Lahori Chicken Curry with Whole Spices and Potatoes

We have a saying in India that a person who hasn’t seen Lahore has yet to be born. Lahore is a city in what is now Pakistan. The hub of land trade between India and the Middle East, it used to be call “the Paris of the East” because it was such an important center of high culture in India. The street foods and meat preparations of Lahore are still legendary.

This chicken curry recipe is a staple for Lahoris. The inclusion of potatoes makes it hearty and a wide assortment of spices delivers complexity.–Suvir Saran & Stephanie Lyness

LC Ingredients Note

Take a look at this ingredient list. It may, at first glance, seem a little lengthy, but everything in there looks pretty familiar, eh? You may just have what you need for this warming, wintry curry in your pantry. Love when that happens!

Lahori Chicken Curry Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and skinned
  • 3 medium red boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 medium onions, roughly diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 whole dried red chiles
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 fresh hot green chile, cut in half
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1 cup plain water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

  • 1. Combine the chicken, potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and stir to coat the chicken and potatoes with the spices. Let stand while you make the sauce.
  • 2. Finely mince the onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and set aside.
  • 3. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, red chiles, coriander, and cumin in a large casserole or pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • 4. Add the minced onion mixture, the green chile, and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to brown around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. You may need to turn the heat down to medium if they begin to brown too quickly.
  • 5. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and green chile and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Set aside.
  • 6. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil in the same casserole or pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and potatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir well after each addition. Cook, stirring, to evaporate some of the moisture, about 2 minutes.
  • 7. Add the puréed tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the water. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 8 minutes and scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from sticking. Uncover and cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened somewhat, 5 minutes more. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste. Serve hot.

Vegetarian Lahori Curry


  • Substitute 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets, for the chicken.


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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Carol Anne Grady

Apr 04, 2004

This is one of the best curries I’ve ever had, and certainly the best I’ve ever made. I used chicken thighs rather than prepare a whole chicken (I was a little short on time) and they came out so tender, and full of flavour. My guests all commented on the meat – but the highlight for me was the creamy, spicy, fragrant curry sauce. Curry powder begone!

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Apr 04, 2004

I made this recipe last night, but decided to sub cauliflower for the chicken, therefore making this dish vegetarian. WOW! The flavors, the taste, the sauce—everything was simply fantastic. I served it with red quinoa. Everyone in the family absolutely loved it, and it makes enough for close to 6 people, especially if you serve it with some type of grain such as rice or quinoa, though I can only imagine how amazing it must be with some naan or some plain steamed spinach, as per Chris’ comment, The timing was 100% accurate. The recipe is time-consuming to get going, but once everything is cooked and blended, just sit back and enjoy the aromas filling your house as you set the table. Today we finished the leftovers and, much as with any “stew,” the taste was even better and richer. This is one I will make again, as per the recipe (for the carnivores in our household) as well as my interpretation (for those of us who are occasionally vegetarian-minded)!


Comments
Comments
  1. Chris says:

    A great, easy, satisfying meal! Quite a lot of heat from the spices and ginger; I ended up adding more yogurt to finish (and some currants to add a sweeter tone…). Excellent paired with a spinach salad and some nutty basmati rice.

  2. M.J. says:

    Easy, quick, and greatly satisfying, with flavors similar to what I ate in India. The taste was addictively seductive. I bought the cookbook and paired the recipe with yogurt raita and green beans.

  3. Hong H. Tieu says:

    I didn’t find this recipe quick to make, with all the puréeing and blending in between. And the taste was not worth the effort. I’ve had greater success with other Indian recipes in the past, which I found more flavorful than this one.

  4. J.H. says:

    I did not like the red potatoes in this dish — I would sub sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Many of the spices ended up remaining whole. Watch the number of peppercorns you use — they don’t grind up well and I found them overpowering the next day.

  5. Marianne says:

    Wow, was this heaven! I wanted to do something different with chicken, so this was a spur-of-the-moment choice. I didn’t have ginger so I added extra garlic. I didn’t have any green chili pepper, either. I embellish the potatoes and chicken with just a touch of curry powder. I served it with the lemon, and instead of cilantro I used green onions. It was restaurant quality. I also made some garlic naan to go with it.

  6. Beth Quinn says:

    Have made this recipe multiple times and have only subbed coconut milk for the yogurt. This is the real deal according to my Indian customers.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      I can see how that swap would be terrific, Beth. Thanks for letting us know how you rely on it.

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