Chicken Lababdar is a mouthwatering Indian dish known for its rich and creamy tomato-based gravy, combined with tender pieces of chicken and a medley of aromatic spices. The name “Lababdar” roughly translates to “heart-stealing” or “captivating,” and it perfectly describes the dish’s ability to captivate the senses with its delightful flavors and textures.
The dish originates from the state of Punjab in North India, renowned for its hearty and flavorful cuisine. Chicken Lababdar is a testament to the culinary expertise of Punjab, with its vibrant use of ingredients and spices.
Key ingredients in Chicken Lababdar typically include boneless chicken, ripe tomatoes (pureed to create a lush gravy), fresh cream, butter or ghee (clarified butter), a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala, ginger, garlic, green chilies, onions, cashew nuts (ground to provide a creamy consistency), and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for added flavor.
you must read:
- 500 grams boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
- Salt to taste
For the Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 cup ripe tomatoes, pureed
- 1/2 cup fresh cream
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2-3 green chilies, slit (adjust to your spice preference)
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked and ground into a paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed
- Salt to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and coat them thoroughly. Cover and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Cooking the Chicken:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and sauté until they turn golden brown and are cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
Preparing the Gravy:
- In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of butter or ghee.
- Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent and start to turn golden brown.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another couple of minutes until the raw smell disappears.
- Pour in the tomato puree and green chilies. Cook the mixture until the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes.
- Add the cashew nut paste and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring continuously.
- Sprinkle in the cumin powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. Stir well to combine all the spices.
- Return the sautéed chicken to the pan and mix it into the gravy.
- Pour in the fresh cream and stir to achieve the desired consistency. You can adjust the amount of cream to your preference.
- Sprinkle crushed kasuri methi over the dish, which adds a unique flavor to the Chicken Lababdar.
- Taste the gravy and adjust the salt and spice levels if needed.
- Let the Chicken Lababdar simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves just before serving.
- Serve hot with naan, roti, or fragrant basmati rice.
Tips and variation
- Marinate the chicken in yogurt, turmeric, and red chili powder for at least 30 minutes. This step ensures that the chicken absorbs the flavors and becomes tender.
- Opt for fresh and ripe tomatoes to make the tomato puree, and use high-quality chicken for the best results.
- Adjust the amount of cream according to your preference. More cream will make the gravy richer and creamier, while less cream will yield a lighter consistency.
- Manage the level of spiciness by varying the number of green chilies and the type of chili powder you use. Remember that removing the seeds from green chilies can reduce the heat.
- Dry roast whole spices like cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and garam masala before grinding them. This enhances their flavors.
- Crush kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) between your palms before adding it to the dish. This releases its aromatic essence.
- Take your time to sauté the onions until they turn a golden brown color. This adds sweetness and depth to the gravy.
- Paneer Lababdar: For a vegetarian twist, replace the chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes. Follow the same recipe, adjusting the cooking time for paneer.
- Mushroom Lababdar: Mushroom lovers can use sliced mushrooms in place of chicken. Sauté them until they release their moisture and follow the recipe as usual.
- Mixed Vegetable Lababdar: Create a colorful dish by adding a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, peas, and carrots along with the chicken or paneer.
- Healthier Version: To make a lighter version of Chicken Lababdar, substitute cream with yogurt or cashew milk. You can also use olive oil instead of butter.
- Vegan Lababdar: Replace dairy ingredients with vegan alternatives like coconut cream, almond milk, or cashew cream. Use tofu or tempeh as a chicken substitute.
- Spicy Lababdar: If you prefer a fiery kick, increase the number of green chilies or add a pinch of red chili flakes to intensify the heat.
1. What is the best way to serve Chicken Lababdar?
Chicken Lababdar is best served hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves, and accompanied by naan (Indian bread) or basmati rice. The creamy gravy and tender chicken make it a delightful main course.
2. Can Chicken Lababdar be made less spicy?
Yes, Chicken Lababdar can be adjusted to your preferred level of spiciness. You can control the heat by reducing the number of green chilies or using mild spices.
3. Is Chicken Lababdar a popular dish in Indian cuisine?
Yes, Chicken Lababdar is a popular and beloved dish in Indian cuisine, especially in North India. It is often prepared for special occasions and celebrations due to its rich and indulgent flavors.
4. Can I find Chicken Lababdar in Indian restaurants outside of India?
Yes, Chicken Lababdar is commonly served in Indian restaurants around the world, making it accessible to food enthusiasts who want to enjoy this flavorful dish.
5. Are there vegetarian versions of Lababdar dishes?
Yes, there are vegetarian versions of Lababdar dishes that substitute chicken with ingredients like paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or vegetables. These dishes offer a similarly rich and creamy gravy experience.
- Fish fry recipe (step-by-step)
- Aloo fry recipe
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Fish Cutlet Recipe
- Bharwa Baingan Recipe