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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Handi Chicken

When  the Muslimah Food Bloggers group on Facebook announced that the challenge for September was to cook any dish from Pakistan I was very excited . I didn't have time to take part in the recent challenges so  was happy to be able to make something for this month's challenge.

My husband and I both studied in Karachi so we both have fond food memories.  The delicious freshly  baked Naans, Chicken tikkas, Lassi  the abundant fruit and vegetable carts.
I spent 2 and half years  in Karachi , while my husband , my eldest sister and a few other Maldivians  studied MBBS for 7 years in Karachi.  Karachi isn't an easy place to live,  especially if you are  female ,but if you stick to certain rules such as proper attire meaning Salwar kameez and Dupatta  and have someone with you when going out, you will be just fine. I had two very nice Pakistani friends, one of them with whom I still keep in touch.  Anyway, the food is one thing I miss and I have lots of fond memories such as the wonderful kheer my friend Kanwal's mom used to make for us and send it over for lunch sometimes, the delicious dinner at Lal Qilah  or Usmania or just the simple chicken tikka and naan at the tikka walas ..Swatting flies off during summer ,while trying to eat or the roasted nuts served piping hot ,on the carts on the roads,  in the chilly winter ,and  of course meeting my knight in shining armor ๐Ÿ˜‰, so yes Pakistan may have been hard but lots of fond memories too. I love the  the bustling markets , the fruit seller near the corner of my flat , the speed the poultry  shopper  slaughters and plucks the feathers of the chicken  chops and  sells them all in 10 minutes time.

One of my husband's favorites is Chicken Handi, I  liked Karahi but he said he prefered Handi , so I decided to make it for this month's  along with Naan and sweet Lassi.

I looked up a few recipes and I noticed the addition of browned , in my case burnt , onions. I remember the  smell of onions being  cooked in  ghee in the flat next door and getting hungry just from the smell. The ingredients are easy to find, you need yogurt though and I skipped the dried fenugreek and forgot the cream but it still had a lovely taste. So I will leave these two ingredients as optional.

Recipe : Chicken Handi recipe adapted  from the recipes from youtube such as  this one easy chicken handi recipe and  the recipe from curries and stories by Neelam 

500g boneless chicken , skinned cut into small cubes ( I used breast pieces)
1 large onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic , finely chopped
1 tsp grated or pureed garlic
3 tomatoes chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 chillies chopped
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala (  home made or store bought)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp fenugreek ( optional)
1/4 cup cream ( optional)
3-4 tbsp ghee

First heat  3 tbsp ghee in a wok  add  fry the onions till golden brown , remove and drain on kitchen paper and then finely chop it with the knife.
 umm.... they ended up getting burnt a bit but I used it anyway , so try and get the onions slightly less darker than this ๐Ÿ˜†

Next  into the same pan add the garlic and ginger ( add the remaining ghee if you feel it needs more ghee , pakistani food is quite  generous with the ghee) . Cook on medium heat for 1 minute to release its fragrance but not burn.

Next add the  cumin seeds and the tomatoes, and fresh chillies , chilli powder , the chopped up browned onions , tumeric and cook  for a few minutes , dont rush take your time, the tomatoes will break and you will get a nice sauce.

Add the chicken cubes and about  1/3 cup water , lid on  and simmer till the onion is cooked.  Give a stir occasionally.

Remove lid once the chicken is cooked, remove the lid add yogurt  , ground coriander and if using cream and fenugreek.

Cook  a few minutes  and finally sprinkle in the garam masala and stir it in.

Serve with some flat bread.

Linking this over to MFB's September Challenge, be sure to check out all the delicious  other recipes linked below.


  1. You have explained the recipe so well that it is as good as watching a video. I am going to pin this up for my next chicken dish.

    1. Making video is one thing i want to try now i love the ones u make

  2. How delicious! I don't mind the slightly burned onions either...actually they taste even better :-) The chicken looks really flavourful and awesome.

  3. What choice of recipe! So good to hear you were in Pakistan for your studies and all those memories shared definitely felt like I was being walked through it... I love Pakistani food and this for sure will be something to make for dinner during one of these lazy nights, InShaAllah...

  4. this delicious recipe....I always look out for new chicken recipes and will try this soon...

  5. Quite easy and delicious recipe it

  6. This is such a great recipe! One of my favorites, to be honest.
    It's so interesting to me that you went to Pakistan to further your studies! What were you studying there?

    1. I was doing my bachelors in science in Baqai medical university

  7. MashaAllah that was a good read! Walking down the memory lane and taking your readers along is a talent. Handi chicken or most of their curries I see floats in butter or ghee!


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