Darina Allen: It takes just 30 minutes to cook this spicy chicken dish for your family 

Sumayya Usmani’s Karhai Ginger Chicken is a dish found in every restaurant and home in Pakistan and is simple and quick to make, with bursts of raw ginger added at the end for a fresh finish
Darina Allen: It takes just 30 minutes to cook this spicy chicken dish for your family 

A simple and quick to make Pakistani-style ginger chicken is ideal for a family supper. 

Preparation 10 minutes. Cooking 25–30 minutes.

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of garlic purée
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 200g (7oz) chicken breast cut into 5cm (2 inch) chunks
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


  • 5cm (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in wok-style pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the cumin and allow to splutter for 30 seconds. 

Add the garlic purée and grated ginger and fry for a further 30 seconds, or until the raw smell of garlic disappears.

Add the chicken to the pan and fry until it is sealed all over. 

Add the tomatoes and cook for 5–7 minutes until softened, then add the tomato purée and the yoghurt and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate. 

Add the red chilli powder, black pepper, turmeric and salt and cook for a further 5–7 minutes until the chicken is done. 

Add the butter before turning off the heat and letting the butter melt.

Before serving, add the julienned ginger, coriander, green chillies and mint, and stir through.

Serve with a daal and rice — and you can substitute chicken with boneless duck or turkey for a fuller flavour.

More in this section


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up