Chicken Chargha Recipe – Spicy, Juicy, & Tender

Bring a spicy twist on traditional Sunday chicken dinner. Try this yummy chicken chargha recipe if you love desi Pakistani and Indian food.

Lahori chicken chargha is one of the most iconic Pakistani dishes that is popular all over the world. A whole chicken is first steamed in a spicy, tangy marinade, and then fried for a crispy, golden outside.

If you are bored with your traditional chicken recipes, this spicy chargha chicken will get all the attention on the dinner table. I absolutely love this recipe, especially during the holidays or when the whole family is around because it gets ready quickly, and requires a few ingredients only.

Serve the chicken chargha with a side of refreshing mint chutney, bread, rice, or roasted vegetables. Some of the vegetables that I serve it with are caramelized onions, potatoes, broccoli, and beans.

The recipe that I bring you today gives you total freedom of how you want your chicken. You can deep fry it for extra crunchiness, air fry the chicken, or bake it as you like. The traditional way is to steam the chicken and then deep fry it.

The chicken is absolutely delicious! Just make sure to serve it with cold lemonade or Coca-Cola.


  • 1 whole chicken skin removed, and cuts added to the meat
  • 3 tbsp of yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 medium-sized onions
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp whole spice powder (also called garam masala)
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • A pinch of red food color
  • A pinch of nutmeg powder
  • Oil for frying


  1. Take a whole chicken and remove the skin. Make sure to clean it, and make deep horizontal cuts into the meat.
  2. In a bowl, add yogurt and all the spices to make a marinade.
  3. Coat the chicken with the marinade and make sure to get the mixture into the cuts.
  4. Cover the chicken and let it refrigerate overnight if possible or at least 5 hours. It will make sure the spices are absorbed into the chicken.
  5. Tie the legs of the chicken with a thread and pin the wings to the body using toothpicks.
  6. In a large pot, add 1/4 cup oil. Once the oil is hot, add 3-4 onions cut in halves.
  7. Now place your chicken on top of the onions and cover the pot with the lid.
  8. Cook the chicken over high heat for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to a medium, and continue cooking for 25 minutes. If your chicken weighs more than 4 lbs, increase the cooking time by 10 mins.
  9. Remove the chicken from the pot and deeply try it into another pan in hot oil for 5-6 minutes until each side looks golden brown. Make sure the oil covers half of the chicken and fry each side well.
  10. Dish out the chicken, add saute onion on the side and sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve it with rice, and mint chutney.

Nutritional Facts of Chicken Chargha

Calories: 477 kcal

Sugar                       1gSodium                        754mg
Fats                          34gCholesterol                   185mg
Carbohydrates       3gProtein                          38g

Chef Notes

  • Make sure to use a heavy bottom pot, so the ingredients don’t burn.
  • When frying the chicken, use strong tongs to handle the chicken to avoid oil splatter.
  • You can also add boiled sliced potatoes to the onion mixture in which the chicken is steamed, and cook for about 2 minutes to serve it with Chicken Chargha.
  • If you feel like the chicken is less spicy than what you wanted, sprinkle chat masala on top.
  • You can also fry the chicken in an air fryer or bake it. For baking, coat the steamed chicken in a thick layer of ghee, and bake for 20 minutes at 200 C.

What can you do with the leftover chicken chargha?

Have some leftover chicken? You’re in luck as there are so many things you can make with it such as:

  • Make pasta
  • Make yummy pizza toppings
  • Make blub sandwiches
  • Use them in fajita wraps

You can also try Pollo Cancun if you love chicken dishes for dinner.

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