30 Minute Chicken Karahi

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I love shopping and will jump at the chance at any given opportunity, even when I know I need to cook for lunch and don’t have anything prepared…..now that’s what I call dedication, lol! But hey, why worry when you can come home and have a 30 Minute Chicken Karahi ready on the table in 30 minutes? I cooked this curry one day after coming home from shopping and surprised myself, yes I even surprise myself which is quite nice. I’m always amazed at how much I can get done when I’m under pressure – I got home at 1.30pm and by 2pm lunch was ready and on the table, how’s that for speed? This included the time it took to prep the ingredients (minus the ginger and garlic as I always have those to hand), peeling and chopping the onions and washing the chicken pieces. Ginger and garlic are staples in Asian households, mine included, so if you don’t have this prepped and ready it might take you a little longer than 30 minutes. I don’t know how authentic this dish is compared to other Chicken Karahis but I have named the dish 30 Minute Chicken Karahi as it is cooked in a karahi/wok. This curry was so good that I ended up cooking it again the very next day for my kids, I also wanted to make sure I actually cooked it in about 30 minutes and that I didn’t imagine that!

As the title suggests this curry is cooked in a karahi (an Indian cooking utensil similar to a wok) and whilst a traditional karahi has certain features like round handles, a heavy base and is more rounded than a wok, a wok is the closest thing to a karahi many of us have at home, myself included. Using a karahi/wok definitely speeds up the process as the base covers a larger surface area whilst cooking the chicken, you want to make sure the karahi/wok you use has a heavy base/bottom and lid which will help cook the ingredients quickly without burning them. The concept is really quite basic, you spend about 10 – 12 minutes cooking the onions/spices and another 18 – 20 minutes cooking the chicken and that’s it! Of course it will also depend on how quickly you can prepare the ingredients and cook too. The thing to remember here is you want to utilise every minute; so whilst the oil is heating up to the right temperature, peel and chop your onions, whilst the onions are sauteing with the spices, wash your chicken pieces – every second counts, especially when you’re in a hurry! Don’t forget I’ve been cooking for YEARS, so speed comes with experience, something that will also come to you with practise. I really hope that you find my 30 Minute Chicken Karahi and YouTube video helpful in ensuring you can prepare quick easy meals for your family in no time!

Serves 6 – 8 

You will need:

1kg boned chicken pieces (I use the drumsticks and thighs from roaster chickens)
100 – 150ml oil (approximately)
3 – 4 bay leaves
2 – 3 cinnamon sticks
3 – 4 cardamoms
a pinch of fenugreek seeds
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 medium onions
1 – 1.5 tsp salt
2 – 3 tbsp passata (don’t add too much otherwise you’ll make the curry sour)
water as needed
3 – 4 green chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (mild)
2 tsp mixed curry powder (here I am using 2 tsp of Rajah mixed curry powder, in my video I use 1 tsp Rajah mixed curry powder and 1 tsp Bolsts mixed curry powder, this is purely to add a different taste)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
chopped coriander for garnishing

Method:

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

Familiarise yourself with the ingredients you’ll be needing for this recipe to help you pick up speed.

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

Start by heating 100 – 150ml of oil in a heavy bottomed wok/karahi. Whilst the oil heats up, peel and chop your onions.

Once the oil is hot add your whole spices; 3 – 4 bay leaves, 2 – 3 cinnamon sticks, 3 cardamoms, a pinch of fenugreek leaves and allow the whole spices to release their aromas before adding 1 tsp of minced ginger and 1 tsp of minced garlic.

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

Once the ginger and garlic are slightly brown, add the sliced onions along with 1 – 1.5 tsp of salt (adjust to suit your taste) and 2 – 3 tbsp of passata….

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

….then mix. Roughly chop 3 – 4 green chillies and add to the wok along with half a glass of cold water. Adding water is IMPORTANT at this stage as it helps create steam to speed up cooking the onions….

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

….after adding the water place the lid over your wok and allow the onions to soften for 2 – 3 minutes. Get the ground spices ready while the onions cook.

