This EASY four step Chicken Ginger has two unusual ingredients that create the most irresistible masala! Try it for youself!
I am not one to brag, but Pakistani Chicken Recipes! are kinda my thing. Chicken is a crowd pleasing protein, cooks quickly and with the right techniques and spices it is SO flavorful. Dishes like this Chicken Pulao or this Instant Pot Chicken Dal Gosht and this Chicken Ginger have saved me on many busy nights.
What is Chicken Ginger?
Before anything let's make one thing clear: If you put julienned ginger on your Chicken Karahi, it is still Chicken Karahi. Chicken Ginger is assertively ginger-y, has a generous amount of pepper, and a gravy that is richer and more assertive than the cleaner tasting Karahi Chicken or the onion based Chicken Masala.
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. Whenever our family 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.
Ingredients in Chicken Ginger
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 please note that when I say tablespoon of ketchup, I mean AN ACTUAL TBSP!
If you use a heaping amount of the spoon you use for eating or serving food you will end up with too much. Don't feel like busting out the measuring spoons? Start with the teaspoon in your kitchen drawer, the kind you use for stirring your tea/coffee and add more if needed.
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!
Step By Step Chicken Ginger Recipe
This is such a simple recipe that I am a little embarrassed to have made this Step by Step graphic, but let's break it down anyway shall we?
- Step One: Add the chicken, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic to a pan and saute to dry the chicken out
- Step Two: Now add in the coriander powder, soy sauce, salt, red chillies, black pepper, turmeric, butter, and oil and saute till the masala turns dark and oil rises above the top
- Step Three: In goes your yoghurt, green chillies, ketchup, chopped ginger (reserving some for garnish) and garam masala. Simmer through.
- Step Four: Adjust consistency and seasoning, garnish with ginger, and serve.
FAQ about Chicken Ginger
I use boneless as a personal preference but you can absolutely use 1.5 lb bone in chicken instead. For chicken thigh meat stays juicier and breast can dry out, but that can be managed. See below 🙂
Boneless thighs tend to be more forgiving, but boneless breast can dry out. The solution is simple: add a little water and simmer for 15 minutes, the meat should regain it's tenderness.
Sadly not. It just won't have the same pizzazz.
Yoghurt "splits" because of a temperature difference between the yoghurt and the masala. Your masala is very hot and your yoghurt likely is not. To prevent the masala from splitting add a little masala at a time into the whipped yoghurt and it'll gradually bring the temperature of the yoghurt up. You can then add the yoghurt back in to the pan and it should be fine.
More QUICK Pakistani Chicken Recipes with Boneless Chicken
- Haray Masalay ki Murghi
- Achar Chicken
- A No Tomato Highway Style Karahi
- Easy Chicken Jalfrezi
- Chicken Paratha Rolls
Made this recipe? Don't forget to rate it by clicking on the ratings below and tagging me in your delicious creations on instagram! You can find me @flourandspiceblog 🙂
- 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
- ⅓ 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, coriander powder, 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
Do you think this could be done with shrimp?
That would be delicious - I would cook it a little differently though just because shrimp overcooks so quickly. Here's how (I think) - season the shrimp w salt and a pinch of turmeric and then when the masala is cooked all the way through add the shrimp with the ginger, yoghurt, etc. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies says
OMG...for even the most "Burger" of us 🙂 I never knew of the term "burger" until I got married....I thought it was hilarious...
I have a recipe for ginger chicken which is okay. For some reason when my mom makes the same recipe it turns out awesome. I'm going to try your version soon. I wasn't using ketchup or soy sauce so that is probably where I was going wrong.
hahaha I was actually going to go into the burger vs bun kabab thing (I am clearly a bun kabab in a burger world lol) but decided to skip it.
the original recipe calls for ajinomoto but I find soy sauce works well. let me know how it goes
Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies says
What is bun kabob??? My husband always talks about it...is it just a burger???
