This recipe whole braised chicken in rich gravy (duruj kura) recipe comes from Dina's book Made in Bangladesh: Recipes and Stories from a Home Kitchen, (£28, Hardie).

Dina says: "This showstopper of a dish originates from the Chittagong district, and is traditionally served to welcome a new groom into the bride’s family. Mellow, lightly spiced and creamy, the skinless chicken is melt-in-your-mouth and flavoursome throughout, thanks to slow-cooking and bhagar, or tempering of golden fried onions. Serve it with shada pulao for the ultimate meal."

This is a recipe that Dina shared as part of her guide to Bangladeshi cuisine. Check it out to learn more about the complex flavours of this South Asian country, including fragrant rice with ghee and whole spices (shada pulao) and firni. Then discover our Asian street food recipes.

Whole braised chicken in rich gravy (duruj kura) recipe


  • 1.7kg chicken, skinned
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions, finely sliced
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt


  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp panch phoron


  • 1 small onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4-6 green chillies
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder


  • STEP 1

    To make the dry spice mixture, toast the ingredients in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 mins, or until fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool briefly, then grind in a spice grinder or using a pestle and mortar to a fine blend.

  • STEP 2

    To make the wet spice mixture, combine all the ingredients in a food processor or chopper and blend.

  • STEP 3

    In a bowl, mix together the wet and dry spice mixtures until combined. Put the chicken in a large, deep bowl, and use a small skewer to prick holes all over it, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Rub the spice mixture onto the chicken, evenly coating it and using up all of the mixture. Cover the bowl and chill for 1-2 hrs.

  • STEP 4

    When you’re ready to begin cooking, take a large, deep pot that will hold the chicken snugly and put the chicken, breast-side down, inside the pot. Pour 500ml of water around the sides of the chicken. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 30 mins, checking after 20 mins to ensure the chicken isn’t sticking to the bottom.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the onions for 12-15 mins, or until deep golden. Take the pan off the heat and remove half of the onions using a slotted spoon. Spread out on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  • STEP 6

    Using tongs or skewers, carefully turn the bird so that it’s breast-side up. Cover and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook for 40 mins. Take the chicken off the heat and cool for 5 mins. In a jug, mix together the yogurt and milk, then very slowly pour into the pot to ensure the mixture doesn’t curdle. Return the pot to the stove over a very low heat. Simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 mins, basting the chicken with the gravy every now and then.

  • STEP 7

    Put the pan with the onions over a high heat. When hot, after 1-2 mins, tip the onions on top of the chicken, then cover and simmer for a final 10 mins. You can check if the chicken is done by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh – it should be at least 70C. To serve, put the chicken on a serving dish, then spoon over the gravy. Sprinkle with the reserved fried onions.

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