Chicken Kaleji
Chicken Kaleji
5 from 25 votes
Embark on a culinary journey with chicken kaleji, a delicacy brimming with spices and vibrant flavours. Indulge in a meal that offers a delightful blend of tradition, health, and taste, making every bite a gastronomic spectacle.
Chicken Kaleji

Chicken Kaleji! Just the name of it and I can almost taste the amalgamation of spices, smell the heavenly aroma, and feel the warmth it brings. This is a recipe that connects me directly to the rich culinary heritage of the Indian subcontinent. 

Originating from the heartlands of Punjab, Chicken Kaleji is a dish that has touched millions of taste buds over the years, making it an integral part of festive celebrations and special occasions.  

It’s a delicacy that celebrates the flavour-packed organ meat – chicken liver, AKA Kaleji, which is known for its soft texture and distinct taste. 

In terms of difficulty, crafting a perfect Chicken Kaleji can be a notch tricky for beginners but, don’t fret. With some attention to detail and the right blend of spices, even a newbie can master this dish.  

The key here is balancing the spices and ensuring that the liver is cooked just right. Overcooking the liver can result in a tough and chewy texture while undercooking might leave you with a less-than-desirable taste. 

Chicken Kaleji has an array of versions that vary from region to region. The Punjabi style kaleji is known for its thick, semi-dry gravy, while the Hyderabadi style tends to be a bit spicier, with a more liquid gravy.  

Then, there’s the royal version from the Lucknowi kitchens, where the dish is slow-cooked over a coal flame, adding a unique smoky flavour to it. Regardless of the variation, the central theme is to create a dish that marries well with the distinctive taste of liver, highlighting rather than overpowering it. 

At the heart of this dish lies the liver, which when cooked correctly, is tender, rich, and loaded with nutrients. The combination of onions, tomatoes, and an assortment of spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala lend it a dynamic flavour profile.  

Add to it the heat of chilli and the freshness of coriander and fenugreek leaves, and what you get is a party of flavours, bursting in your mouth. 

Let me assure you, each bite of Chicken Kaleji is a discovery of flavours and textures that tell a story, the story of a recipe that has been passed down generations, narrating the tales of culinary diversity and richness of our culture.  

I can’t wait to guide you on this journey of preparing Chicken Kaleji, so without further ado, let’s dive into the exciting world of spices and flavours. 

Remember, cooking is a labour of love, and the more love you put into it, the tastier your Chicken Kaleji will turn out to be. So, put on that apron, roll up your sleeves, and let’s start cooking! 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Isn’t it fascinating how a combination of seemingly simple ingredients can create something so delectably complex? That’s the magic of cooking, my friends!  

With Chicken Kaleji, each ingredient plays its role in perfect harmony to produce a melody of flavours and textures that’s nothing short of divine. Let’s take a look at our cast of ingredients and understand the symphony that they create. 

Chicken Liver (Kaleji): Chicken Liver, the star of our dish, is an organ meat known for its unique taste and buttery texture. High in protein and a good source of vitamins and minerals, it’s nutritious and delicious.  

The liver absorbs the flavours of the spices well, providing a delectable base for our recipe. If you’re not a fan of chicken liver, you could try substituting it with mutton liver or even pan-fried tofu for a vegetarian twist. 

Olive Oil: We use olive oil not just for its health benefits, but also for the smooth and slightly fruity flavour it adds to the dish. It helps in sautéing the ingredients and creating a beautiful base for our spices. Canola or sunflower oil can be a good substitute if olive oil is not readily available. 

Onions: Onions provide a sweet and tangy base that complements the bold flavours of the spices. They caramelize beautifully, lending a depth of flavour to our Chicken Kaleji. Can’t find onions? Shallots are an excellent alternative, offering a somewhat similar taste profile. 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes bring a tangy and sweet character to the dish, helping to balance the strong spices. They also provide a beautiful colour and a saucy consistency. If fresh tomatoes aren’t at hand, canned diced tomatoes can work just fine. 

Garlic Paste: Garlic paste offers a pungent, earthy undertone that provides a depth of flavour. It’s an essential component that’s hard to replace, but in a pinch, garlic powder can be used. 