After 2 – 3 minutes the onions will be semi-translucent (top right photo), don’t worry they will cook through completely before the chicken is added. The passata adds a beautiful colour to the masala without the addition of spices as shown in this photo.

Next add the ground spices; 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 2 tsp mixed curry powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and 1 tsp cumin powder. Mix the spices with the onions and leave to cook uncovered over a low – medium flame while you wash the chicken, make sure you keep an eye on the onions whilst you do this.

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

Wash the chicken pieces well in water (I find using warm water helps to rid the chicken pieces of any sliminess and fat). After washing the pieces allow them to drain for a minute.

By the time you finish washing your chicken (approximately 6 – 8 minutes later) the masala (onions with the spices added) should look like this (bottom left photo). Add the chicken pieces to the wok….

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

….coat the chicken pieces in the masala and allow to cook uncovered over a medium flame on one side till the flesh turns white, then turn over and do the same for the other side (top right photo). It is important to cook the outside of the chicken uncovered like this to seal in the juices to keep the chicken moist, I also find the chicken doesn’t overcook and break this way.

Once you can see blood or juices flow from the chicken pieces as shown in the bottom left photo (this should take no more than 5 – 7 minutes), it’s time to cover the wok and cook the chicken through completely. Allow the chicken to cook covered over a medium heat for 5 – 8 minutes….

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

….till you can see fluids being released from the chicken pieces, as shown in the top left photo. The very first time I cooked this curry I added no water to the curry at this stage as the chicken released a LOT of fluid, however on this occasion it didn’t and thus I added 3/4 of a cup of cold water. When you cook this yourself you will need to decide whether or not you want to add more water (for gravy) or whether you want a drier curry, the choice is yours.

After adding the water cover the karahi/wok again and allow the curry to boil for a further 5 – 8 minutes.

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

Once the chicken pieces are fully cooked and the gravy has boiled, garnish with some chopped coriander and remove from the heat. I usually like to serve this curry straight from the wok (the curry stays nice and hot this way and it saves on washing) but I like it to look presentable, so I take a disposable napkin and clean the inner rim of the wok just to neaten the inside.

Replace the lid on the curry and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving, this helps the chicken pieces to remain moist and will allow the oil to surface to the top of the curry.

30 Minute Chicken Karahi

Serve your 30 Minute Chicken Karahi with plain rice, pilau or an Indian flatbread…..just make sure you have those ready before you start this!

Bon Appetit!

