A delicious roadside kali mirch chicken karahi that derives it flavor not from tomatoes but a generous helping of black pepper, ginger, coriander powder and yogurt.
About This Recipe
I am thrilled to share the recipe of this kali mirch chicken karahi. I first made this dish a couple of weeks ago, and both Saptarshi and I couldn’t believe how good it was. While not the most photogenic, this incredibly flavorful and moist karahi hits all the right taste notes. The recipe itself is pretty straight forward. I adapted it from the Salt’n Pepper Village Cookbook that I have enjoyed cooking from this past year.
While I had heard of kali mirch chicken karahi, this was the first time I made it. And yes, this is a dish that I will definitely be cooking on repeat.
What Makes This Chicken Karahi Different
Unlike the traditional chicken karahi (a version of it here), this one does not use any tomatoes. The flavor and moisture of the karahi comes from letting the chicken cook in ginger, onions and water for 25 minutes, and a generous helping of black pepper. You add the ground masalas right towards the end, and “bhuno” (fry) it to further soften the chicken and coat it in the spices.
- In the recipe, I have used ½ cup oil and I understand that it’s a lot. Feel free to use ⅓ or ¼ cup oil if you are conscious about the amount. But if you want a more dhaba or roadside karahi taste, I definitely recommend using the full ½ cup.
- Chicken with bone definitely adds to the flavor of karahi. But you can substitute it with boneless chicken. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Adding yogurt towards the end of the dish adds moisture, and further thickens the sauce of the karahi. To prevent it from curdling, it’s always advisable to lightly whisk the yogurt to smoothen it, let it come to room temperature first, and to lower the heat of the dish before adding it.
- It’s best to use a large karahi or wok for the recipe. It makes the cooking process a lot easier, allowing you to fry and coat the chicken in the masala appropriately. I like to use this Helen Chan carbon steel wok for my karahis.
How To Make It
Fry crushed garlic: Heat oil in a wok or karahi and add crushed garlic. Fry on low heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Sear chicken: Increase heat to high, and add chicken and salt. Sear until no longer pink.
Bring chicken to simmer: Add crushed ginger, sliced onion and ½ cup of water. Bring to boil, then lower to simmer. Cook uncovered until the chicken is tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 25-30 minutes.
"Bhuno" the chicken with yogurt and ground spices: Add yogurt, cumin powder, coriander powder and black pepper. Stir continuously on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is well-coated in spices and the oil begins to separate from the dish. Remove from heat, and garnish with julienned ginger, chili and a pinch of garam masala powder.
Kali Mirch Chicken Recipe (Black Pepper Chicken)
- 1 wok or karahi
- ½ cup neutral oil canola/sunflower/vegetable
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 pounds (~1 kg) whole chicken cut in small parts
- 2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced in half rings
- 2 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ½ cup full-fat yogurt
- ⅛ teaspoon garam masala powder for garnish (optional)
- 1- inch ginger julienned for garnish (optional)
- 2 bird's eye chiles thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
- Heat oil in a wok or karahi and add crushed garlic. Fry on low heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Increase heat to high, and add chicken and salt. Sear until no longer pink.
- Add crushed ginger, sliced onion and ½ cup of water. Bring to boil, then lower to simmer. Cook uncovered until the chicken is tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 25-30 minutes.
- Add yogurt, cumin powder, coriander powder and black pepper. Stir continuously on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is well-coated in spices and the oil begins to separate from the dish.
- Remove from heat. Garnish with julienned ginger, chili and a pinch of garam masala powder. Serve with roti or naan.
Mehreen Zahra Malik
This totally hits the roadside karahi taste. Maryam you’re a goddess! 🙏🏾🙏🏾❤️❤️
I was curious and immediately wanted to make it a chicken recipe for Karahi without the addition of tomatoes.
Thank you for your delicious recipe.
Greetings from me in Indonesia.
It's so delicious! Thank you for your recipe!
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It looks simple but the taste is amazing!
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You know I’ve wondered what south Asian food tasted like before the advent of tomatoes and chilies, neither of which are indigenous to this region. Black pepper is the answer. Amazing, will try this soon.
I've made this recipe what feels like at least a dozen times now and it always hits the spot. Thank you!
I cooked Masoor Daal recipe before. It was so delicious so I tried to cook this ones too.
Of course it was soo tasty!!! And my Pakistani husband also love them too!!!
Her recipes are always easy , simple and so tasty!
I’m really looking forward cooking another recipe again.
Thank you for sharing these amazing recipes 🙂
Hi! Do you use whole black pepper or ground pepper? Thank you!
Hi Huma - used ground black pepper!