as possible
- In a wok or pan, add your oil. Heat up and add in the chicken pieces. A few minutes in, once the chicken begins to gain some colour, add the salt. Fry the chicken until it no longer remains pink and begins to turn golden
- Add the blended mixture into the pan. Cook this on high, stirring often until the mixture begins to thicken. You want to cook this down until the mixture begins to coat the pieces of the chicken and looks glossy. Once the mixture has thickened, have a taste-check and add the coarsely ground black pepper, adjusting if you need it as per preference
- If you would like your green chicken to be as shown in the images, you can stop cooking it once the mixture looks like how it does in the pictures. If you would like some sauce, add water as per your liking and cook on a medium heat until the sauce comes to a slow simmer.
- Skim off any excess oil if needed before serving
Please do not use black pepper powder - it will ruin the colour of the dish. Use coarsely ground black pepper only.