Mum’s Bangladeshi roast chicken recipe – the best you’ll have

October 29, 2020

Bengali roast chicken recipe

This recipe was updated on 30th October 2020 to answer some reader FAQs.

Since becoming a mum, I’ve really gotten into home cooking.  And for Eid, a special occasion or an indulgent treat, this simple Bangladeshi roast chicken recipe is the best.  My mum’s Bengali roast chicken recipe doesn’t need much introduction.

Quite simply, it’s the tastiest, most flavoursome roast chicken you will ever have. I know that’s a big claim, but I firmly stand by it.  And once you make my Bangladeshi roast chicken recipe, you’ll be inclined to agree.

Bengali roast chicken makes tandoori chicken seem dry. It makes a traditional Sunday roast taste like a bland affair.

I like to cut to the chase as I know you’re busy, so you’ll find the full recipe below. Also, for brevity, I’ve detailed some extra FAQs and troubleshooting tips underneath so you can make the very best Bengali roast chicken.

Ingredients for authentic Bangladeshi roast chicken:

  • 8 medium or large chicken pieces consisting of thigh and leg pieces.
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced.
  • Stick of cinnamon
  • 3 cardamon seeds
  • 1cm root ginger, grated finely
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed or diced
  • 1sp each of turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • A pinch of paprika.
  • Salt
  • 1tbsp oil from an Indian pickle jar (optional but thoroughly recommended).

Bengali roast chicken recipe

Bengali roast chicken method:

  • Put your chicken pieces in a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1tsp of turmeric and mix well, ensuring the chicken in well coated.
  • Transfer the chicken pieces to a pan and fry in about 2tbsp of oil on a low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes so the pieces brown slightly but don’t burn.
  • Don’t worry if the chicken doesn’t fully cook during this time as they’ll do the remainder of their cooking in the onion mixture. Turn over a few times so the chicken doesn’t stick. You might need to add more oil if the spices start to burn.
  • HalimaBobs Bengali roast chicken cheat – my mum normally fries the chicken in batches so they’re all flat on the pan without overlaps. I, however, fried mine altogether and stirred as I went along so they brown evenly. This was much quicker and didn’t affect the end result at all.   

  • Meanwhile, fry the onions, ginger and garlic with a tsp of salt on a medium heat for around 10 minutes. You don’t want them to brown, they just need to soften. But ensure the onions don’t melt (like my other curry recipes specify). You want them to still maintain their body.
  • Add the spices to the onions and stir well. Let the spicy onions fry but be careful they don’t burn.
  • HalimaBobs Bangladeshi roast chicken recipe tip! Well this is actually my mum’s tip, but you can add in some oil from a jar of Indian pickle (such as Pataks mango pickle). This gives the flavour a slight tang and really lifts the whole dish.

  • If the onions seem to getting too dry, you can add about 2tbsps if water. You should have a thick, rich consistency, rather than a saucy curry.
  • Toss in the chicken pieces.
  • Cook for about 15-20 minutes on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and you have a nice, rich onion sauce.
  • Serve with pilau rice or plain boiled rice.

For a simple, spicy fish dish, check out my Bangladeshi fried fish.

More home-cooked Bengali recipes:

Bengali roast chicken recipe – FAQs

What makes this Bangladeshi roast chicken different to a regular roast chicken?

The most obvious thing is that unlike a traditional roast chicken, this Bengali roast chicken isn’t cooked in the oven. The chicken pieces of fried, and then added to a very sick rich onion sauce. So it’s actually more like a dry curry.

Can you use chicken with the skin on?

Absolutely you can use chicken with the skin on for this Bengali roast chicken recipe. I prefer not to however, as I’m not a huge fan of chicken skin. However, you do you.

What’s the best thing to eat Bangkadeshi roast chicken with?

This one’s easy. This recipe goes unquestionably well with pilau rice.

I don’t have all the ingredients for this Bengali roast chicken? Can I cut any corners?

Of course! All my recipes are adaptable. The coriander is optional as is the pickle. You can also leave out the cinnamon. The fresh ginger and garlic can be swapped for puree or jar alternatives. You can also use less spice if you prefer.

How spicy is this roast chicken?

If you are not huge fan of very spicy food, then this roast chicken recipe is for you. It’s a lighter on the heat, a more on delicious, rich, succulent flavour.

Can you make Bengali roast chicken in the oven? 

Instead of frying the chicken in a pan, you can cook it in the oven using the same spices as detailed.  However, you’d need to transfer to the hob for the second stage, where you create the onion gravy.

Can you add vegetables to the Bangladeshi roast chicken recipe? 

I would advise keeping this dish veg-free and thick in consistency.  However, you can cook vegetables as a side dish which would go great!

If you like this Bangladeshi roast chicken recipe, you’ll love my Bangladeshi lamb curry. 

For a deep fried pakora indulgence, try my Bengali daal bora recipe.


About the Author


I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!

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