FOOD AND TRAVEL

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Karahi Chicken - Chicken Curry in Red Gravy with Green Bell Peppers


Except the few basic spices, Indian food doesn't require you to break a bank. No fancy tools or instruments required. But one utensil that you must have come across quite often on the blog is a karahi (also called kadai, kadhai. I'll stick with kadai).

Kadai refers to Indian wok which is slightly deeper (compared to Chinese wok) and narrower in diameter with a round bottom and curved handles. I personally use kadai a lot in my day to day cooking. Traditionally, cast iron kadai is the best but I have not been able to find a good one here so far.


Compared to a deep bottom pot,or flat surfaced woks, the masala (onions, spices and tomatoes) cooks faster and more evenly in kadai. It also makes mixing things easier with a ladle or large spoon without much of "food chasing". Its great for deep frying as well. Not only it reduces the amount of oil used but for smaller quantities it works better as compared to a deep fryer.

Many a times, a dish which is specifically cooked in kadai, takes the name from it, like kadai chicken.Since in kadai chicken no water or stock is used to cook the chicken and rather the chicken cooks in the masala and its own stock, kadai makes sure the chicken doesn't burn and simmers away slowly braising the meat. Having said that, you may as well cook it in a deep bottom pot with a little stock to help you through.


Here's how you make it. 

Karahi Chicken - Chicken curry in red gravy with green bell peppers
Click here for printable version 

Ingredients
Serves 3-4

1 red onion (sliced) + 1 red onion (cut into large cubes)
2 tomatoes (cut into cubes)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2  tbsp ginger paste
1/2 tbsp garlic paste
1 green bell pepper (cut into medium size strips)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp coriander powder*
Ginger to garnish (cut into julienne) 
Coriander leaves to garnish (finely chopped)

For marinate 
1 kg chicken drumsticks **
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1/2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste

Note
* I prefer to lightly toast coriander seeds and make fresh coriander powder for this. You can do as you like.

** You can use a whole chicken cut into medium pieces or thighs instead. But hey! I won't suggest all chicken breast, you certainly need some brown meat here. Who said so? I

Method

Wash and pat dry the chicken. Mix all the ingredients for marinate and keep aside. Heat oil in the wok. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Once it starts to splutter add the sliced onion.


Cook the onion till it is pinkish. Add the ginger and garlic paste and then tip in the turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala.


Next goes the tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook this till the tomatoes have totally dissolved to form masala.


Add in the chicken and mix well (at this point, I also realize my wok is small for the quantity I'm making and struggle with two spoons to mix the chicken well. I suck). Cover with lid and let the chicken cook for 20 minutes.


Just before the chicken is completely done, add in the large cubed onion and bell pepper. Mix well (still struggling with two spoons. I suck). Cook for another 10 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with coriander leaves and ginger.


Serve with butter naan or plain naan. In fact any kind of  flat bread works. Make it!
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51 comments

  1. Tanvi_SinfullySpicyFebruary 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Just today I was thinking of making Kadhai chicken Kulsumm and posting it sometime :) See our mind works same way even when we are sitting so far away! I cant imagine my kitchen without kadhai.It is the most indispensable utensil in my kitchen.Every visit to India half of my luggage is overweight with kadhais and pressure cookers :) I make kadhai chicken the same way except that P likes it boneless and with red bell peppers.I love love the turquoise blue cloth u ve used.

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  2. Tanvi_SinfullySpicyFebruary 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Just today I was thinking of making Kadhai chicken Kulsumm and posting it sometime :) See our mind works same way even when we are sitting so far away! I cant imagine my kitchen without kadhai.It is the most indispensable utensil in my kitchen.Every visit to India half of my luggage is overweight with kadhais and pressure cookers :) I make kadhai chicken the same way except that P likes it boneless and with red bell peppers.I love love the turquoise blue cloth u ve used.

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  3. This looks so good. I was going to ask if it should be eaten with rice, roti or naan, but you seem to have answered the question.

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  4. This looks so good. I was going to ask if it should be eaten with rice, roti or naan, but you seem to have answered the question.

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  5. This looks delicious! Beautiful photos too :)

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  6. I don't think I've heard of a Kadai before, is it used for high heat cooking in the same way that a Chinese Wok is?

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  7. Kulsum, your Karahi Chicken looks so tasty! Such a flavorful dish! Love the new look and the photographs are swoon worthy!

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  8. Sylvie it is used for quick stir frying as well but quick stir fry is not a typical Indian technique. Mostly used for cooking slightly dryer curries specially vegetables :) Commonly on the Indian streets you will see huge kadai is often used for deep frying snacks.

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  9. Thanks for explaining the kadai - was never quite sure what it was! :-) This chicken curry looks amazing - definitely going to try it.

    PS: pretty photos!

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  10. Marla {family fresh cooking}February 2, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love Indian food, so you can bet I will swing by often. You have beautiful photos and great recipes!

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  11. Wow. And that's an honest wow. If it weren't nine degrees here, I'd be out the door and headed to the Indian Grocer down the way to pick up some garam masala and turmeric. This looks absolutely delicious!

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  12. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.February 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Awesome photos and I love this recipe. It has so many wonderful flavors! I would love to have a cooking lesson from you!

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  13. You know.....my husband always orders Karahi Chicken EVERY single time we dine at an Indian.....perhaps I should try maing this at home! Great photos Kulsum! You've certainly become a pro!

