Chicken karahi or kadai chicken – With a deliciously rich flavor, this warm and spicy chicken curry is the ultimate comfort food for any day of the year. The distinctive aroma and richness from the homemade spice powder pairs perfectly with roti, naan or rice.
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Karahi or kadai refers to a cooking pot similar to a wok and is made of cast iron. As the name suggests, karahi chicken is all about chicken cooked in a karahi or kadai. In simpler terms, chicken curry in an Indian style wok.
So, do you have a kadai preferably one that’s made of cast iron hiding in the darkest corner of your kitchen?Hey, don’t worry. This chicken curry is going to be equally delicious in your regular pan. What matters most are the ingredients you’ll be using and most of all, the technique of cooking this curry.
The best part? This karahi chicken is usually served in cute kadai placed over a small burner. I love the way the curry simmers right in front of you, and you get to enjoy piping hot curry straight from the pan. Cool!
Ok, let’s make this chicken curry. The first part of this curry involves grinding up the spice powder that’s going to make it unique and super flavorful. And yes, we’ll be making the spice powder from scratch. Although I rely on premade spice powders for busy days, I really love the extra deliciousness and aroma imparted by homemade fresh powders like in this chicken ghee roast.
Start by dry roasting a few spices like black peppercorns, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds along with dried red chilies. The red chilies make this curry super spicy, so add more or less depending on your taste. The roasted spices are turned into a coarse powder in the grinder.
To make this chicken karahi, start with sautéing onions, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes. We’ll add the spice powder at two different stages of cooking. Apart from the powdered spices, we’ll also add garam masala to the curry. Bell pepper is totally optional in this recipe, however I highly recommend adding them for more flavor and taste. Finish with a sprinkle of coriander leaves.
And you have the perfect warm and spicy curried chicken to add to a cozy dinner.
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 whole dried red chilies
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced ginger (or ginger paste)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic (or garlic paste)
- 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 kg chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces (boneless or bone-in)
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 large bell pepper (capsicum), diced
- ½ cup water
- Salt to taste
- Coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
- Heat a frying pan over low heat. Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns and red chilies. Fry, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until the spices turn golden brown. Remove from heat. Leave to cool. Place all the cooled spices in a food processor and process to form coarse powder. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat ghee and oil in a kadai or frypan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add ginger and garlic. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add half of spice powder. Sauté, stirring constantly, for another minute or until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes. Season with salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until they soften. Add chicken and coriander (cilantro) leaves. Stir to combine. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until chicken pieces are nearly cooked.
- Add remaining spice powder, garam masala and bell peppers (capsicum). Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is very tender. Remove from heat. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) leaves.
- Serve with roti, paratha, naan or rice.
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