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Recipe: Karhai Ginger Chicken

30th May 2018

We are tremendously excited that food writer, author and cookery expert Sumayya Usmani is leading a culinary tour of Pakistan for us. Here she shares one of her favourite recipes with us, Karhai Ginger Chicken, a staple in Pakistan.

On the days I was greeted with the hot citrus tang of fresh ginger from my grandmother’s garden as it was sliced artfully into julienne pieces, I knew I was getting Pakistani-style ginger chicken for supper. This is a dish found in every restaurant and home in Pakistan and it is simple and quick to make, with bursts of raw ginger added at the end for a fresh finish. Serve with a daal and rice – and you can substitute chicken with boneless duck or turkey for a fuller flavour.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp each of garlic purée and grated ginger
200g chicken breast cut into 5cm chunks
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp plain yogurt
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground turmeric
salt, to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
5cm piece ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
handful of coriander leaves, chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
10 mint leaves, chopped

1 Heat the oil in wok-style pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the cumin and allow to splutter for 30 seconds. Add the garlic purée and grated ginger and fry for a further 30 seconds, or until the smell of raw garlic disappears.

2 Add the chicken to the pan and fry until it is sealed all over. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened, then add the tomato purée and the yogurt and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate. Add the red chilli powder, black pepper, turmeric and salt and cook for a further 5-7 minutes until the chicken is done. Add the butter before turning off the heat and letting the butter melt.

3 Before serving, add the julienned ginger, coriander, green chillies and mint, and stir through.

View our Pakistan food tour led by Sumayya

Michael Pullman

Michael became interested in travel at a young age, when his father would come home with souvenirs and tales from work trips to exotic sounding destin…

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