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Kettle Chicken

Servings: 4
Cuisine: Indian
Course: Main Course
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Kettle chicken has a lot of history attached to it. It takes me back to my childhood. It is an old recipe of my mother that is loved by four generations of foodies. Such is the love for the dish that a whole chicken (and the eggs) was devoured among the two tweens of mine at that time.
This is my mother’s take on the roast chicken with desi masalas. Call it the fusion food of the 1940s. Each time I plan to cook this, I am always asked “Ande daale (did you add in the eggs)?”.


  • 750 gms whole chicken
  • 6 baby potatoes peeled
  • 6 small onions peeled
  • 4 boiled eggs (1 per person)
  • Kneaded flour for dum


  • 5 tbsp curd
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4   tbsp ginger garlic paste 
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • Coarsely ground garam masala (see below)
  • Salt to taste

Garam masala (for the marinade)

  • 7-8 cloves
  • 1″ piece of cinnamon
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 6 black cardamom
  • 10 black pepper
  • 2 pieces of mace
  • 1 star anise


  • Crush together the garam masala ingredients well and keep aside.
  • Clean the chicken. Make gashes on the breast and the legs of the chicken making sure you don’t go too deep.
  • Add in the marinade ingredients including the garam masala. Massage the chicken well inside out.
  • Let it marinate for 3-4 hours.
  • When ready to cook, put the boiled eggs inside the chicken.
  • Move the chicken into a large deep pan. Ideally a large pressure cooker.
  • Arrange the potatoes and onions alongside the chicken.
  • Add in about half a glass of water so that the chicken does not burn.
  • Knead the flour. Roll it into long tubes and place them on the rim of the pan/cooker. This is similar to dum.
  • Place a flat lid on top, press it down so that the kneaded flour sticks to it.
  • Pour a bit of water on the lid.
  • Let is cook on high flame for 2 minutes. Reduce the flame to as low as possible and let it cook for about 20 minutes. In case the water dries up on the lid, pour some more on it.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the lid and check with a knife if the chicken is cooked. If still not done, return it to the low flame and let it cook some more. You don’t need to create a new batch of dum atta.
  • When cooked, remove the chicken from the pan to a serving dish. Dry the liquid to a thick sauce and pour it over the chicken.
  • Baste the chicken with a bit of oil and grill in the oven for 5 minutes to get that lovely golden color.
  • Serve hot.
Kettle Chicken