This is a spicy restaurant-style chicken karahi recipe. When you travel to Pakistan, you will encounter that kind of hatred at the Dhaba (street restaurant) in Karachi. Karahi is the most famous of all curries in Pakistan, and it is easy to prepare.
The basic technique for making Karahi is rapid frying. You need a large cooking surface that can burn you. Also, avoid squeezing the pot and cooking karahi in large amounts, because the moisture does not evaporate easily and you will miss the rich flavor of karahi. If you want to cook for a larger group, consider cooking as two separate businesses.
Fry the chicken first
I fried the chicken first, just like they did in the database in Karachi. Why? We all know that the cooking time of chicken is shorter than that of lamb. So if you cook chicken with tomato puree, or overcook it, the chicken will fall off the bone. Or sometimes tomatoes have a jerky taste after being cooked at high temperatures. Both of these conditions will destroy Karahi’s taste and appetite. So fry the chicken first and then add it to the tomatoes to help avoid overcooking the chicken.
Chopped or mashed tomatoes
Replacing tomato slices with tomato puree also helps to achieve a uniform skin texture. But if you cook the tomato slices long enough, they will also defrost well. Cooking tomatoes for a long time is essential because tomatoes release lycopene when they cook slowly. So if you don’t give the tomatoes enough time to cook. It gives a primitive taste.
Why add onions?
The authentic Karahi has no onions. If you like a little broth, you can skip it. I added a small onion, so I got enough masala to enjoy with naan. Or, you can add 1 extra tomato to skip the onion.
The ingredients of karahi recipes are more or less the same, and what makes each karahi different is the technique. Authentic chicken karahi is made from ghee, the main ingredients are meat, pepper, tomato, and ginger. Too much quick frying is the main factor in making karahi
Visual components are always helpful. But I will not list all components that are visible and also called.
- Chicken: Smaller chickens are more suitable for haters. Boneless chicken is fine, but the fat in the bones will increase the flavor of the chicken.
- Ghee or oil: I used oil in this recipe to keep it simple and healthy. But Dabba uses ghee, and I must admit that clarified butter ghee tastes much better. If you don’t have ghee, consider using a mixture of oil and butter. Finally, karahi Dhaba is full of fat, and I use the least amount of fat. You cannot reduce it further, otherwise, it will taste watery and not very good.
- Fresh tomatoes: Fresh, delicious, deep red, fully ripe, and hard tomatoes add a rich flavor to the recipe. I used fresh fruit puree because we don’t like the tomato skins in a karahi. But slicing tomatoes are also easy to use and easier.
- Ginger: Chicken Karahi means more ginger used for decoration and more ginger in curry. The depth of flavor comes from fresh ginger.
- Black pepper: Freshly ground pepper has a stronger flavor than bottled pepper. So the extra effort is worth it.
- Green chili: Just like ginger, green chili is a must for people who hate it. The aroma of chili plays an important role in the overall appearance and flavor of karahi. Look for thicker, less spicy peppers for garnish. In curry, the chili sauce becomes smaller.
- Dried fenugreek, optional: It adds Punjabi or Lahore flavor to karahi, but you can skip it.
- Kashmiri chili or chili powder: This ingredient is mainly used for coloring. But if tomatoes have a strong red color, then you can avoid them.
How do you make chicken karahi?
- In a frying pan, fry the chicken in oil or ghee with salt and pepper for 2-3 minutes, until the color changes.
- The color has changed and some golden marks have appeared. Use a perforated spoon to remove the chicken and leave the oil in the frying pan. Set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the chopped onions for 3 minutes until the onions are translucent. If you want, you can skip the onion.
- Add the spices and wait a minute until the spices explode.
- Add mashed or chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Cook without a lid until the oil separates and the soup turns black, and continue to stir at medium to high heat.
- Now, add the sauced fried chicken to the pot again. Cover the lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat until the chicken is cooked through. (If needed, you can only add ½ cup of water if the chicken feels undercooked.)
- Add a little butter (if using) to get a smoky flavor. Garnish with ginger and chili. (Remove the chili seeds and cut lengthwise)