Lahori Chicken Curry with Whole Spices and Potatoes

Lahori Chicken Curry Recipe

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


  • 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 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 store-bought or homemade tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1 cup plain water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 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.

T-shirt Variation

  • Vegetarian Lahori Curry
  • T-shirt variationSubstitute 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets, for the chicken.

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