Kadai chicken basically means wok chicken. Kadai or Karahi is a wok in Hindi, and it is commonly used to make gravy dishes. Karahi chicken is a fairly common chicken curry dish served in Indian restaurants. Many of them use cubed capsicum and onion in the curry, but at home we mostly avoid them. This recipe is delicious and made thick with spicy masala clinging to chicken.
How to Make Flavourful Kadai Chicken
A flavourful chicken curry is made with a delicious bhunaoed or well sautéed curry base and preparing the fresh spice base.
1. This chicken curry uses a base of onion, ginger-garlic paste and tomato puree.
2. Using bone-in chicken pieces lends more flavour to the curry.
3. Prepare kadai masala by roasting and grinding fresh spices. It really lifts the flavours. But in case you can’t source the spices needed, you can use store-bought masala.
4. I like to use both pepper and cayenne as each gives nice heat and unique flavour.
5. Use a creamy base ingredient like cashew paste in place of cream if you want your curry to be lower in Calories.
6. It cooks really well in a cast iron pan but you can use other pans too.
This karahi chicken is a classic North Indian recipe pairs really well with this naan bread and cucumber raita. You can also serve it with rotis or bread. This is a thick delicious gravy. Along with butter chicken, it is among the most popular chicken dishes ordered in restaurants.
Check out the detailed recipe card and step-by-step pictures.
Kadai Chicken | Karahi Chicken
- 1 lb. chicken or 500 gm.
For kadai powder
- 2 tsp. coriander seeds
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 2 tsp. oil/ghee
- `10 cashewnuts for paste or 2 tbsp. cream
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 2 tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika for colour
- 1 tsp. cayenne or red chilli powder
- 2 cups tomato puree or 4 medium tomatoes pureed
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 2 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. kasuri methi
- 1 tsp. cilantro chopped
- Dry roast the kadai masala spices on low flame and powder them. Keep aside.
- Heat oil/ghee in a pan. Add 1 tsp. cumin seeds. Let them sputter. Add in the chopped onion along with ginger-garlic paste.
- Cook well till the raw smell of the masala goes away.
- Add in the chicken pieces along with kadai masala, ½ tsp. garam masala, 1 tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder (or paprika), 1 tsp. cayenne (optional), ½ tsp. turmeric powder and salt. Saute on low flame till the chicken is well seared or browned.
- Add in the tomato puree along with the cashew paste. If using cream in the end, skip cashew paste.
- Mix well and cook covered on low flame.
- Once the chicken is falling off the bone, it is done. Garnish with kasuri methi (dried fenugreek) and cilantro leaves. Serve hot with this naan.
2. The time of cooking may vary depending upon the chicken pieces that you use and the pan you cook it in.
3. Making the spice mix does elevate the dish but you could easily use store-bought masala.
4. This dish is generally served with a thick gravy with the curry clinging to the chicken pieces. You could make it runnier depending upon your preference.
5. You can garnish with 2 tbsp. cream to make the gravy richer. I use 10 cashewnuts instead soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and then ground to a paste to make the curry richer.
6. Adjust salt as per taste.
Heat oil/ghee in a pan. Add 1 tsp. cumin seeds. Let them sputter. Add in the chopped onion along with ginger-garlic paste.
Cook well till the raw smell of the masala goes away. Takes about 15-20 minutes on low flame.
Add in the chicken pieces along with 2 tsp. kadai masala, ½ tsp. garam masala, 1 tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder (or paprika), 1 tsp. cayenne (optional), ½ tsp. turmeric powder and salt. Saute on low flame till the chicken is well seared or browned.
Add in the tomato puree along with the cashew paste. If using cream in the end, skip cashew paste.
Mix well and cook covered first on high flame so that the curry comes to a boil and then on low flame for another 15-20 minutes.
Once the chicken is falling off the bone, it is done. Garnish with kasuri methi (dried fenugreek) and cilantro leaves. Serve hot with naan.
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