Mamta's Kitchen

Chicken Curry Aachari-Pickle Style

Murga Aachari

Sunaina Sehrawat

This dish is called 'achari' or pickle style, because it uses pickling spices and mustard oil, which often used in making pickles in northern India. You can make this dish using an alternative marinade; Achari Marinade Mix. Serves 4

Most people spell it with a single A, Achari. However, the correct Hindi word is pronounced as Aachar, with a hard aa sound. Aachar means pickle and Aachari means 'like a pickle'.


  • 500 gm. chicken pieces, skin removed

  • 4 tsp. lemon juice

  • 4 tbsp. thick yoghurt

  • 1 tsp. ground/grated garlic

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. kalonji/kalaunji/nigella seeds (Nigella sativa)

  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder (to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp. hing or asafoetida powder

  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1/4 cup vinegar

  • 1 tbsp. gram flour or besan

  • 4 tsp. mustard oil. You can use another cooking oil of choice

  • 3 tsp. Aachar (pickle) masala paste or a mix bought from Indian shop

  • Salt to taste


  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl with the chicken and mix well.

  2. Marinade in a fridge overnight or for 3-4 hours minimum.

  3. Place in a slow-cooker and let it cook until meat is almost falling off the bones.

  4. You can cook it in a pan on low heat or in an oven, slowly, at180°C or 360° F, until chicken is cooked through.

  5. Serve hot, garnished with thinly sliced onions and/or coriander leaves with freshly made Tandoori Roti 2 or Nan or Chapatties or Boiled Rice.


  • Kalonji can be spelled as Kalowunji on some packets.

  • This dish is oven cooked/grilled and thus has very little oil.

  • If you do not have an oven, it can be cooked in a wok or deep pan. Stir fry chicken in 1 tbsp. of hot oil until nicely browned. Lower heat, cover and cook until tender.

  • No additional water is required if you cook it on medium-low heat.

  • A few tips for cooking with yoghurt :

  • Always use full fat yoghurt, if possible. Skimmed milk yoghurt sometimes curdles during cooking. If you wish to use low fat yoghurt, add 1 heaped teaspoon of plain or corn flour per cup of yoghurt.

  • Make sure that the yoghurt is at room temperature. If chilled yoghurt straight from the fridge is added to a hot dish, it may curdle.

  • Or, take out a few tablespoons of the hot food in a bowl, mix yoghurt, warming it a bit and then stir it back into the hot dish.

  • Substitute sour cream for yoghurt, using only half the amount.

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