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Pakistani Behari Chicken

Behari Chicken

Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Keyword Behari, Bihari, Kabab, Pakistani
Author Sarah Mir


  • 1 large chicken cut into 2 leg pieces and 2 breast pieces tikka cuts (with skin removed)
  • 1 large onion fried golden brown
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp roasted grounded cumin seeds zeera
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp of roasted poppy seeds optional
  • Oil for coating


  • Wash and pat your chicken dry. Add cuts along the lengths of your chicken pieces.
  • In a blender add brown fried onions, along with yogurt and all the other spices. Blend until you get fine smooth paste.
  • Marinate the chicken pieces in the heavy marinade. Making sure you get all the nooks and crannies.
  • Cover the chicken and let it marinade for 4 hours or overnight. You can smoke your chicken with a coal at this point.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 30 mins before you have to make it.
  • Cooking methods:
  • a. On a BBQ grill. - This is pretty straight forward. You fire up a grill and grill on both sides till its nice and charred
  • b. Pan frying. - Pan fry the pieces on a pan at high flame on both sides for about 4 mins on each side or till you get a nice color on both sides. Then reduce the flame to low. Cover the pan and let it cook for another 10 mins.
  • c. Baking - Grease a pan with oil or butter and place your chicken pieces on it. Coat the chicken with oil as well. Cover the chicken in foil and Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 375F or 15 mins. Remove the foil and Turn on the broil and bake for another 5 mins until you get a nice color on top. Take the chicken out, flip the pieces over and broil for another 5 mins.
  • Serve with some extra lemon slices to squeeze on top, onion slices and mint chutney.


If you are going dairy free, you can substitute yogurt with 4 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp vinger.
The spice level in Behari chicken isn't very high, so if you want, you can up the spice level.
You can prepare all types of chicken cuts with the same marination. Reduce the salt to 1 tsp if using small boneless cubes.
If you want super tender melt in your mouth Behari chicken, you can add 1 tbsp of raw papaya paste half an hour before grilling the chicken.