Pakistan: Chicken Karahi Curry

I debated cooking this dish for quite a while. The jury is still out on whether a Karahi Curry is Indian or Pakistani, with Wikipedia (the Oracle of anything) saying the origin is either Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Nepalese. When searching for ‘Pakistan curry’ a Karahi curry shows up though, so I decided to run with it. As I’m narrowing down the list of countries I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to cook dishes that are distinctly original – so many have their origins in multiple places…double dipping some might say.

I also cheated with this recipe, because historically a ‘karahi’ is a thick, circular, deep cooking pot, made out of cast iron. It looks like a dish that we have curry served to us in at Raj or Red Chilli Spice (2 epic restaurants in Johannesburg!). I don’t own a Karahi (shock and horror), and didn’t actually even cook it in a normal pot, but in my amazing slow cooker. I found a recipe online for a slow cooker Karahi, but it seemed a bit boring, and also made use of chicken thighs (no thanks). I then scoured Pinterest and found a recipe that my brother had pinned to our ‘Cook the World’ board much earlier in this challenge. I’d like to think he was pre-empting that he’d still be involved all this way down the line, but I think he pinned it in anticipation of ‘India’ which was the 4th cook along the way 😉

Anyway, I used this recipe that he found, and adapted it for the slow cooker – basically adding everything to the slow cooker at Step 8. I let it cook for about 5 hours and served it on delicious sweet potato mash (sweet potatoes, some butter and milk – amounts vary depending on your taste!). While cooking I was concerned about the quantity of tomatoes. It looked like a tomato festival going on in the slow cooker, but as they cooked they softened and dissolved a bit into a tomatoey sauce. It was delicious – just the right amount of spice and bite. I’m learning to ensure I add enough salt to the food I cook – often failing to do so, and ending up with a somewhat bland dish, despite the amount of spices. This worked perfectly. I also added some sugar to counteract any acidity from the tomatoes.

Will I cook it again? Absolutely! And I’m feeling a lot more encouraged now to use the slow cooker and adapt other recipes, instead of having to find specific slow cooker recipes – that can become quite tedious. The curry was delicious, not rich, but full of flavour. And the mash was just moreish.

So, Pakistan…cricket, Wasim Akram (I really liked him) Shoaib Akhtar (nobody really liked him!), Islamabad (think Homeland if your Geography, like mine, isn’t up to scratch) and the sixth-most populous country (with a population of over 201 million people!). It is bordered by India, Afghanistan, Iran and China – I don’t know why, but I always imagine China being far away from anything, but anyway! Pakistan has a coastline along the Arabian sea, and from a quick Google search, it looks really pretty! Would I visit? I’m not sure…


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