I believe that every cook needs a handful of stir fry recipes to go on those busy days when you just need to whip up something fast for lunch or dinner. I have four recipes that I rotate in and out so that we don't get tired of them -- a South Indian (Keralite?) chicken stir-fry called piralen, a garlic pepper chicken Thai stir fry called kai kratium (recipe for next week!), PF Chang's Kung Pao chicken recipe and a Pakistani stir-fry called karahi chicken. A karahi is a wok-like pan and I don't actually own one - I just use a regular frying pan.
I jokingly call karahi chicken a "backwards" curry - most curries follow a predictable pattern - caramelize the onions, add the garlic/ginger, add the spices for a quick "bhunifying", then finish with meat, veggies and tomatoes/yogurt. Karahi chicken completely mixes up all the usual steps and the results are quite tasty.
This recipe was given to me by a lovely Pakistani lady who damned near became my mother-in-law. While I am perfectly happy with who eventually became my husband, it still makes me sad that I missed out on what would been the best in-laws EVER. Seriously, they were such lovely, truly nice people, I would have been proud to call them my Baba and Ami.
Ah well, at least I ended up with some kickass recipes. Oh, if you have a karahi chicken recipe or another stir fry recipe that you would like to share, and/or if you have suggestions on how I can improve this karahi chicken recipe, please feel free to link to your own post in the comments. I am always on the hunt for new recipes.
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
1 onion,. thinly sliced2 cups diced tomato
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less if you prefer mild)
salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1. Coat the bottom of a frying pan or wok with cooking oil and heat on medium-high. Brown the chicken, stirring frequently. After about 7 minutes, add the garlic and ginger.
2. When the chicken is pretty much done, add the salt, cayenne pepper, tomatoes and onions. Fry for about 5 minutes or so, until the tomatoes break apart.
3. In another small frying pan, coat the bottom with a very small amount of cooking oil and heat on medium-high. Add the cumin and coriander, stir constantly (add a teaspoon of water if it becomes sticky). Cook for about 3 minutes, until the spices become aromatic.
4. Add the cumin/coriander mixture to the chicken and stir thoroughly. Taste for salt, garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro.