A handi is an earthenware pot used for slow-cooking in Pakistan. Dishes made in a handi are famous for having a wonderful earthy flavour. I saw this recipe on a Pakistani TV show - it uses a traditional recipe for chicken handi, but for modern convenience is made in a regular karhai or wok.
- 1⁄2 kg boneless chicken, cubed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin seeds, coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 -3 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 green chilies, sliced
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 teaspoons desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons yogurt
- 1⁄4 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon plain flour
- 1 inch gingerroot, julienne
- 1⁄4 cup coriander, chopped
- Heat karhai/wok over medium-high and add 1/4 cup oil. Fry chicken, stirring often for 3 minutes, and then remove to a bowl.
- In the same karhai (adding some oil if necessary), add the onions over medium-high. Stir often until coloured, about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, then add 1-2 tbsp water and mix through. Add ginger-garlic and stir for 1 minute. The mixture should be browning.
- Add 1 tsp of the coarsely ground cumin seeds and stir for 30 seconds. Add chilli powder and stir constantly until combined. Add a few tbsp water and stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes. Mix through, and then cover over medium for 5 minutes. Stir, and then cover further 3 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft.
- Add chicken and mix in over high for 1 minute. Add the dried fenugreek and stir through. Add the sliced green chillies and fry for 1 minute. Stir through the black pepper powder, then add the garam masala and cook 1 minute. Make sure to stir regularly so the mixture doesn't stick. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp of ground cumin seeds, and stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Stir through the coconut, and cook for 1 minute. Add the yogurt and stir slowly over medium-low for 2 minutes, until well combined. Now add the cream, and stir slowly for further 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix well, then cover for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
- Uncover the dish and increase flame to high. Add the ginger and stir through the dish, then add half of the coriander. Stir 1-2 minutes over high to dry any excess water. Serve, garnished with a dollop of ghee over the top (optional) and the remainding fresh coriander.
- N.B. Put the required amount of yogurt and cream in bowls before you start cooking, so it is room-temperature when you have to add it to the chicken; it will blend through the dish easier.