Spices: Each spice in this dish brings a unique aroma and flavour. Cumin imparts a warm, earthy tone; salt enhances all other flavours; coriander adds a lemony, floral note; garam masala brings a fragrant mix of spices; turmeric gives a mustard-like aroma and beautiful golden colour; chilli powder adds the heat, and Kashmiri chilli provides a vibrant colour without too much spice.  

If you don’t have these specific spices, feel free to experiment with what you have – just keep in mind the balance of flavours. 

Bullet Chillies: Bullet chillies lend a kick to the dish that spices up the experience. If you prefer less heat, you can replace it with sweet bell peppers or completely omit it. 

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves bring a burst of freshness and colour to the Chicken Kaleji, adding a finishing touch. If not available, parsley can be used, although it will bring a slightly different flavour. 

Dried Fenugreek Leaves: Dried Fenugreek leaves, also known as Kasuri Methi, add a unique, slightly bitter, nutty flavour, making the dish even more complex. If you can’t find it, you can leave it out, but it’s definitely worth using if you can get your hands on it. 

Now that we’ve got a good grasp on the ingredients and their roles, it’s time to assemble them all together and watch the magic unfold. Remember, the best part about cooking is that there’s always room for creativity.  

So, if you don’t have a certain ingredient, feel free to substitute it with what’s available to you. The important thing is to enjoy the process and to let your taste buds guide you. Happy cooking! 

Mastering the Art of Chicken Kaleji 

Diving into the world of cooking can sometimes feel like embarking on an adventure – there are numerous recipes to explore, ingredients to understand, and techniques to master. And one such recipe that offers an exciting culinary challenge is the Chicken Kaleji. Yes, this dish is a classic example of how simple ingredients can come together to create an orchestra of flavours that is nothing short of a delight for the senses. 

The first step to mastering Chicken Kaleji is understanding the balance of flavours. Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating a symphony that is greater than the sum of its parts.  

The mild, buttery flavour of the chicken liver, the spiciness of chillies, the tanginess of tomatoes, and the depth of the cumin, coriander, and garam masala – all contribute to the overall taste. It’s like painting on a canvas, where each stroke adds a layer of complexity and richness to the final product. 

But even the best of ingredients can fall flat if the technique is not right. The beauty of Chicken Kaleji lies in the precision of its cooking process.  

Overcooking the liver can result in a tough texture while undercooking might leave you with a less than desirable taste. The key is to cook it just right, so it’s soft, juicy, and absorbs the flavours of the spices well. 

Apart from the cooking process, the spices need to be handled with care too. The spices should be cooked until they release their aromas, ensuring that they blend well with the other ingredients. In fact, it’s this intricate dance of spices that lends Chicken Kaleji its distinctive taste. 

So, while Chicken Kaleji might seem like a daunting dish to try, with a bit of practice, understanding of ingredients, and careful execution of techniques, you can master this dish.  

And let me tell you, the satisfaction of digging into a dish that you’ve crafted from scratch is simply unparalleled. So, roll up those sleeves, and let’s conquer the kitchen! 

The International Journey of Chicken Kaleji 

Chicken Kaleji, this tantalizing dish of chicken liver cooked with an assortment of aromatic spices, is a popular delicacy in many parts of the world. As I travel through the world of culinary arts, I come across countless versions of Chicken Kaleji, each carrying its unique interpretation of the recipe. 

In its country of origin, India, Chicken Kaleji is a quintessential street food, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.  

The Indian rendition is typically spicy, with a beautiful blend of flavours from a variety of spices including chilli, turmeric, and garam masala. The dish is often served with naan or roti, a type of Indian bread. 

However, the journey of Chicken Kaleji doesn’t stop in India. This dish has made its way to the Middle East where it is prepared with a twist. In Lebanon, for example, the chicken liver is usually marinated in lemon and garlic, and then grilled. It’s a departure from the Indian version, but every bit as delicious. 

The beauty of Chicken Kaleji lies in its versatility. This dish is a true testament to the power of local flavours and how they can shape a recipe.  

Whether it’s the spicy kick of the Indian version or the tangy twist of the Lebanese rendition, Chicken Kaleji has the ability to transform and adapt to the taste buds of different cultures. 