5.0 from 5 reviews
30 Minute Chicken Karahi
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 - 8
Ingredients
  • 1kg boned chicken pieces (I use the drumsticks and thighs from roaster chickens)
  • 100 - 150ml oil (approximately)
  • 3 - 4 bay leaves
  • 2 - 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 - 4 cardamoms
  • a pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 - 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 - 3 tbsp passata (don't add too much otherwise you'll make the curry sour)
  • water as needed
  • 3 - 4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (mild)
  • 2 tsp mixed curry powder (here I am using 2 tsp of Rajah mixed curry powder, in my video I use 1 tsp Rajah mixed curry powder and 1 tsp Bolsts mixed curry powder, this is purely to add a different taste)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • chopped coriander for garnishing
Method
  1. Familiarise yourself with the ingredients you'll be needing for this recipe to help you pick up speed.
  2. Start by heating 100 - 150ml of oil in a heavy bottomed wok/karahi. Whilst the oil heats up, peel and chop your onions.
  3. Once the oil is hot add your whole spices; 3 - 4 bay leaves, 2 - 3 cinnamon sticks, 3 cardamoms, a pinch of fenugreek leaves and allow the whole spices to release their aromas before adding 1 tsp of minced ginger and 1 tsp of minced garlic.
  4. Once the ginger and garlic are slightly brown, add the sliced onions along with 1 - 1.5 tsp of salt (adjust to suit your taste) and 2 - 3 tbsp of passata....
  5. then mix. Roughly chop 3 - 4 green chillies and add to the wok along with half a glass of cold water. Adding water is IMPORTANT at this stage as it helps create steam to speed up cooking the onions....
  6. after adding the water place the lid over your wok and allow the onions to soften for 2 - 3 minutes. Get the ground spices ready while the onions cook.
  7. After 2 - 3 minutes the onions will be semi-translucent (top right photo), don't worry they will cook through completely before the chicken is added. The passata adds a beautiful colour to the masala without the addition of spices as shown in this photo.
  8. Next add the ground spices; 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 2 tsp mixed curry powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and 1 tsp cumin powder. Mix the spices with the onions and leave to cook uncovered over a low - medium flame while you wash the chicken, make sure you keep an eye on the onions whilst you do this.
  9. Wash the chicken pieces well in water (I find using warm water helps to rid the chicken pieces of any sliminess and fat). After washing the pieces allow them to drain for a minute.
  10. By the time you finish washing your chicken (approximately 6 - 8 minutes later) the masala (onions with the spices added) should look like this (bottom left photo). Add the chicken pieces to the wok....
  11. coat the chicken pieces in the masala and allow to cook uncovered over a medium flame on one side till the flesh turns white, then turn over and do the same for the other side (top right photo). It is important to cook the outside of the chicken uncovered like this to seal in the juices to keep the chicken moist, I also find the chicken doesn't overcook and break this way.
  12. Once you can see blood or juices flow from the chicken pieces as shown in the bottom left photo (this should take no more than 5 - 7 minutes), it's time to cover the wok and cook the chicken through completely. Allow the chicken to cook covered over a medium heat for 5 - 8 minutes....
  13. till you can see fluids being released from the chicken pieces, as shown in the top left photo. The very first time I cooked this curry I added no water to the curry at this stage as the chicken released a LOT of fluid, however on this occasion it didn't and thus I added ¾ of a cup of cold water. When you cook this yourself you will need to decide whether or not you want to add more water (for gravy) or whether you want a drier curry, the choice is yours.
  14. After adding the water cover the karahi/wok again and allow the curry to boil for a further 5 - 8 minutes.
  15. Once the chicken pieces are fully cooked and the gravy has boiled, garnish with some chopped coriander and remove from the heat. I usually like to serve this curry straight from the wok (the curry stays nice and hot this way and it saves on washing) but I like it to look presentable, so I take a disposable napkin and clean the inner rim of the wok just to neaten the inside.
  16. Replace the lid on the curry and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving, this helps the chicken pieces to remain moist and will allow the oil to surface to the top of the curry.
  17. Serve your 30 Minute Chicken Karahi with plain rice, pilau or an Indian flatbread.....just make sure you have those ready before you start this!

If you like the recipe please share with friends and family, also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Questions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.

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Comments 9

  1. Iram
    Reply

    Fantastic…… made this too today.

    2 August, 2017
  2. Samiha
    Reply

    Tried this recipient twice now – second time I eased up on the chilli’s. Both times was delicious! Thanks for the great, easy-to-follow recipe!

    2 August, 2017
  3. Apsana
    Reply

    I made this yesterday for iftar with roti and was really pleased with the result. I forgot to add the fenugreek seeds as I was literally reading the recipe and cooking – thanks for the great step by step instructions!

    I didn’t have a wok/karahi so just did it in a normal saucepan but the taste was superb – thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Will definitely be making again 🙂

    8 June, 2017
  4. Tamanna
    Reply

    This is such a quick and easy recipe to follow, it’s the perfect recipe for beginners too!!!! I love the pictures and the step by step methods which make it incredibly simple to follow !!

    4 May, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      I’m so glad that you found it easy to follow and the photos helped even more. =) x

      4 May, 2017
  5. Ayesha C
    Reply

    Supreme to the times infinity! Delicious to the last bite! Jazak’Allah Khair for all the wonderful recipes you post. ❤

    26 April, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Thank you ever so much, I’m chuffed to pieces that you loved this recipe so much! 🙂 xx

      26 April, 2017
  6. nisha
    Reply

    such an easy to follow recipe with a delicious taste, im pretty new to cooking and this dish turned out so good.

    23 January, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Wow, that’s great! I hope you’ll be trying out some of the other recipes here. x

      23 January, 2017

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