Living in Manchester, a trip to the Curry Mile is a rite of passage. And on a recent trip, I sampled possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.
Chicken karahi is a Pakistani curry that, to everyone’s surprise, doesn’t include an onion. I like my curries fiery and savoury – I wouldn’t thank you for a creamy korma or passanda, which I find sweet – so when my karahi arrived, I was bowled over. Determined to remake it at home, I went exploring for a recipe and ended up riffing off one I found.
We always have ginger and garlic pastes in the fridge (they’re less than £1.50 each per jar, and typically last us 3-4 weeks), so the only outlay is for the chicken (<£3) and salad tomatoes (<70p).
It’s perfect served with fluffy rice (pennies) and your preferred store-bought naan (<£1). The leftovers get boxed up and taken to work for a tasty lunch – usually with chapattis (<£1) rather than rice, which doesn’t keep safely.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 4-6 x skinless chicken thighs (depending on size), diced
- 1tbsp garlic paste
- 1tbsp ginger paste
- 2-3 x finger chillis, stabbed (not chopped)
- 6 x salad tomatoes, diced (skin, seeds and all)
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1tsp hot chilli powder
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp garam masala
- 1.5tsp table salt
- 0.5tsp chilli flakes
- Melt the ghee over a medium heat in a wide, hot frying pan, and add the ginger and garlic pastes.
- Quickly stir in the chicken and reduce the heat, to cook the chicken through without burning the pastes.
- Once the chicken is starting to take some colour, add the whole chillis and all the spices, including salt. Stir to coat everything.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and a little water to prevent anything from sticking to the pan.
- Stir occasionally to help the tomatoes break down into a thick sauce. Add more water as required – repeatedly if required. The longer you cook it, the darker the sauce will become, but it’ll still taste great if you’re in a hurry.