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 hit 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 (other recipes I have adapted from the book are lobia masala and beef keema).
While I had heard of kali mirch chicken karahi, and at some point in my life had it, this was the first time I made it and will definitely be cooking it regularly. Some notes about the recipe…
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. In my previous karahi recipe, I have used less and while they are still tasty, the flavor doesn’t compare to the roadside karahis I love. Hence, I stuck to the full ½ cup here.
- Chicken with bone definitely adds to the flavor of karahi. I have made karahi with boneless chicken before, and while yes, convenient, it just does not taste as good.
- Adding yogurt towards the end of the dish adds moisture, and thickens the sauce of the karahi. To prevent it from curdling, it’s always advisable to let the yogurt 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.
Kali Mirch Chicken Karahi (Black Pepper Chicken)
- ½ cup oil neutral
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2.2 lbs whole chicken cut in small parts
- 2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion cut 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.
- Increase heat, and add chicken and salt. Fry on high heat till no longer pink.
- Add crushed ginger, sliced onion, and ½ cup of water. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes till the chicken is tender, and most of the water has evaporated.
- Lower heat, add yogurt, cumin powder, coriander powder and black pepper. Stir continuously on medium heat for about 5 minutes till the chicken is well-coated in spices and the oil separates from the dish.
- Garnish with julienned ginger, chili and a pinch of garam masala powder. Serve with roti or naan.