Dum ka Murgh



Whole chicken cooked in onion,tomato and yogurt gravy
Whole chicken cooked in onion,tomato and yogurt gravy

Dum ka murg is a traditional dish from Hyderabad-the royal land of Nizams.

Hyderabad fondly known as the ‘Pearl City’ is an enchanting land of heritage monuments,forts,palaces, lakes, museums, gardens, software parks and more importantly a delectable cuisine fit for the kings. The once princely state was a kingdom of the wealthy and powerful Qutubshahi and Asafjahi rulers. The relics of their glorious rule can still be seen all over the city. Hyderabad has now emerged as the seat of India’s mighty Software dynasty. but what is remarkable about this city is that it has not lost  its princely charm while catering to the city’s new royalty. Hyderabadi food even today can boast of the aristocratic touch.

Interesting Facts: The last Nizam of Hyderabad, Sir Osman Ali Khan was an eccentric ruler. He was the world’s richest man until his death in 1967. He used a £50 million ostrich-egg sized diamond which weighs 184.97 carats as a paperweight,but wore a crumpled turban and same patched clothes for months. He  donated trunk loads of gold coins to the National Defence Fund of India but instructed his workers to make sure his trunks were returned because he was only donating the coins and not the trunks.He built a wardrobe half a mile long  and a mile long banquet hall in one of his palaces. The basement was full of run down trucks full of gold coins,gems and pearls. But his most precious possession were his 86 mistresses whom he tucked away in various palaces.In 1947, the Nizam  gifted a diamond tiara and diamond necklace to Princess Elizabeth when she was getting married. The necklace is still worn by the Queen.

Dum ka Murgh means Chicken cooked on slow fire. Murgh is ‘chicken’ and Dum means ‘slow cooking’. In this dish, whole chicken is marinated in spiced yogurt,tomatoes and onion gravy and cooked under and over hot charcoals. Even today it is cooked in this traditional way in Hyderabad.You can also use quartered chicken pieces with this recipe. To get the authentic royal taste,try following the recipe completely. In case you cannot manage to cook with charcoals, you can cook on low heat on stove top. Of course,it will not be the same. The best way is to place the dish over a charcoal grill and cover the lid with hot coals. The chicken becomes succulent and very flavorful. I like to add a smoky flavor to this dish. For that  place one piece of hot coal in a small steel bowl in the dish. Pour a teaspoon of ghee or oil on the coal and cover with lid. This gives a beautiful smoky flavor to the chicken.

The utensil which is used to cook the dish is called ‘Lagan’. It is flat and wide mouthed. However if using whole chicken make sure it is a little deep.

Lagan- flat wide mouthed utensil
Lagan- flat wide mouthed utensil

Dum ka Murgh

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 1 chicken whole or quartered(with or without skin)
  • 250 g onions sliced and fried crisp
  • 50 g cashews ground to paste
  • 25 g poppy seeds (khus-khus) roasted and ground to paste
  • 25 g chironji nuts (skip if unavailable)roasted and ground to paste
  • 1 tbsp. dried or fresh coconut ground to paste
  • 250 g yogurt
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tbsp. oil/ ghee


  1. Marinate chicken with salt,chili powder,turmeric,yogurt,tomatoes and garam masala powder in a deep bottomed pot.
  2. Cover and cook on stove top till chicken is half done.
  3. In a lagan (wide and flat bottom utensil) put the ghee or oil.
  4. Place this lagan on hot charcoals (or charcoal grill) or low stove top heat.
  5. Add the ginger garlic paste to the oil and saute for a minute.
  6. Add the cashew,poppy seed, chironji,coconut paste and saute further. make sure it doesn’t burn. Add a teaspoon or more of water while sauteing to avoid sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
  7. Slowly lower in the chicken along with the remaining tomato and yogurt gravy.Give a light stir.
  8. Sprinkle fried onions all over the chicken.
  9.  Cover lid.
  10. Place hot charcoals over lid and leave to cook for 20-30 minutes.
  11. Check once in between. Be careful with the hot coals.
  12. Place one piece of hot coal in a small steel bowl in the dish. Pour a teaspoon of ghee or oil on the coal and cover with lid. This gives a beautiful smoky flavor to the chicken.
  13. Serve hot with flat breads or rice.



I am taking this royal dish from Hyderabad to party with my Fiesta Friday friends. FF 86 along with the gracious host Angie is being co-hosted by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Quinn @ Dad Whats 4 Dinner.

Come along and join the fun…..


70 thoughts on “Dum ka Murgh

  1. That looks really good. What about doing it in a Romertopf dish, or would the requisite soaking make the chicken too moist? I haven’t used it in decades, but I know right where it is at the moment! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Judie. There is not much soaking in the recipe. The chicken turns flavorful,tender and succulent by the technique of cooking . I am sure you can try the Romertopf dish but I think you can only use it in the oven. The charcoal smoke and flavor might be missing but still the dish should turn out reasonably good. Good reason to take the long forgotten dish out 😉
      Hugs and regards 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi for being a wonderful host Judi. I know I am late but I also know that I would be welcomed warmly. You can cook this on a stove top and cover the lid with hot coals from the barbecue. The barbecues must still be out from summer. Do try it. You will be pleasantly surprised 👍☺


    1. Thank you so much Nitali. Knowing a bit of background behind the food makes it really interesting right? When ever I find something interesting I like to share it with everyone. Thank you again for the kind feedback ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! This murgh looks so yummy! I want to lick my laptop’s screen. Very, very interesting story/history. Almost all the Hyderabad words you used are same as Farsi with different spelling and probably because of slightly different pronunciation. Hyderabads were originally of Persian ancestry right? I love posts with stories and superb recipe to go with. Thank you, SKD! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!Thats an awesome compliment. Thank you so much dear Fae ☺
      During the Muslim rule, many Persian and Arab scholars, physicians and poets came to India. The Nizams of Hyderabad patronised Persian art, literature and architecture. Due to which at least 70% of Urdu words are derived from Persian language. Even today Hyderabad has an impressive line up of Irani cafes and restaurants. Most popular are the Irani Chai and Haleem. And my grandma was a beautidul Persian lady who gave all of us those sharp Persian noses.
      Thank you once again for the kind words ☺


    1. Ofcourse You dear Julie. I would love to have it served to you with proper elan and royal splendour.Actually I was eyeing your Cheese Babka to go with the chicken. It would be a sumptuous combination….
      And can you believe he impregnated all of them. He is known to have a 100 children born from them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for liking it ☺ 👍 If you can’t get hold of chironji you can substitute it with the paste of skinned almonds or melon seeds. Nuts add that richness to give this dish a touch of royalty 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, the chicken looks so mouth-watering! I imagine how it tastes like!
    I also try to imagine what kind of interesting person Sir Osman Ali Khan was.
    He reminds me of my friend, who gave me tea leaves but asked the tea-box back… because he only gave me the tea leaves! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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