I am a South Asia food enthusiast. I just love desi food. (Desi is short-hand for South Asian.) Here you will find some recipes and information on desi food culture, as well as my reflections on the process of learning to cook desi dishes. Please excuse my amateur food photography!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Black Peppercorn Karhai Chicken
This dish has very few spices in it. It is a good dish to serve at a mixed desi and non-desi party because it is not red chile-heat hot, though it is loaded with rich flavor and some heat from the deep fried crushed black peppercorns that lace it. It also contains fresh slit green chiles added in the last few minutes of cooking for a bit more heat and flavor. I have no idea if what I present here is authentic or not, but the original black peppercorn karhai chicken is an Afghan/Northern Areas dish. However, I can assure you that this dish is tasty, authentic or otherwise.
1 heaping tsp black peppercorns
1/4 cup or so oil
1 chicken skinned, bone-in, cut into 8 pieces
1 tbs garlic paste
1tbs ginger paste
3/4 cup whipped yoghurt
salt to taste
5 large sized fresh green chiles (like jalapeno or very small pakora mirch), slit open
Heat oil in a vessel and add black peppercorns. Allow them to sizzle for a few moments. Strain oil and keep aside. Lay black peppercorns on a paper towel to cook and to remove excess oil. When these are cool, crush them coursely. I do this in a coffee grinder. Keep aside a few whole pieces, too. Set your coursely ground black peppercorns aside. In the same oil that you used to fry the peppercorns, brown the chicken. When the chicken looks nicely colored, add in the ginger and garlic and toss with the chicken until the ginger garlic paste is golden. Lower heat a bit and add in the whipped yoghurt and salt (lower the heat to prevent yoghurt from curdling). Allow the yoghurt to come to a gentle boil, then cover your pan and cook on low heat until chicken is done. When the chicken is cooked, turn up the heat for a moment and toss in the slit green chiles and black peppercorns. Gently stir fry to blend the chiles and pepper, and also to remove excess moisture from the yoghurt and chicken. You should end up with a semi-dry gravy, just barely clinging to the chicken pieces. Serve with roti or naan. This dish goes well with a rich, spicy red meat dish or a tomato based vegetable curry, since it's flavors are mild in contrast.
Krazy for karhai?
For 'original' Landi Kotal Shinwari karhai, see here.
For an adaptation of my mother in law's karhai recipe, see here.