Presenting my authentic restaurant quality Chicken Karahi! This is different from my first Karahi recipe I shared many years ago, which was received really well. In this recipe, you will find me adopting a completely different technique. For my Special Chicken Karahi, I rely on tomatoes and a chutney made with cilantro, mint and green chilli. This recipe does not require any onions, so this Karahi is especially dedicated to all the purists out there who maintain that a traditional Karahi should ever use onions.
HOW TO GET THAT RICH BROWN COLOR TO MY KARAHI
As with any karahi recipe, the key to achieving that coveted deep brown color is to “bhoon” the masala really well. Bhoona refers to cooking the masala on high flame while stirring vigorously; this technique is critical because a karahi is cooked on a high flame at restaurants in a wok-like vessel. At home, because the flame goes high only so much, it is not possible to cook the karahi as fast the restaurants chrun them out. I “bhoon” the masala at two steps; first when preparing the tomato curry and then finally towards the end once the meat is tender. The “bhoon” technique also relied on ample oil. Friends, you simply can’t replicate a restaurant/highway karahi if you skip on the oil; it’s needed to cook the masala well. You should know that the karahi is ready when the oil separates like what you see in the picture below. That is some real curry gold!
My Special Chicken Karahi
- 1/4-1/3 cup oil
- 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
- 1-1.5 lb chicken skinless with bones
- 1/4 cup chutney blend together 1/2 cup cilantro, a few mint leaves, half of a green chili)
- 3 tomatoes cut lengthwise in half
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- In a pan, heat up oil and add ginger and garlic paste. Stir for 10-15 seconds.
- Next, add in chicken and stir until almost no longer pink.
- Add salt and mix.
- Next, make a chutney paste with cilantro (dhaniya), mint leaves and green chilli. I use a mortar and pestle but you can do this in a blender.
- Add some water to thin out the chutney and add to the chicken.
- Stir for a couple seconds and allow the chutney to coat the chicken.
- Next, place the tomato halves flesh-side down into the Karahi, making sure to immerse them as much as possible in the liquid.
- Cover and let it cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat until the tomato skin becomes wrinkly and can be peeled off easily. Remove the skin with a pair of tongs.
- Next, mush down the tomatoes with the help of your spatula and add all the spices: cumin, coriander powder, red chilli powder and black pepper. Stir well for a couple seconds and let it cook covered for 25-30 minutes on medium heat.
- After half an hour, raise the flame to high and stir. This technique is called "bhoon" where you will allow the water to evaporate by stirring the Karahi on medium to high heat. This will take about 5 mins or so just until the oil separates from the curry.
- Once the oil has separated, turn the flame to the lowest setting and add yogurt.
- Be sure to beat the yogurt to prevent it from curdling. The Karahi will curdle a bit as soon as you add the yogurt but that will go away within 8-10 minutes of simmering it on low heat.
- Garnish with green chilli and julienned ginger. Serve hot with naan.