Authentic Chicken Bhutua Recipe from Nepal

Chicken Bhutua

Authentic Chicken Bhutua Recipe from Nepal
Region / culture: Nepal | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Chicken Bhutua
Chicken Bhutua

Chicken Bhutua is a traditional Nepali dish that is packed with flavor and spice. This dish features tender pieces of chicken cooked with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs, creating a delicious and satisfying meal.


Chicken Bhutua originated in the mountainous regions of Nepal, where it is a popular dish among the locals. The dish is typically made with lamb, but chicken is a common variation that is equally delicious. The name "Bhutua" refers to the cooking technique of stir-frying the meat with spices until it is well-cooked and flavorful.


How to prepare

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1 tbsp of mustard oil, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Toss well to thoroughly coat.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat 4 tbsp of mustard oil. Fry fenugreek seeds until they turn dark. Add cloves and fry for 15 seconds.
  3. Transfer the coated chicken to the pan and stir well to brown.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, and red chilies. Stir-fry the chicken over medium heat until cooked through. If it starts to burn, you may need to add water to moisten.
  5. Add green onions and cinnamon. Stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve with stir-fried vegetables and rice, or roti.


  • You can substitute lamb or beef for the chicken in this recipe for a different flavor profile.
  • Add vegetables such as bell peppers, peas, or potatoes to make the dish more hearty and nutritious.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to marinate the chicken with the spices for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

- Use a non-stick pan to prevent the chicken from sticking and burning.

- Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less red chilies according to your preference.

- Be careful not to overcook the chicken, as it can become tough and dry.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Chicken Bhutua with steamed rice, roti, or naan bread for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Stir-frying is the primary cooking technique used in this recipe to ensure that the chicken is cooked evenly and retains its moisture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you do not have mustard oil, you can use vegetable oil as a substitute.

- You can use ground spices instead of whole spices for convenience.

Make Ahead Tips

You can marinate the chicken in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the Chicken Bhutua with fresh cilantro leaves or sliced green chilies for a pop of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Chicken Bhutua with a side of cucumber raita or a fresh salad to balance out the spiciness of the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

300 per serving


5g per serving


15g per serving


25g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Chicken Bhutua is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and potassium.


This recipe contains mustard oil and fenugreek seeds, which may be allergens for some individuals.


Chicken Bhutua is a high-protein dish that is moderate in carbohydrates and fats. It is a nutritious and flavorful meal option.


Chicken Bhutua is a flavorful and aromatic dish that is perfect for a cozy dinner at home. With a blend of spices and tender chicken, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a treasured one. It was a warm summer day in the bustling streets of Kathmandu, Nepal. I was walking through the vibrant market, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. As I passed by a small food stall, the aroma of spices and grilled meat wafted through the air, drawing me in like a moth to a flame.

I approached the stall and saw a kind old woman cooking up a storm on a sizzling hot grill. She had a twinkle in her eye and a warm smile on her face as she flipped pieces of marinated chicken with expert precision. I couldn't help but be captivated by her skill and passion for cooking.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I struck up a conversation with her. She introduced herself as Ma Durga, a renowned cook in the neighborhood famous for her Chicken Bhutua. Intrigued, I asked her if she would be willing to share her recipe with me. To my surprise, she graciously agreed and invited me to watch her cook.

As I stood by her side, Ma Durga revealed her secret ingredients and techniques for making the perfect Chicken Bhutua. She explained how the key to a flavorful dish lies in the balance of spices – cumin, turmeric, coriander, and chili powder. She also emphasized the importance of marinating the chicken in a mixture of yogurt, ginger, garlic, and fresh lemon juice overnight to ensure tender and juicy meat.

I watched in awe as she expertly sautéed onions, tomatoes, and green chilies in a large pan before adding the marinated chicken pieces. The sizzle of the spices hitting the hot oil filled the air, creating a mouth-watering aroma that made my stomach growl with anticipation.

Ma Durga stirred the chicken with care and precision, allowing the flavors to meld together into a harmonious symphony of taste and texture. As the dish simmered on the stove, she sprinkled freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors.

Finally, the moment of truth arrived as Ma Durga served up steaming hot plates of Chicken Bhutua. The tender meat glistened with a rich, golden sauce that beckoned me to take a bite. I eagerly dug in, savoring the explosion of flavors that danced on my taste buds – spicy, tangy, savory, and oh so satisfying.

From that day on, I was hooked on Chicken Bhutua. I returned to Ma Durga's stall time and time again, soaking up her wisdom and learning the art of Nepalese cooking from a true master. With each visit, I honed my skills and perfected the recipe, adding my own twist to make it uniquely mine.

Now, years later, as I stand in my own kitchen preparing a steaming pot of Chicken Bhutua, I can't help but smile as I think back to that fateful day in Kathmandu. The recipe that Ma Durga shared with me has become a staple in my culinary repertoire, passed down through generations and cherished by all who taste it.

As I take a bite of the succulent chicken, I am transported back to that bustling market in Nepal, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of a place that will always hold a special piece of my heart. And I am grateful for the gift of cooking, for it has not only nourished my body but also my soul, connecting me to a world of flavors, memories, and love.


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