The only thing I like doing more than talking about Chicken Karahi is eating it
What is Karahi?
Korai, Kadai, or Karahi is a thick, deep cooking circular pot that originated in the Indian Subcontinent. It is normally used by Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Nepalese, and Afghanis. Traditionally press-formed from mild steel sheet or made of wrought iron, a karahi resembled a wok with steeper sides. Today, they can be made of stainless steel, copper, and nonstick surfaces, both round and flat-bottomed, or of the traditional materials.
You can’t be utterly rassasied when it comes to chicken karahi. Chicken Karahi is one of the most cooked dishes of Pakistan that successfully preserves the flavor of authentic spices with a reduced chili base and tomatoes. With some slicing and chopping, you can have your karahi on the table in less than 30 minutes.
When it comes to the most famous dish of Pakistan, it is Chicken Karahi unquestionably. Still, several people struggle to achieve the perfect flavor, texture, and richness of chicken karahi. Everybody who is fond of cooking or cooks daily knows that it’s difficult to extract any unique flavor out of the regular spices because chicken does not take a lot of time to cook. This in turn creates a challenge to make your ordinary dish very extraordinary.
The shocking fact about Chicken Karahi:
We have been eating chicken karahi for the longest time and I feel bad for breaking the news to you, but, chicken karahi does not include ONIONS. Shocking, right? When I first started looking at recipes, I was shocked how every recipe included onions because the genuine chicken karahi does not include onions.
Over time, to reduce the cost of the dish and to achieve the perfect thickness of gravy, onions have been included in the dish. But it will be unfair to share a recipe without even it being close to authentic. So forget about onions if you want your karahi to be unique and original.
Pakistani Chicken Karahi vs. Indian Chicken Karahi:
Do you have any guesses regarding the distinguishing ingredient that makes India’s chicken karahi, unlike Pakistan’s chicken karahi? It is onion, folks. Indian chicken karahi tends to include green pepper and onions in their chicken karahi while Pakistanis like their chicken karahi without onions.
Before we proceed with the recipe, make sure that you have all the STAR ingredients of chicken karahi. They include:
Ginger is the dried knobby-shaped root of the perennial herb Zingiber officinale. The plant grows two to three feet tall. Once the leaves of the plant die, the thick roots, about 6 inches long, are dug up. Crystallized Ginger is fresh gingerroot cooked in syrup and dried
It is one of the healthiest spices of Southeast Asia and is very closely related to galangal, cardamom, and turmeric. You can use it fresh, dried, powdered, or even in juice form.
Garlic is grown underground in the shape of a bulb. Rather than being the main ingredient, it is a flavoring ingredient and is covered in inedible papery skin. It has many sections that go by the name, cloves. It is usually added to the dish because of its powerful and pungent flavor. If you don’t like to handle raw garlic, you can always use garlic powder which is a good replacement as it serves the purpose.
Tomatoes are the deal breaker in a karahi. The way you handle tomatoes will eventually affect the overall flavor of your karahi. I have mentioned it once and I will mention it over and over again, DO NOT USE ONIONS in your karahi even if they are the last ingredient on our planet. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate onions. I just hate the idea of onions in karahi. Elsewise, onions are nice. Perfect and innocent.
It is perfectly all right to use mutton, beef, fish, or lamb in karahi. For this recipe, I have used chicken but replacing it with any other form of meat will help you achieve a unique blend of flavor and seasoning.
The killer trick for street-styled chicken karahi:
Have you ever seen someone on the side of the street making chicken karahi? If not, they basically fry the chicken separately and then add it to the tomato puree. This is because chicken cooks a lot quicker than mutton. If you cook chicken in tomato puree, it either quicks too quickly or tomatoes leave a raw flavor.
To avoid this, recommended to fry chicken first and then add it to tomato puree and spices. It helps in achieving the delicacy, perfect texture, and flavor of chicken karahi. The best way is to cook it with tomato puree instead of sliced tomatoes. This is because when sliced tomatoes are cooked at low flame, they release lycopene that leaves a raw taste, which honestly for me, is a mood killer.