In one of my recent trips to Pakistan, I had the joy of having Reshmi Paneer Chicken at Tandoori Hut in Karachi. Unlike the more popular Indian Reshmi Paneer, Tandoori Hut prepares a Reshmi Handi that is rich, creamy and buttery. Although their choice of paneer is one of those wedged Happy Cow cheeses that melts in the sauce (and not the actual Indian Paneer), it’s absolutely divine! I recreated those flavors in this recipe and I think they are bang on!
This Reshmi Chicken comes together in just 20 mins! Because I prefer using chicken breast for this recipe (as an ode to my inspiration), the goal is to fry everything on high heat rather than slow cook as in the case of chicken thighs.
The recipe starts out by frying chicken breast cubes until the color changes slightly, then adding beaten yogurt along with the spices and letting it cook for 6-7 minutes till the oil separates. The cream and cheese are then added on low heat so as not to curdle the dish. And that is it! The authentic flavors will bowl you over! If you have tried my Instagram viral Makhni Chicken, you have to put this Reshmi Paneer Chicken to the test and let the flavors speak for themselves.
- For this recipe I opted for chicken breast despite my preferred choice of chicken thighs for Pakistani/Indian cooking. I used chicken breast for this Reshmi Chicken because that’s the cut Tandoori Hut uses and I wanted to keep to the original as much as possible.
- High heat is IMPORTANT. Frying the chicken on high heat (uncovered) will ensure that the chicken traps in the juices; you achieve this by not letting the chicken create any steam. So I would highly recommend adding 1/3 cup oil. You can always discard some of the oil right before adding the beaten yogurt.
- Yogurt should always be lightly beaten before adding to any dish you are cooking, otherwise it is likely going to curdle. Once you’ve added the yogurt on low heat (which allows the yogurt to be tempered), you can then turn up the flame to medium high.
- Keeping on the topic of dairy, cream and especially cheese also must be added on low heat. Because this recipe only calls for a 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, there is less chances of it curdling to begin with. But DO remember that once your cream and cheese have been added, your flame needs to remain on low heat.
- The type of cheese you use can significantly alter the taste and texture of the Reshmi Paneer Chicken. I prefer mozzarella because it melts easily. If you are able to find the cheese wedges (Happy Cow or Laughing Cow brands), those are even better because that is exactly what Tandoori Hut tops off their handis with.
Reshmi Paneer Chicken HandiThis Reshmi Chicken is inspired by Karachi's Tandoori Hut that is known for their mouth watering Handi dishes. This Reshmi Chicken is creamy, buttery, cheesy with the perfect balance of South Asian spices.Servings: 4
- 1/3 cup canola or any neutral cooking oil
- 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
- 1 lb chicken breast cubes medium sized cubes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup yogurt lightly beaten to prevent curdling
- 3/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder use 1/4 tsp if you don't like any heat
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 green bell pepper strips
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 tbsp butter
- pinch black pepper for garnish
- On medium high heat, fry chicken in oil and add ginger garlic paste and salt for 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and add beaten yogurt. Then turn up the flame to medium high and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add spices and continue to fry the chicken (uncovered) on medium high heat for 6-7 minutes or until the oil separates.
- Once oil has separated, lower the flame and add green bell peppers followed by heavy cream. Let the cream bubble a bit and then add mozzarella cheese keeping the flame low.
- Adjust the salt and let the chicken simmer uncovered for a few minutes.
- Garnish with a little sprinkling of black pepper and red chili flakes and enjoy hot with fresh naan or pita bread.