Chicken Changezi is a rich, Mughlai, super Nawabi preparation to embrace any special occasion or to mark a gala celebration. Absolutely tender, falling off from the bones juicy chicken pieces roasted & than cooked in a mild milk & cream based sauce. This Mughlai Chicken Changezi has the power to transform any mundane day into a celebrated moment. And cooking it in an Instant pot or electric pressure cooker is effortless. Stove top method is included too.
This heart throb of Purani Dilli (Old Delhi, India) has the audacity to get you hooked for the rest of your life!
It's exquisite taste, the imperial flavors without using several spices gives this Chicken Changezi in Instant Pot a kingly stature.
Today's Chicken Changezi in Instant Pot is everything you can dream about in a Mughlai food - creamy, extremely rich, that lingering Shahi aroma, the soft falling off from the bones chicken, not spicy & not greasy.
After all, it's home-made with the best ingredients & when you cook it in an Instant pot you can totally ditch the painstaking sauteing part. I can repeat this phrase n nth number of times & bore you 😀 😀
Cooking this same recipe in a pan would have been a marathon of baby sitting & sauteing.
Guys, I try my best to maintain the authentic flavors of a particular recipe while converting it to an Instant Pot formula.
And today's recipe is just that, it took several attempts to reach the real flavors in an IP but I regret none. Because I won't be turning to the pan version any time sooner.
You'll get the same taste, same flavors of a stove top version with much less effort in an IP. Here are some more easy to make Instant Pot recipes from Foodies Terminal. Check them out!
Little something about Mughlai Cuisine
Originally a Mughlai preparation is mild & rich minus the spices & boat loads of oil.
Yes, it's utterly creamy, very fragrant, nutty but not greasy & spicy! Though today it's a different story altogether.
The restaurants & road side joints serve extremely greasy food in the name of Mughlai cuisine. Oozing out oil, literally drenching you all over as you put that first bite or pop that first morsel, & notoriously spicy.
But, today’s Instant Pot Chicken Changezi is what a Mughlai preparation should be – creamy, very rich, fragrant minus the spices & grease.
It's not something that you'll include in your regular menu but would love to have once in a while to mark those special occasions in life or treat a loved one in a Nawabi style 😀
It's those Nawabi flavors, the authentic technique of cooking in ghee, milk, cream & ground fried onions + cashew paste that makes today's Chicken Changezi very REGAL.
And don't forget to roast your chicken pieces before dunking them in the curry sauce. It's super important.
Chicken Changezi Recipe Ingredients
Do not let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. Believe me, a little bit of planning goes a long way.
And that's exactly what you need in your arsenal to make this lip-smacking Mughlai Chicken Changezi Old Delhi style.
- Mains: Bone-in & de skinned chicken pieces. This is super important to make a delicious Chicken Changezi.
- Sauce base: Milk, Cream, tomato puree, fried onion + cashew paste. Absolutely a MUST addition. it adds all the depth of flavors, complexity to the gravy & binds together the creaminess of the dairy ingredients without making the sauce overly creamy.
- Ghee is a must: I would not recommend you to switch ghee with any other fat like white oil, olive oil or mustard oil. The combo of ghee, milk & cream lends a creamy, rich, & deep taste to this Nawabi Changezi chicken.
- Spices: Paprika, garam masala & coriander powder. You'll get a lovely hue & a very mild kick from the paprika. The coriander powder will lend a certain amount of woody smell that's well complemented with the fragrant garam masala. When the spices hit the milk & ghee your whole house will begin to smell so delicious!
- Rest: Dried fenugreek leaves (kasturi methi), Chaat masala, lemon juice. The kasturi methi will lend a certain amount of buttery flavor to the gravy. Hence, you can cheat with the ghee proportion & use very less. The tanginess comes from the chaat masala & the lemon juice. This will eventually balance off the sweetness from the milk & the cream.
- Optional: Deep fried Makhana or Fox nuts. Whenever I have some makhana handy I throw them in to garnish the gravy. But, I do not entirely plan the recipe based on the availability of makhana in my pantry 😀 Perhaps, you got my point, long story short. I don't feel a huge difference in taste if I omit the makhanas. They do provide a certain crunch & texture though. But, does not impact the flavor quotient.
Pro Tip: Making the perfect BIRISTA(deep fried Onion): Always slice the onions finely and do not forget to separate the slices with your fingers before deep frying them. This will prevent them from forming a clump. To enhance the process add salt while frying.
4 Tips to make the best Chicken Changezi in Instant Pot
- Bone-in & de-skinned chicken pieces a MUST:
It's that extremely soft meat falling off from the bones that makes a Mughlai Chicken changezi all the way more desirable. By all means de-skin the chicken. We don't want any extra fat in our gravy & the skin has a certain iconic smell that'll totally spoil the taste of today's recipe
- That Milk makes all the difference: Cook it in milk & add very little water for the intense depth of flavors.Swapping the milk & the cream will hugely impact the taste & the texture of the pressure cooker chicken changezi recipe.
