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Chicken Karahi or Murgh Karahi is a delicious, lightly spice Pakistani curry that relies more on the fresh garnishing at the end then it does the spices used. You’ll see that the only “masala” we use are cumin, turmeric & chilli powder.
The word “Karahi” refers to the receptacle the curry is cooked in, much like “Balti” Karahis are very similar to woks, except that they have steeper sides. They are traditionally made of cast iron and are also known as kadai, korai and kadhi, amongst others. You can use a wok or a saucepan, as you wish.
I’ve been making this curry for as long as I can remember and love using a combination of chilli powder & black pepper as I love how these two combine to create a deeper flavour in Chicken Karahi. However, I do prefer going for a mild chilli powder, taste but not the heat.
Perfect served with pulao rice, plain rice, naan, parathas – anything!
- 750g chicken on the bone or 500g off
- half teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 large onions, halved & sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, pounded or crushed
- 1 inch ginger, pounded or grated
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- half tsp mild chilli powder
- half tsp coarsely crushed black pepper
- half tsp salt
- half tsp sugar
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped, about 6 parts to a tomato
- OR 200g tin chopped tomato
- large handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- small handful mint leaves, chopped
- 2 mild green chillies, sliced on the diagonal
- 2 inches ginger, cut in long strips (julienned)
- Coat the chicken with the turmeric powder and leave aside while you get all the other ingredients ready.
- Heat the oil up in your chosen pan, over medium high heat.
- Add the sugar followed by the chicken to the oil and brown for a couple of minutes, turning once. This stage gives depth to the final dish.
- Add the onions and sauté for about a minute.
- Add the pounded garlic & ginger and cook for just 30 seconds.
- Add the dry spices and salt and coat thoroughly for about a minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and water, bring to boil & leave to cook until chicken is done, about 45 minutes, depending on the size of your portions.
- Serve in the karahi, if using, with the garnish sprinkled all over & dig in while it's still hot!
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