Oct 29, 2018

Sindhi Style Chicken Curry

Chicken, creamy, curry, easy, Indian, main course, meat, pakistan, Recipe, rich, Sindh, Sindhi, Sindhi style, seyal, murgh, murg,

Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. This delectably creamy chicken curry recipe reflects the Mughal's influence on the culinary culture of Sindh. Slow cooking, tangy tomatoes, and layers of garam masala characterize Sindhi cuisine.

A Sindhi man draped in a block-printed ajrak cotton shawl and wearing an embroidered Sindhi topi or cap.

This recipe is from a beautifully written article on Sindhi cuisine in a the May 2013 issue of Saveur. Sindh is not a part of modern India but many Sindhis have settled near Mumbai. It is nice to see Sindh's unique cuisine given some recognition in a gourmet magazine. Sindh has long intrigued me as I am a huge fan of their block-print shawls called ajraks and their patchwork quilts called rallis. Oh, I love block-print fabrics! Can you tell by the backgrounds I use? ;) Another excuse to buy more block-print!

A Sindhi ralli or patchwork quilt.
 This was one of my favorite recipes from the issue. The Sindhis usually eat both rice and rotis with their meals so they prefer lots of luscious gravy. It is a bit rich and time consuming to make for every day so I only make it for iftar, during Ramadan, or a special occasion like an Urs. I did make some slight changes to the recipe. You do not have to grind the garlic, ginger, and green chili together. I know that is the way it is traditionally done, but I like to grind mine separately and I assure you there is no taste difference. Taking inspiration from the Kashmiris,  I fry the chicken pieces in salted oil to give them a bit of a salt crust. I also doubled the number of green chilis and garam masala to suit my Kashmiri family's spicy taste. Definitely decrease the chilis and garam masala if you prefer a milder curry. Off to the recipe:

1 kg/2lbs chicken pieces, skinless and bone in
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 C onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
2 TBS ginger/adrakh paste
2-3 green chilis/hari mirch, finely chopped (omit or use less for less heat)
8 black peppercorns/kali mirch, ground coarsely
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
1 TBS dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi
1/2 C tomatoes, pureed or finely diced
3/4 C milk mixed thoroughly with 1/2 C cream1/3 C cilantro/dhania leaves washed thoroughly and chopped finely

Here's what to do:
1) Heat oil or ghee with 1 teaspoonful salt in a 6-qt. saucepan or kadhai over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces and cook, flipping once, until browned or about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer browned chicken pieces to a plate.

2) Add sliced onions to hot oil or ghee and cook until golden, this usually takes 5-7 minutes. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, and chopped green chilis and fry for about 2 minutes or until raw smell is gone.

3) Add black pepper, dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric, Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until slightly caramelized and oil separates from the mixture or about  4-6 minutes. 

4) Add fried chicken pieces and milk mixed with cream to mixture. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer gently until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

5) When chicken is cooked through stir in the chopped cilantro/dhania leaves and salt to taste. Serve with rice and/or rotis.

Happy Halloween to all my America readers!


  1. Happy Halloween,

    Fantastic and tasty chicken recipe. The chill has descended on Delhi and everything has become hazy with pollution, it is just the thing to lift the spirits. Something to get rid of the awful cough and chest congestion.

    Sindh holds a special place in the hearts of the Indians. Sindh became Hind and then Hindustan to define this land. India’s national anthem “Jana Gana Manä” has the word Sindh in it “Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravid, Utkaal, Banga”. The Sindhi people are also known for their legendary fondness for papads which they serve their guests with water.


    1. Hi Apple,
      Thank you!
      It is a lovely breezy, balmy,(30-32C) and beautiful Fall up here in Nepal! Blue skies and sunshine forever! (are you jealous?)
      Those crazy Britishers gong around willy-nilly vivisecting countries!

    2. Yes, I am jealous that you can enjoy blue skies and fresh air. Yesterday my eyes started itching while in office as my room is near the road. In the past few years we are witnessing and feeling pollution which was no longer the case earlier. People are fleeing Delhi before Diwali because it is "that time of the year" when we get all serious about pollution.

      The Supreme Court has provided for a two hour window from 8.00 PM to 10.00 PM to burst crackers and stressed on "green crackers" only that no one knows what green crackers are and when the auspicious time for pooja falls on diwali night.

      The partition of India was the most stupid and diabolic thing. Imaging cutting off parts of a country and being nonchalant about it.

      A word about the Sindhi cap and shawl. It has a strong connection to the sufi tradition prevalent in Sindh. Most sufi singers wear these caps and shawls while performing sufi devotional songs.


  2. this is a BEAUTIFUL recipe!
    just the look of it makes me happy - all what i love in a good dish :-D and you descriptions always make it sound so doable!
    and you reminded me to wear my skirt i made out if a block-printed bedspread.......maybe for samhain.....

    1. Hi beate,
      Thank you!
      Ooooo, I'd love to see that block print skirt!

  3. Mmmm that looks just what the winter weather needs!

    1. Hi Mim,
      Yes, indeed- nothing like a rich & spicy curry on a cold & chilly day!

  4. Those Sindhi textiles are marvellous, aren't they? I love the block print in the photo behind your cover photo, too.
    Creamy and chicken are two culinary things I don't do but I always like reading your recipes.

    1. Hi Vix,
      That block-print in the background of the recipe photo is the back of one of my kurtis. I lurrrvvvv Sindhi textiles!

  5. The block prints are exquisite and I love the one you placed your cooked dish on
    I don't know what I was dribbling more at - the tasty recipe or the block prints!

    I have never cooked a curry with milk/cream (only a Thai one with coconut milk) so I must have a go at this; I actually have everything in the cupboards for it even the fenugreek seeds!

    Hope your week is going well.

    1. Hi Vronni,
      I <3 block-print!
      This actually has dried fenugreek leaves rather than seeds. The dried fenugreek leaves have a different flavor profile than fenugreek seeds. You'll find dried fenugreek leaves (also called kasoori methi) at any shop that sells Indian foods- they are very inexpensive & last forever in a sealed, airtight jar.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...