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  14. A gorgeous scrumptious dish beautifully presented. what would we do without our Kadai? :-)

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  15. Love the photos! Wish I had a bright kitchen :)

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  16. mmmm this looks yummy. people always love karahi chicken, it's a crowd pleaser! your recipe is different than the way I make it, I don't add onions or bell peppers or marinate and only use ginger/garlic, toms, zeera, dhaniya powder, laal mirch, salt, pepper, hari mirchen, coriander leaves, and lime juice. but I will definitely try yours, love making new variations and the marination probably adds way more flavor.

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  17. I'm curious about the kadai. Is it the one in your step by step photos?

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  18. Beautiful photographs! I love the weathered wood background. It's a gorgeous dish too!

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  19. Hey! Yes it is the one I used in step by step, I should have photographed a kadai...thanks I think I'm going to take a picture and add to the post :)

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  20. Aw thanks Marla and coming from you feels great!

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  21. No Alison-- I need a cooking lesson from you sweetheart! Thank you anyway :)

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  22. You version sounds simple and scrumptious. Now I'm going to give it a try as well :)

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  23. Hey Kiran! I wish I had a bright kitchen too :) I hate the lighting in my kitchen - You will always notice my step by step pictures are uurgh! because they are taken in kitchen :)

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  24. Kulsum : I saw the pictures on Flickr and have been meaning to check out the recipe but got around to doing that only now. Love the background for the pics! You made such a simple recipe look so gorgeous :)

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  25. This curry dish looks so delicious! Beautiful photographs.

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  26. Brilliant curry smashing photo's kulsum! i have made couple of time chicken with bell peppers they give amzing flavours isn't? will sure try ur version :D

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  27. Just beautiful kulsum! That dish looks so incredibly delicious; your snaps are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend my friend!

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  28. Oh yes! This looks delicious. I can tell that the flavors are exploding. Very nice.

    Velva

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  29. I don't own a kadai. This makes me feel a little less authentic. But I can still appreciate kadai chicken so I guess that's a redeeming quality?

    PS: Your pictures for this post were just so vibrant! Love it! :)

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  30. Kulsum, this is a brilliant curry. It is gorgeous to look at and I'm sure delicious as well. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  31. Wow this looks to have so much flavor, it's just bursting through the screen. Also I envy your wood surfaces! It's been hard for me to find good ones. Thanks for the nice comment on my site. You may have just been kidding, but if you'd really like me to do a guest post sometime I'd be happy to. I have a busy schedule the next month or 2 but I'm sure we could work something out. I'd love for you to do one as well for my site if you'd like!

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  32. Hey there! I've actually used one of these...in INDIA! I thought is was a brilliant cooking vessel because you could move things up the sides a little if they were staring to overcook. This dish looks so rich and flavorful--can't wait to try it!

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  33. I'm gonna try this for dinner today :D I usually add in my own tidbits to a recipe, but this time ill make an exception and follow every step :) Will revert back with a pic (ohayesha)

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  34. I made it kulsum...You're recipe is perfect :D Here's the pic like i promised :D Kadai Chicken turned out yumm! courtesy kulsum's recipe http://bit.ly/gHJ39i @JourneyKitchen ThankYou so much :) see the pic :) http://www.twitpic.com/3yoftq

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  35. every family has a karahi chicken recipe- i love yours. inshallah one day i'll have it in your home (and i mean that in a totally non stalkerish way, darling!) x shayma

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  36. Thank you sweetheart. And yes I remember about your secret Karahi chicken recipe too :-) If not the recipe, I sure want to taste it some day.

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  37. Its my first time on your space..its lovely..I'm very much droolin over your Karahi Chicken..Luv ur clicks!

    cheers
    Nimi
    www.nimisculinaryventures.blogspot.com

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  38. tried your recipe and it came out well. Keep up the good work

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  39. tried your recipe and it came out very well. Keep trying your fingers in lovely authentic recipes. Do you know recipes in agar agar - kesar china grass. - love yasmin

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  40. I made it today for the family dinner. It was ok

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  41. @Anonymous

    Thank you for trying the recipe. I'm assuming okay means not too impressed? We do make this recipe often and enjoy it alot and a few readers have tried and enjoyed it as well. I'm sorry though you didn't - may be you could tell me what exactly went wrong? Thanks again for letting me know

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  42. Great pictures,Thank you for sharing,as always!:-)

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  43. Mohammed RizwanMay 7, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I cooked for this for the family the other night and everyone loved it! Thanks for the great recipe, I'll definitely be making this again!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it Mohammed! Thank you

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  44. The recipe doesn't mention how long to marinate the chicken for before cooking. Can you please let me know. I love this site for it's step by step pictures and how easy they are to follow. Without pictures, I'm a terrible cook and never know if my recipes are going well. Thank you for this wonderful site!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alefiya. As a general rule of thumb 1/2 to 1 hour of marination is good and overnight is best. Hope that helps.

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  45. I always wanted to try karahi chicken. I'll definitely follow your recipe. It looks so delicious. Thanks for posting.

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  46. Tried this a few days ago and was blown away by how tasty it was. Especially since I have been looking for a good karahi chicken recipe and this was the best of them all. Thank you thank you thank you :)

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  47. Thank you so much for this recipe! I've been looking for the perfect recipe for so long and this is the one! I cooked it last night for my family and everyone loved it !

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  48. This was the first time I walked upon your site almost two years ago. And I've been an ardent follower. It wouldn't be too cliched to say that my journey in the kitchen began with you. :D

    And I thought it was high time I say thank you! :)

    I love your stories. I love your pictures. I love how easy you make it look.

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