- Use the SAUTE in IP wisely: For todays recipe we will use the SAUTE (set on LOW) for simmering the sauce but won't do any practical sauteing as such. Set it always at LOW.
- Pressure cooking at LOW is the key: Both for cooking the sauce & the chicken in the sauce. Don't be tempted to set it on NORMAL or HIGH. it won't quicken the process, instead you'll end up with a BURN message on the Instant Pot screen.
4 Pre-planning tips to make the recipe weeknight friendly
With the below mentioned tips you can easily prepare chicken changezi in your Instant Pot even during busy weeknights.
- Deep fry the onion & store away: It keeps good for 15 days in an air tight container in the fridge.
- Make-ahead that onion + cashew paste: Yes, you can keep this paste handy & make ahead. Keeps good in the fridge for 5 days when stored in air tight container.
- Fry the Makhanas ahead: They store very well in air tight container at room temperature for 7 days without smelling rancid. You may certainly skip adding the makhanas.
- Roast the chicken before days: Roasted chicken keeps good for 4 days in the fridge without any taste distortion.
How to make Chicken Changezi in Instant Pot? Step by Step
Guys, I am just so happy because the Chicken Changezi recipe adapted so well in my electric pressure cooker aka Instant Pot.
It's time to guide you with all the steps as we will be cooking it in 3 stages - Simmering, Pressure cooking the sauce & pressure cooking the chicken in the sauce.
Now, you must be wondering why 3 stages of cooking is necessary when I could have just dumped everything and pressure cooked it.
I tried doing that and ended up with not very pleasing results. I ended up with a murky curry, all messed up 😀 😛
Thus, I came up with this technique to maintain the real flavors of the recipe & not rush things.
Flash marinate & roast the chicken
Flash marinate & pan roast them with ghee. You may swap the ghee with any white oil.
And you may also roast the chicken on your grill, oven or air fryer.
Simmer the Sauce
Press the SAUTE button , set it on LOW throughout the simmering stage.
Dump the ghee, milk, ginger garlic paste, spices & tomato pure. Give everything a good whisk. Allow it to simmer on LOW for 3 mins.
The simmering will help incorporate & blend the flavors of each ingredient.
And your whole house will start smelling delicious 😉
The consistency of the sauce after simmering should be smooth & silky just like Pic No. 6 below.
Pressure cook the sauce without the chicken first
Keep the SAUTE mode at LOW. Add the fried onion + cashew paste, the chaat masala & about 250-300 ml water. Give everything a good mix.
Close the IP lid, seal the valve.
Press the CANCEL button. Now, press the PRESSURE COOK button & set it at LOW, Time for 1 min.
Do a QPR (quick pressure release) after 1 min immediately. The sauce will thicken slightly, it will turn into a rich dark color bursting with flavors.
Pro Tip: If you want you may totally skip pressure cooking at this stage and instead simmer the sauce at LOW (SAUTE mode) for 6 mins. In that case keep on stirring the sauce frequently. When done the sauce will become darker as seen in pic No. 13, & smooth.
Pressure cook the Chicken in the sauce
It's time to add the cream, kasturi methi, chopped ginger & the roasted chicken pieces.
Mix everything well. Shut the lid of the IP. Press the PRESSURE COOK button, set it at LOW, time for 10 mins.
After 10 mins allow a NPR (natural pressure release).
The chicken will reach that falling of the bones consistency with the residual heat, you will end up with the fat floating on the top of the sauce, eagerly waiting to be served 😀
And a super rich, chicken changezi sauce that's slightly on the thicker side will make your meal a happy time.
How to make Chicken Changezi at Home on Stove Top?
Follow the exact same recipe and swap the Instant Pot with a regular Pressure cooker.
Prep the sauce by simmering on Low flame for 3 mins.
Than, if you want you may pressure cook the sauce for 1 whistle on medium flame after adding the chaat masala & the onion + cashew paste.
Do a quick pressure release. Or you may simply simmer the sauce at this stage for 6 mins on medium low or low heat stirring frequently.
Add the rest of the ingredients (cream, kasturi methi, roasted chicken) and pressure cook on medium flame for about 5 whistles.
Do a natural pressure release and than open the lid of your pressure cooker.
Chicken Changezi - FAQs
What is Chicken Changezi?
Chicken Changezi is a Mughlai preparation cooked with roasted bone-in chicken pieces in a rich sauce that has all the goodness from milk, cream, cashews, deep fried onions & ghee.
The specialty of authentic Mughlai Chicken Changezi is it's fewer spice content.
Hence, it's mild yet very rich nature makes it a perfect candidate for special occasions, parties & feasts.
Mughlai Chicken Changezi is very popular in Delhi, India.
So, if you happen to visit Delhi, especially Purani Dilli (Old Delhi), do not miss feasting on Chicken Changezi from Al Jawahar, Karol Bagh, Daryaganj, Rajouri Garden.
Why the name Chicken Changezi?
Chicken Changezi has a mixed historical nomenclature background.
