14th August. Fluttering flags, endless patriotic songs, skits in school, shalwar qameez for even the most ‘burger’ of us. Those are my happy memories of Pakistan’s Independence Day. As I look back at my life, my parent’s lives, and my grandparents’ lives, I think we are so fortunate to carve out the lives we had in the country my family chose. I am proud to be from Pakistan and my hope is that as my girls get older they too will be proud of their Pakistani heritage.
If nothing, I really hope they like Chicken Ginger 😉
Usmania's Chicken Ginger
This recipe for Chicken Ginger comes to me from a scanned newspaper clipping I found on the web a long time ago. It claims to be a copycat of the famous Chicken Ginger from Usmania which is one of Karachi's older family restaurants. The fare is mostly Pakistani and mostly delicious, but when we went – usually with a large group of people – this Chicken Ginger is what everyone reached for first.
I have not been to Usmania in a long time now, but I still think fondly of those happy times. Companionable laughter in the background as I scoop up the chicken ginger with some hot naan straight into my mouth and relish the pungent taste of the fiery tomato based masala. This recipe brings back all those feelings and for that I will continue to make it over and over again.
Odd Ingredients Make this Dish
Some of the ingredients, namely the soy sauce and ketchup, are admittedly a little odd. However when I skip them this dish seems incomplete so please try not to. Also my tolerance for sliced green chillies is a little low so I am happy with 2, but usually put 4 for my far braver husband and in laws. Put as many as you can comfortably eat!
Azadi Mubarak to my fellow Pakistanis, stay safe Pakistan.
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A quick karhai style chicken dish, with a base of tomatoes and loads of julienned ginger1
- 1 lb boneless chicken use more for bone in
- 3-4 Tomatoes chopped
- 1 heaped tsp ginger paste
- 1 heaped tsp garlic paste
- 1 heaped tsp red chilli powder
- ¾ - 1 tsp salt start w ¾
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- ½ tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Soy Sauce
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3-4 sliced Green Chillies
- ¼ cup julienned ginger – approx 2 inch piece
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- ½ cup yogurt
- Cilantro for garnish optional
Slice your chicken into 1 inch strips and set aside
Now whisk your yogurt and leave it out near the stove to come to room temperature.
Put a wok on high heat
Add your chicken, ginger paste, garlic paste, and tomatoes to the pan
Cook until the water dries up and the chicken is cooked through
Then add the soy sauce, salt, red chillies, black pepper, turmeric, butter, and oil
Cook until the masala turns out a bright red hue and the oil rises above it.
Now gently mix in the yoghurt, green chillies, ketchup, chopped ginger (reserving some for garnish) and garam masala.
Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 3-5 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with hot naan or roti
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