It’s fascinating, isn’t it? How a single dish can tell a story of a thousand journeys. That’s the power of food, and more specifically, the power of Chicken Kaleji. It brings people together, celebrates diversity, and offers a taste of different cultures, all in one delicious bite. 

The Secrets Behind Cooking a Perfect Chicken Kaleji 

Now, I’ll let you in on a secret: the true magic behind a delicious Chicken Kaleji is all about the cooking technique. Yes, the ingredients are important, but how you handle them can make or break your dish. 

Chicken liver, the star ingredient of Chicken Kaleji, is delicate and requires careful handling. Cook it too long, and you end up with a tough, rubbery texture.  

Cook it too little, and you’re left with a raw taste that’s far from appetizing. The secret lies in achieving that perfect balance – cooking the liver just enough so it’s tender and has absorbed all the flavours. 

The spices, too, require careful handling. It’s important to cook them just right to release their aromas and flavours. Undercooking can leave a raw taste while overcooking can result in a burnt flavour.  

The trick is to cook them on medium heat until they release their aroma, indicating that they’re cooked to perfection. 

Another secret to perfect Chicken Kaleji is the addition of water. You might think adding water will dilute the flavours, but it’s the opposite. Adding water at the right stage helps the spices blend well and gives the dish a nice gravy-like consistency. 

Cooking a perfect Chicken Kaleji is all about understanding your ingredients and knowing how to handle them. It’s about patience, precision, and most importantly, passion.  

It’s about pouring your love into the dish, because trust me, it shows. And when you take that first bite of the perfectly cooked Chicken Kaleji, all the effort is worth it. 

Health Benefits of Chicken Kaleji: More Than Just A Tasty Dish 

When it comes to Chicken Kaleji, the taste alone is enough to make your taste buds sing. But the real charm of this dish lies in its nutritional value. You might be surprised to know that this scrumptious dish is loaded with health benefits, making it an ideal choice for health-conscious foodies like me. 

The star of the dish, chicken liver, is packed with protein, an essential building block for our bodies. It’s not just any protein, it’s complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need for growth and repair. 

Chicken liver is also a great source of iron, a mineral that plays a crucial role in producing red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency is a common nutritional problem worldwide, so including foods like chicken liver in your diet can help maintain optimal iron levels. 

This magical organ meat is rich in Vitamin A, which is essential for good vision and a strong immune system. It also provides B vitamins, particularly Vitamin B12, which aids in maintaining healthy nerve cells and producing DNA and RNA. 

The spices used in Chicken Kaleji aren’t just for flavour, they too have their own health benefits. For instance, turmeric contains curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Similarly, cumin may aid digestion and improve blood cholesterol levels. 

That said, like anything in life, moderation is key when enjoying Chicken Kaleji. While it’s high in nutrients, it’s also high in cholesterol, so it’s best to enjoy this dish as part of a balanced diet. 

The Art of Pairing: What Goes Best with Chicken Kaleji? 

When I cook Chicken Kaleji, I find that the journey doesn’t stop at the dish itself. It’s equally important to think about what to serve it with. The right pairing can elevate the dish to a whole new level, creating a dining experience that’s truly memorable. 

Traditionally, Chicken Kaleji is often served with roti or naan, Indian breads that are perfect for soaking up the rich, flavourful gravy of the dish. The soft texture and slightly bland flavour of the bread provide a nice contrast to the spicy and savoury kaleji. 

Rice is another excellent choice. A simple plate of steamed basmati rice can help balance the intense flavours of the Chicken Kaleji, making the dish more enjoyable for those who prefer milder tastes. 

For a refreshing touch, consider serving Chicken Kaleji with a side of raita, an Indian yoghurt-based side dish. The cool and creamy raita helps soothe the palate and complements the spicy flavours of the kaleji. 

Finally, for the beverage, a glass of lassi, a traditional Indian yoghurt-based drink, pairs beautifully with Chicken Kaleji. The sweet and tangy lassi not only quenches your thirst but also aids in digestion, making it the perfect drink to round off a satisfying Chicken Kaleji meal. 

Remember, the joy of eating lies not just in the main dish, but in the entire eating experience. So, the next time you make Chicken Kaleji, consider what to pair it with. It might just take your culinary experience to new, delectable heights. 