A set of food historians believe that it's basically an invention of one of the chefs of the 13th century Mongolian invader Genghis Khan (also known as Changez Khan). And hence, the name Changezi Chicken.
He was very particular about his food & it was quiet difficult to impress his unique taste.
It's believed that the chef of Genghis Khan experimented, invented this super rich, super creamy chicken recipe & pleased the emperor at one go. Quiet impressive right? 😉
However, the other side of the story states that the Mogolian emperor Ghengis Khan never stepped in Delhi, though he was very close.
And, the recipe of Chicken Changezi uses the spices that were not familiar to the Mongols.
Whatever, may be the case, as there are several ways of cooking a Chicken Changezi recipe and it's hard to tag one with the authenticity.
Similarly, it's hard to authenticate the originality of it's name.
Chicken ChangeziPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 700 gms Chicken on bones (1.54 pounds)
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- ¾ cup deep fried onion (loosely packed)
- 12 broken cashew nuts (if using whole use 5 or 6)
- ½ cup Tomato Puree
- ⅓ cup cream
- 1.5-2 cups Milk
- ¼ cup Ghee (melted)
- 10 deep fried Makhanas (OPTIONAL)
- 1 tsp crushed kasturi methi (also known as dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1 tsp Chaat masala
- ½ tbsp Coriander Powder (heaped)
- ½ tbsp Paprika or Deggi Mirch or Kashmiri Red Chili Powder (heaped)
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tsp chopped ginger (or juliennes)
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt (to taste)
- 250-300 ml warm water
For Roasting the Chicken
For making the Birista (deep fried onion)
- 2 large onion finely sliced (separated)
- 1 cup Oil (choose an oil with high smoking point)
How to skillet roast the chicken:
- Begin by flash marinating the chicken pieces with turmeric, red chili powder and salt.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat and sear the meat well on all sides. Set aside. It should take you around 6-7 mins.
How to make the Birista (Deep fried onion):
- Slice the onions finely and separate the slices with your fingers. This is a MUST for a perfect home-made barista.
- Heat the oil in a deep bottom pan over medium high heat.
- Release the onion slices and fry them until lightly brown. It should take you 7-8 mins. Fry them in batches to prevent limp onions. Set aside.
How to make Chicken Changezi in an Instant Pot:
- Press the SAUTE button in your instant pot and set it to LOW.
- Dump the milk, ghee, ginger garlic paste, spices (except the chaat masala) and the tomato puree together and give everything a good whisk.
- Simmer at LOW (Saute mode) for 2-3 mins until the sauce becomes smooth and silky.
- In the meantime make a smooth paste of the birista (fried onion) and the cashews. Set aside.
- Add the onion + cashew paste, the chaat masala and about 250-300 ml warm water to the simmering sauce. The water amount may vary. The trick to judge the water is that after adding the chicken pieces they should just dip in the sauce and not remain under the sauce.
- Press the CANCEL button and than close the lid of the IP, seal the valve to the SEALING position.
- Now press the PRESSURE COOK button and set to at LOW for 1 min. OR you may totally skip the pressure cooking part and instead simmer the sauce at LOW (SAUTE mode) for 6 mins stirring frequently.
- After 1 min as the IP starts to beep do a QPR (Quick pressure release), open the lid and give the sauce a good stir.
- Now add the cream, kasturi methi and half of the chopped ginger to the sauce. Add the roasted chicken pieces and mix everything well.
- At this point its VERY IMPORTANT to check that the chicken should just dip in the sauce and not be completely under the sauce. Refer the pic No. 16 and check the video. If need be add some warm water.
- Close the lid of the IP. Seal the valve to the sealing position and press the PRESSURE COOK button and set it at LOW and set the time for 10 mins.
- After 10 mins when the IP starts to beep do not do a QPR instead wait for a natural pressure release for at least 8 mins, release the remaining residual pressure and open the lid. Or you might instead do a complete NPR and allow the pin (the small round structure just beside the valve) to drop naturally.
- The chicken will be completely cooked and reach that ultimate tender state where the meat will fall off from the bones. Serve it with Naan bread or rice.
- Instant Pot Abbreviations used in today's post: IP = Instant Pot, QPR = Quick Pressure Release, NPR = Natural Pressure Release.
- You may skip adding the deep fried Makhanas or Fox Nuts.
- Serving Ideas: Serve this delcious Chicken Changezi with Chapati, Naan bread or rice. It even tastes good with a simple rice pilaf.
- Storing Ideas: It keeps good in the fridge for 4 days when kept in an air tight container.
- Is Chicken Changezi freezable? No, it's not.
- You may adjust the amount of ghee in this recipe. Use more or less according to your taste preference. I would not use less than ¼ cup though.
- VERY IMPORTANT: This is a tip to avoid the BURN message in your IP. Remember that the sauce should have enough liquid so that the roasted chicken pieces just dips in and not gets completely submerged. If you feel the sauce needs a little more liquid before the final pressure cooking. Add some warm water & mix everything well.
Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
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