Sunday, January 22, 2017

Shinwari Karhai

Shinwari Karhai is one of those recipes that have been with me since years. Mama originally wrote it down from some cooking show she was watching on television once and then she handed it to me to try. Unfortunately, I have no idea which show this was so I can't trace this back to whoever mama was watching. Also, until I decided to post this recipe on my blog I had absolutely no idea why this Karhai was called 'Shinwari'. To be honest I used to call it Shanwari instead so I was just wayyyyy off. Then I looked it up and found out that Shinwari Karhai is actually an Afghani dish which is usually made with meat instead of chicken and it gets its name from a tribe in Afghanistan called the Shinwaris. Woah, I did not know that at all! Anyway, over the years I have made my own changes to the original recipe mama had handed down to me so basically this is the Saraallie version of Shinwari Karhai (sounds cool when you put it that way, yeah?).

What I like about this recipe is that it is a quick one to make, one that doesn't require too much on my part, and yet does not compromise on taste. Whenever I'm cooking on one of my lazy days when my body just wants me to take it to the sofa and collapse in front of the TV or my blog I opt for cooking this dish. It's basically just three steps and you're done. You first prepare by chopping the tomatoes and taking out all of your spices which aren't that many either. Then you basically put everything in one cooking pan and let it cook while stirring occasionally. Finally you adjust the curry and the salt as per your taste and you have deliciousness ready to devour. If you're looking for a quick dish and delicious taste this will become your go to!

 This entry belongs to the label 'Chicken and Meats'

  • Oil
  • Chicken - 1/2 kilo (I prefer using chicken with bones)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp. 
  • Tomatoes - 1 1/2 large finely chopped
  • Green Chilies or Green Chili Chutney (optional and according to taste)
  • Cumin Seeds (Zeera) - 1 tsp.
  • Black Pepper Powder (Pissi Kaali Mirach) - 1/2 tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder (Pissi Haldi) - 1/4 tsp.
  • Curry Powder - Just a pinch
  • Salt - According to taste
  • Cilantro (Hara Dhanya) (optional)

I like to prepare everything first. So begin by finely chopping the tomatoes and spooning out all of your spices. I like to spoon out all my spices together in a small bowl before adding them in so that I don't forget anything and also because it saves me time.

Heat oil in a pan and add the chicken, ginger garlic paste, all the spices, and the green chilies or green chili chutney (optional) to it. Fry everything together till the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste goes away and the chicken changes color.

Next add the tomatoes, give it a good stir so everything is properly mixed together. Now let it cook until the tomatoes become pulpy. Keep on stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Continue cooking until oil leaves from the sides and the curry turns golden brown in color.

Add water according to how much curry you desire and let it cook on high heat. The curry will come to a boil and thicken up. When the curry becomes thick enough the way you want it to taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with cilantro (optional) and serve.

There you go! Mouthwatering, isn't it? It tastes just as beautifully delicious as it looks! I find the flavors of Shinwari Karhai are really delectable and just looking at this picture makes me feel soooooo hungry!

Shinwari Karhai can be served with boiled or lightly seasoned rice or can be eaten with chapaati, naan, or roti. I've even had it with Kawan's Whole Wheat Frozen Parathas and it tasted delicious. You have in front of you a dish that doesn't take too long to cook, looks very appealing, tastes even better, and can be paired with any combination or rice or bread! Brilliance!


  1. Your recipes always look delicious. I can hardly wait to try this.

    1. Thanks Suzanne! I'd love to hear from you when you do :D


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