Spicing it up: The Role of Spices in Chicken Kaleji 

When I make Chicken Kaleji, it isn’t just about the liver – it’s about the orchestra of spices that come together to create a symphony of flavours. Each spice plays a role that’s crucial, with a harmony that is pure culinary artistry. 

Take turmeric for example, not only does it bestow the dish with a beautiful golden hue, it also imparts an earthy aroma that forms the base note for our flavour symphony. Its mild bitterness balances the rich taste of liver, while its known health benefits are a delightful bonus. 

Next comes the chilli powder, acting as a spicy crescendo that elevates the dish. It provides that kick, that jolt of heat that we crave in our Chicken Kaleji. And it isn’t just about the heat; the smoky flavour of chilli powder adds a depth that makes the dish irresistible. 

Then, there’s the garam masala – a melodious blend of ground spices. It’s like the conductor of this spice orchestra, bringing all the flavours together and providing a warm and sweet undertone that makes Chicken Kaleji so comforting. 

Cumin and coriander powders are the supporting characters, subtly enhancing the dish with their unique flavours. Cumin lends a slightly sweet and bitter taste, while coriander gives it a citrusy and nutty flavour. Their combination creates an enchanting aroma that lures you towards the dish. 

So, you see, each spice in Chicken Kaleji has a role to play, a note to contribute. And together, they create a flavour symphony that dances on the palate, making Chicken Kaleji the culinary masterpiece that it is. 

Transform Your Chicken Kaleji with These Simple Tricks 

Preparing Chicken Kaleji may seem daunting at first. But, with a few simple tricks up your sleeve, you can transform this traditional dish into a showstopper that would make any seasoned chef proud. Allow me to share some of my secrets. 

First, always rinse the chicken liver under cold water and pat dry before cooking. This helps to remove any residual blood which could give the dish a bitter taste. Also, trimming any visible fat or connective tissue ensures a smoother texture. 

Secondly, don’t rush the cooking of your spices. Take your time to gently sauté them until their flavours are released. This process, known as blooming the spices, makes a world of difference to the depth of flavour in your final dish. 

Another key step is to avoid overcooking the liver. The ideal cooking time for liver is short, and it’s best when it’s just done, remaining soft and juicy. Overcooking can lead to a tough and grainy texture. 

Lastly, remember that the final touch of garam masala and fresh coriander should be added at the very end of the cooking process. This allows these flavours to stay vibrant and fresh, adding an aromatic finish to your Chicken Kaleji. 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can elevate your Chicken Kaleji from good to great. Remember, mastering a dish is not just about following a recipe, but understanding each step and ingredient, and giving it the love and attention it deserves.

A Deeper Look into Chicken Kaleji: Understanding the Organ Meat 

Chicken Kaleji, a favourite in my culinary repertoire, is undeniably delectable, but it also provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the rich world of organ meats. 

The term ‘Kaleji’ in the Indian subcontinent refers to the liver, an organ meat that often takes centre stage in various cuisines globally. A powerhouse of nutrients, the liver provides a concentrated source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, Vitamin A, and B vitamins. 

However, many individuals are apprehensive about consuming organ meats like liver due to their distinctive taste and texture. While it’s true that chicken liver has a stronger flavour compared to the chicken’s muscle meat, the key to a palatable Chicken Kaleji lies in its preparation.  

The unique blend of spices and careful cooking method helps to mellow out the liver’s robust flavour, resulting in a dish that is both tasty and nutritious. 

Another reason for apprehension stems from concerns about the liver’s function as a toxin filter in the body. However, it’s crucial to understand that the liver does not store toxins but rather neutralizes them. What it does store are vital nutrients, which we benefit from when we consume liver. 

Understanding and appreciating organ meats can open up a new dimension in our culinary adventures. Not only do they offer a change from routine, but they also contribute to a nose-to-tail approach to eating, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable food practices. 

Demystifying the Making of Chicken Kaleji: From Kitchen Novice to Home Chef 

Cooking Chicken Kaleji at home can feel like a daunting task, particularly if you’re a novice in the kitchen. But let me assure you, with a little guidance, anyone can make this delightful dish at home. 

