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.


RuhguZar said...

For a new dish with same ingredients, add hara dhania ( Cilantro) to yogurt and blend, then add this paste to the chicken with salt and bhunafy, then add the coarse peppercorns and simmer.
In the end add some lemon juice and dun again for a Hari chicken dish, this is what i made yesterday. Yours looks delish, i will make this soon, love ur webite!

RuhguZar said...

u also add everything u added in ur peppercorn karhai, like green peppers , ginger garlic paste..

luckyfatima said...

Thanks for the tip, I will try that next time. I love the endless variations on the karhai chicken theme!

Glad to know u like my lil ole site!

Thx again!

Masalabou said...

Do you have a recipe or link to one for Tandoori Chicken? I want to marinade Friday night and cook Saturday.

luckyfatima said...

@Masalabou, yep Chicken Tikka, it's a recipe from my friend Gehana, I've used it many times and also use it to make butter chicken:

about 2 lbs (1 kg) skinless bone-in chicken thigh and drumstick mix (I hate chicken breast, especially Indian food made with chicken breast)
1 cup yoghurt
1 tbs ginger paste
1 tbs garlic paste
1 tsp each garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder
1 tbs lime/lemon juice
orange food color (optional but gives 'restaurant look')
pinch of salt (say 1/2 tsp or to taste)

Mix all ingredients for marination and marinade chicken for 4 hours or up to overnight. Cook chicken as you like, by BBQ, broiling in oven, baking, or even cooking in lightly oiled deep pan on stove top.

Masalabou said...

Great thanks! I have some strong coloured paprika that looks like chilli powder but isn't hot, I might add 1 tsp to the marinade for colour.

Masalabou said...

We really loved it, thanks! The first time we all liked it, including my allergic son. The second time, I reckon I doubled the cumin (I couldn't remember if I'd put it in or not so I think it ended up being 2 tsp) Anyway, we liked it even more this time, my daughter said it tastes like real tandoori! Anyhow, that time my son wouldn't eat it (he rarely eats Indian or any spicy food). But I think I'm going to try 2 tsp cumin again. Both times I added 1 tsp paprika (not hot or smoked).

If you want any guest posts, I have 2 or 3 good recipes esp spinch, lentil and tomato curry - it's basically dal but much more substantial and I think the vit C helps the iron to be released.

Thanks again!

luckyfatima said...

Glad it worked for you. You are most welcome to do a guest post on my blog but I have like only 2-3 readers of this blog so it won't get seen by a wide audience although I will personally try your recipes :-)