An in situ composite coating on pure aluminium substrate was prepared by novel microwave processing of iron based metallic glass powder precursor. The microstructure obtained after processing comprised of a molybdenum rich harder phase uniformly distributed in iron rich softer phase. The hardness and modulus of each phase were obtained by nanoindentation. Scratch test across the substrate coating indicated good interface strength and strong adhesion of the coating with the substrate. © 2014 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.