“Dhabbas” are little eateries situated in highways in India and Pakistan. They are known for their typical cuisine which is highly spicy and rich in flavour. Today many restaurants have dhabba style dishes in their menus which are inspired from these small roadside eateries. I myself have been to one such dhabba on the road from  bombay (now mumbai) to pune.  It was quite an experience and the food? Ooh…it was absolutely delicious. Each dhabba ofcoruse boasts of its own secret recipes. This recipe of mine has been taken off the internet and then improvised by me. I have noticed that many of you want oil free recipes so i made this recipe without a drop of oil. I actually did not expect it to taste the way it did and i am very pleased with the way it turned out.
For this i ground a blend of spices which i shall call Nitus Magical Spice Blend… this can be made in a large quantity and bottled.- I used my amazing bullet to make this.
1.5 kilos of chicken with bones, cut into pieces and skin removed
6 cloves of garlic, 2 inches piece ginger and 4 green chillies ground to a smooth paste with a little water
3-4 bay leaves
6 curry leaves (thank you Dipa)
1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric powder and red chilli powder
1 tablespoon of Nitus Magical Spice Blend
1 tablespoon of garam masala powder (for my garam masala recipe please click HERE )
1 cup of yogurt blended with 1/2 cup of tomato paste (readymade supermarket bought tomato paste also known in spain as tomate frito)
Juice of 1 lime or to taste
chopped coriander leaves
1 heaped teaspoon of salt or to taste
1. Clean the chicken and put it into a thick good casserole and add 1/2 cup of water, salt  and the ground paste,bay leaves and curry leaves.
2. Boil it till the water evaorates and the chicken is half cooked. In Spain we have tender chickens, if the chicken in your country takes longer to cook please add some more water. I just needed half a cup.
3. Once the water has evaporated cook it on low heat till the chicken starts browning a bit in its own. Please take care not to burn. If it starts burning and is still raw please add more water ( i say this because quality of chicken differes from city to city):
4. Once you see the chicken is done (you will know it you try to cut a small piece and its white from inside) add all the spices and cook till you see the chicken will start to stick to the pan. Do not panic!
5. Add the yogurt and tomato puree mixture and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove whatever has stuck. This gives the chicken more taste
6. Cook now for a few minutes till you see the sauce thickening and you can see a few drops of oil. This is the natural fat from the chicken. Check a piece, if it breaks off easily from the bone its ready!! If not add some more water and cook till done.
7. Add the lemon juice and coriander leaves . Check the seasoning and correct.
8. Serve hot with either boiled basmati rice, naans or rotis. The amount of sauce(gravy) you want can be adjusted by adding water accordingly.
6 tablespoons of coriander seeds
2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of nigella seeds (black onon seeds, kalaunji)
1 tablespoon of aniseeds (saunf)
1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
Roast all these spices in a pan. Cool slightly and blend. Keep bottled and use whenever you want to flavour your food with a special spice 🙂
This recipe was made without a drop of oil. If you want a richer taste you can add some oil, butter or ghee after boiling the chicken, when its drying in the pan… Add the oil then and then proceed 🙂
Nitu Chugani©

This entry was posted in Chicken, Gluten Free, Healthy Options, Ideas for meals, Indian Restaurant Dishes, Low Cost, Magic Bullet, Nitu´s Spicy Delights, NO OIL RECIPES, Quick Recipes, Spices, Step by Step and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Parece complicado, pero leyendolo bien no es así.
    Muy especiado y rico.

    • nituchugani says:

      Reme…. si muy especiado por que la como de los restaurantes en los autopistas en la india son asi…pero muy rico 🙂 para ti sin picante 🙂 hahahaha

  2. Good wishes for the New year Nitudidi:)

  3. Sheena says:

    The picture shows aoil floating on the top. Where did it come from?

  4. Uttpal Khot says:

    Yes, Even I tried the recipe and the chicken does leave some oil in the gravy. My suggestion here would be to boil chicken outside first, remove stock and then use the half boiled chicken to make this dish. I guess this will leave us with less or no oil left by the bird in the dish. Worth a try for health conscious people. Overall Fantastic recipe. I loved it. Thanks..

  5. Reena M Hira says:

    I shall be making this dish. Sounds good “Oil Free”. Thanks iTunes.

    • nituchugani says:

      Lovely….if you do, can you please take out a pic? I would love to see your creation and share it with everyone 🙂

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