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Authentic Chicken Kaleji Masala (Chicken Liver Curry)

What is Chicken Kaleji?

Kaleji means liver in Urdu and Hindi. And like my bhuna gosht recipe, it is a dry curry made with chicken, mutton, or beef liver. The chicken liver fries with onions, garlic, and warm spices like Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, and my homemade garam masala.

You can serve the dish traditionally for Eid, a Muslim holiday, to mark the end of Ramadan. Or, whip it up when you need a quick dinner idea.

Health Benefits of Chicken Liver

Organ meat, like chicken liver, contains more vitamins and minerals than traditional cuts of meat. Including it in your diet can provide essential nutrients like iron, choline, and protein. It can boost your energy levels, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. Chicken liver is a healthy part of a well-balanced diet.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Ghee: Use ghee or oil to fry the onions and develop a deep, nutty flavor.
  • Onion: Onions caramelize and combine with ginger, garlic, and spices to create a dry or bhuna curry to compliment the the liver.
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but measure with your heart!
  • Ginger: Ginger cooks alongside the other ingredients and also serves as a tasty garnish. 
  • Spices: Enhance my chicken kaleji masala recipe with Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, homemade garam masala, salt, and a bay leaf.
  • Liver: When purchasing liver, select a one that is darker in color, indicating freshness. As a rule, I try to prepare liver dishes like this one the day I buy them at the store.
  • Yogurt: Use yogurt to tenderize and reduce the smell of the liver.

Additions and Substitutions

I use chicken liver, but you can make this recipe with beef or mutton liver. Chicken liver requires less cooking time, whereas beef and mutton take longer to become tender; adjust the cooking times accordingly.

Tools Used to Make this Recipe

How to Make Chicken Kaleji Masala (Chicken Liver Curry)

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm ghee in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until caramelized and golden brown, for about 10 minutes.

Onions cooking in a pan.

Step 2: Add bay leaf, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell fades.

Ginger, garlic, and a bay leaf added to onion.

Step 3: Stir in the Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt.

Add the spices to the pan with the onions.

Step 4: Lower the heat and add the liver and green chilies; cook for 2-3 minutes.

Liver added to the curry.

Step 5: Stir in the yogurt and continue cooking on low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the color changes. Stir to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.

Yogurt added to the simmering curry.

Step 6: Taste with salt and serve with naan or paratha.

Salt sprinkled over the chicken kaleji at the end.

Expert Tips

  • If you follow one rule when preparing liver – don’t overcook it. Cooking liver too long causes the meat to become chewy and tough, an no one wants that.
  • Too much salt causes the liver to harden, so my chicken kaleji recipe calls for salt at the end to prevent this from happening. 

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Chicken kaleji curry with cilantro, chilies, and chilies.

Serving Suggestions

What to Do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store leftovers in an airtight container; they will keep in the fridge for 2 days. And day-two chicken kaleji tastes even better since the ingredients have had more time to incorporate.
  • Freeze  Let the dish cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container. Kaleji freezes for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the curry in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat  Add a small amount of water and warm leftovers in the microwave or stovetop.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should liver cook?

• Chicken Liver: You will need 5 minutes to cook chicken liver.
• Beef Liver: Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
• Mutton Liver: Mutton liver takes longer to break down; cook it over low heat for 20 minutes.

Why liver is soaked in milk?

Many recipes call for the liver to soak in milk for at least 30 minutes before preparing the masala. They do this to remove the smell and bitterness from the liver. I have tried it both ways and didn’t notice a difference, so I skip the extra step.

Is chicken kaleji good for health?

Chicken kaleji masala or chicken liver curry is a lesser-known dish here in the states, but it’s popular in places like Pakistan and India for its health benefits. Organ meat like liver is nutrient dense and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Should chicken liver be pink inside?

When cooking liver, the color of the meat is not the best indicator of whether the liver is done cooking or needs to simmer for longer.

Slide a food thermometer into the thickest piece of liver in the pan; the safe cooking temperature for chicken liver is 165°F (73°C). It’s okay if your liver has a pink shade as long as it is no longer bloody at the center and has reached the safe cooking temperature.

More Curry Recipes:

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A close up of the chicken kaleji curry garnished with cilantro, chilies, and chilies.

Chicken Kaleji

Tressa Jamil
Authentic chicken kaleji masala is healthy, tender, and flavorful – perfect for a cozy homemade dinner or prepare it for special occasions like Eid.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4 People
Calories 233 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon bay leaf
  • 1 – inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pound chicken liver, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit lengthwise, plus more sliced chilies for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Optional:
  • ginger, julienne, to garnish
  • cilantro, chopped, to garnish
Instructions
 
  • Warm ghee in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until caramelized and golden brown, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add bay leaf, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell fades.
  • Stir in the Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt.
  • Lower the heat and add the liver and green chilies; cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the yogurt and continue cooking on low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the color changes. Stir to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.
  • Taste with salt and serve with naan or paratha.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • If you follow one rule when preparing liver – don’t overcook it. Cooking liver too long causes the meat to become chewy and tough, an no one wants that.
  • Too much salt causes the liver to harden, so my chicken kaleji recipe calls for salt at the end to prevent this from happening. 
How Long Should Liver Cook? 
  • Chicken Liver: You will need 5 minutes to cook chicken liver.
  • Beef Liver: Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Mutton Liver: Mutton liver takes longer to break down; cook it over low heat for 20 minutes.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 233 kcal | Carbohydrates: 7 g | Protein: 21 g | Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0.1 g | Cholesterol: 412 mg | Sodium: 694 mg | Potassium: 380 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 13040 IU | Vitamin C: 24 mg | Calcium: 47 mg | Iron: 11 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Julie C.

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

I love chicken liver. Thank you for another recipe to make with it!

Tressa Jamil

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Of course, I am happy you enjoyed the kaleji recipe.

Alessandra

Monday 2nd of October 2023

This is the time of year that I’m always looking for some chicken liver recipes… They are so healthy, and this is an amazing way to do it! I wonder if I use dairy-free yogurt, do you think it would tenderize the same way? I don’t have an allergy and can use regular yogurt, but I was just curious. Maybe I will try it both ways. Thanks for sharing!

Tressa Jamil

Monday 2nd of October 2023

Yep, I am dairy-free so when I make chicken kaleji for myself I use coconut yogurt. Since the yogurt is still fermented, the acidity helps break down the tissue and protein in the chicken the same way as regular yogurt. But yeah, feel free to try the recipe both ways.

Jomelyn Mauermann

Monday 2nd of October 2023

We eat alot of liver in Philippines. So good in all our recipes. It's loaded with lots of nutrients too. I'll try your liver curry since I have curry paste and powder! Yum!

Tressa Jamil

Monday 2nd of October 2023

I am sure the addition of curry powder would taste delicious. Be sure to let me know how it turns out.