Pakistani Ginger Chicken Recipe

The bright Pakistani dish of ginger chicken is ideal for busy weeknights and sharing with friends. Fresh ginger, cilantro, and chilies, as well as a thick tomato sauce, give it a strong flavor.
I’m thankful to my friend Rafia for sharing her father’s recipe and opening her kitchen to me. Rafia’s father brought the dish to her kitchen and tweaked the recipe until the flavors brought him home.
WHAT YOU WILL REQUIRE The great thing about this recipe is that it does not call for any obscure ingredients. Most of these items should already be in your pantry if you frequently prepare South Asian cuisine.

Unboned Chicken: This chicken was made by Rafia with chicken breast, but you could also use boneless thighs.
Onions: The base for this dish should be made with white or yellow onions, in my opinion. Red onions can be used in a pinch, but because they don’t release as much water, you’ll need to cook them for longer.
Crushed Onion: Alternatively, you can peel and crush fresh garlic gloves in a mortar and pestle or food processor yourself.
Ginger Ground: Once more, you can purchase this from a store or peel and crush a knob of fresh ginger. I like to prepare the crushed ginger and garlic ahead of time and store them in refrigerator-safe containers. Olive oil or a dash of vinegar can be added to extend their shelf life.
Powdered Chili: Kashmiri red chili powder, which can be found in most South Asian grocery stores, is typically used by my family. This mildly spicy variety will give your food a brilliant, bright color. Cayenne powder can be used in place of it; just remember to adjust for heat.
Powdered Turmeric: This contributes to the dish’s color.
Ginger Fresh: This dish is called “ginger chicken” because it has fresh ginger layered on top of the crushed ginger base. You can leave it out, but it will definitely dull the dish’s punch.
Chili peppers: Typically, bird’s eye chilies are used in Pakistani dishes, but if you can’t find them, use a variety that is available locally. Just keep in mind to account for heat!
Yogurt with full fat: The addition of yogurt contributes to the dish’s thickening and gives it a nice, creamy finish. Before adding the yogurt, I suggest allowing it to come to room temperature and lightly whipping it with a fork. As a result, it is less likely to curdle.
Ginger chicken is a great dish to make on a busy weeknight or to share with friends. I would suggest serving it with vegetarian sides that are on the drier side in addition to roti or naan.

Thanks, Sabzi: The flavor profile of this classic aloo sabzi (potatoes simmered in a spicy tomato base) is comparable to that of ginger chicken. It’s a great way to add starch to your meal and goes well with roti.
Chana Daal: This drier, tamarind-imbued daal is an exquisite supplement to the smooth surface of the chicken.
Okra Bhindi Masala or Bitter Melon Karela Sabzi: My go-to accompaniments for ginger chicken would be these. Ginger chicken and the grassy or bitter flavors of okra and karela will make a delicious meal.
Nimbu Water: Normally, I don’t recommend drinks, but I think ginger chicken should be served with nimbu soda.
Pakistani ginger chicken is a well-known dish that is great for a quick and flavorful dinner on a weeknight or as a side dish for a group of friends.
INGREDIENTS: 12 cup neutral oil, 2 medium-sized onions roughly chopped, 1 teaspoon crushed ginger, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 2 pounds boneless chicken diced, 1 teaspoon salt or to taste, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 4 roma tomatoes roughly chopped, 1 inch knob ginger julienned, 1 bird’s eye chilies + extra for garnish, 12 cup full-fat yogurt brought to room temperature, INSTRUCTIONS: Heat oil in a Add chopped onions and fry until soft once it starts to shimmer.
Reduce the heat and add the minced garlic and ginger paste. Make sure not to burn them by frying for about two minutes.
Add the chicken and 12 teaspoons of the salt and turn the heat up to high. Fry for about ten minutes over medium heat.
Stir in the turmeric powder and red chili powder for a few seconds to make them fragrant.
Diced tomatoes and the remaining salt should be added. Cook the sauce over high heat until it has reduced to a jammy consistency.
Green chili and julienned ginger can be added.
After 10 more minutes of cooking, reduce the heat and stir in the yogurt.
Garnish with julienned ginger, green chilies, and cilantro in a serving bowl.

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