The first step is sourcing your ingredients. For a dish as specific as Chicken Kaleji, the quality and freshness of your ingredients can make a world of difference.  

Particularly when it comes to chicken liver, ensure you’re sourcing from a reliable butcher and that the liver is fresh, smooth, and has a vibrant colour. 

Next is the spice blend. The symphony of flavours in Chicken Kaleji comes from a mix of aromatic spices. While you can adjust the heat to your preference, don’t skip on the cumin, coriander, or garam masala. These spices bring the warmth and depth that make this dish so unique. 

When it comes to the actual cooking, remember that patience is your friend. Each step needs time. Sauteing the onions to the right colour, allowing the spices to bloom, letting the tomatoes cook down to a paste, all contribute to building layers of flavour. Rushing these steps could lead to a less flavourful result. 

Cooking the chicken liver requires particular care. It cooks quickly and can turn tough if overcooked. A few minutes on high heat is all it needs to retain its soft, creamy texture. 

With practice, you will find that making Chicken Kaleji at home is not just a rewarding culinary experience, but it also gives you control over the ingredients and cooking method. Before you know it, you’ll be whipping up this delicious dish like a seasoned home chef! 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

I must confess, after whipping up my signature Chicken Kaleji, I often find myself yearning for more of that intense and robust Indian flavour. That’s why I’ve come to rely on a few go-to recipes that let me venture further into the irresistible world of Indian cuisine. 

I remember one rainy afternoon, I was inspired to explore beyond the usual, and so I dove into making the Chicken Biryani. The aromatic layers of rice intermingled with tender, marinated chicken were just what my heart desired.  

The Biryani’s comforting warmth was a symphony to my senses, mirroring the soothing rhythm of the raindrops outside. 

But the culinary journey doesn’t end there. A lot of you have been asking about my favourite curries. Let me tell you about the Chicken Jalfrezi.  

An unforgettable riot of flavours, with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes blending beautifully with spiced chicken. I often pair it with fluffy Naan Bread, letting it soak up every drop of that vibrant sauce. 

When the weekend comes around, I fancy a little bit of a treat. I go for the Chicken Tikka Masala. Marinated in a heavenly mix of yoghurt and spices, skewered, and then cooked until they’re just right.  

It’s topped with a rich tomato cream sauce, transforming it into something that’s nothing short of a celebration. 

As for refreshment, nothing quite beats my homemade Mango Lassi on a hot summer’s day. Its sweet and tangy taste, that creamy texture – it’s my little glass of paradise, whisking me away on an exotic journey with every sip. 

So, dive in with me into this delightful Indian culinary journey and find your new favourite. Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments below, your feedback is the secret ingredient to the magic we’re cooking here. 

Chicken Kaleji

Chicken Kaleji Masala

by Nabeela Kauser
Embark on a culinary journey with chicken kaleji, a delicacy brimming with spices and vibrant flavours. Indulge in a meal that offers a delightful blend of tradition, health, and taste, making every bite a gastronomic spectacle.
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 293 kcal


  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 500 g Chicken Liver Kaleji
  • 1 Onions
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli
  • 1 Bullet Chillies
  • 1 handful Coriander
  • 1/2 handful Dried Fenugreek Leaves
  • 100 ml Water


  • Add the oil into the pan and heat up on medium heat until hot
  • Add the garlic paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant
  • Add the finely diced onions and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes
  • Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and Kashmiri chilli powder then cook the spices for 3-4 minutes – add tablespoon of water to allow the spices colour to be released and prevent burning
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until the oil separates
  • Add the chicken liver and cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat
  • Add the remaining water and cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes
  • Add the salt, garam masala and sliced bullet chilli then cook for another 1-2 minutes
  • Add the dried fenugreek leaves and chopped coriander
  • Serve immediately with homemade chapatti and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 23gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 431mgSodium: 695mgPotassium: 588mgFibre: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 14841IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 12mg
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Kaleji, Chicken Liver, Curry, Food, Indian, Meat, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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10 months ago

5 stars
Mine cooked just like the recipe. Little bit of a kick and absolutely delicious!

6 months ago

3 different chilies? and no mention of fenugreek in the list of ingredients. Otherwise a good recipe!


Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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