Asiya it is essentially a burger with more desi condiments - hari chutney, imli ki chutney etc. You get two kinds - one made with a meat kabab in the chapli or shami style and another made with chana daal cooked and made into patties. Ever since I had typhoid in my teens there was an embargo on my street food consumption so I actually haven't had one in aeons
Looks amazing!!! Love all the flavours and ingredients!!?❤️
Anjana @ At The Corner Of Happy & Harried says
Happy Independence Day, Sarah! And what a lovely way to celebrate 🙂
Thanks Anjana 🙂
Zeenat Aftab says
Hi Sarah! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! I tried this tonight and I feel like I ended up with a little too much 'sauce' towards the end. Maybe I should reduce the amount of yogurt in the last step? Wanting my chicken to look more on the dry end like your picture but ended up much saucier. Any recommendations?
Hi Zeenat!!! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and taking the time to share your feedback! You've totally hit the nail on the head that if you want a drier dish you're good with half the yogurt, i.e. a quarter cup! I am positive I used the half cup when I photographed it but I suspect that a lot of the masala settled to the bottom of the dish!
Happy Independence Day Sarah. Ginger chicken looks smashing. Hope you're having a good time 🙂
Just made this tonight... Absolutely scrumptious!!!
wonderful thank you so so much!!!!
Sarahhhhhhhh! LOL at the "burger"! I also didn't know what a burger was until I got married hehe.
Sooo this looks flipping phenomenal and I cannot wait to try this! Also, have you been to the Usmania is Chicago? They have this amazing dish called Frontier Chicken and Frontier Chicken Rice. I've been trying to hunt down a recipe for ages, but can never seem to find it. Do you think you can come up with a copycat? 😉
frontier who what where?!?! no I haven't. like most decent Karachiites I use all my Chicago eating out on Sabri Nihari. lol jk I didn't know there was an Usmania there!
Amna S says
Sabri Nihari has a frontier chicken, as well! Usmania's is better...you can actually taste the flavors instead of just spiciness. I found my way to your blog because I was looking up a copycat frontier chicken recipe like how Usmania does it. None of the very few recipes online are at all similar to it. 🙁
well I am glad you came here, even if by mistake hehe I am off to Karachi in a few weeks and I will try this frontier chicken and get back to you!
My Kitchen Moments says
I do not eat chicken. So i missed this post of yours!! 🙁 My bad! But just now read through and i agree, the memories associated with celebrating Independence day is so special! (Belated) Happy Independence Day to you too my Pakistani blogger friend 🙂
Thank you for coming by and your kind words 🙂 I love that our blogs bring us all together in one way or another!
The dish looks delicious, hope you had a lovely independence day celebration 🙂
Yum.....I LOVE ginger so this is perfect for me! Yes, food is a good start to having pride in one's heritage 🙂
It also doesn't hurt that I have two girls and glittery clothes on my side 🙂 not to mention the jewellery hehe
Looks delicious. Will be trying it out soon 🙂
Keep me posted - always love feedback!
I tried this recipe but it tasted too ketchup-y to me and not gingery. I ended up having to add more madalas and red onion to mask the ketchup flavor.
Sarah Mir says
Hi hiba! I am genuinely surprised to hear that - a tbsp in a measuring spoon is like a heaped tsp from the utensil drawer so the ketchup flavour shouldn't be strong at all! It just adds a mellowness to it
Sadaf F K. says
Perfect recipe for Azaadi. I can feel you Sarah how it feel to be far away from the land where we grow up. I do badly miss my old city at every Occasions to count. Your chicken look tempting, I've never been to usmania. Where's it btw?
There are two I believe, the one I have been to is close to China Town in Clifton. One day we should get together and celebrate 🙂
Chitra Jagadish says
Lovely captures Sarah , well can't say anything about dish as I don't eat chicken....well said about the great day and memories are what remains throughout.....happy independence day (belated) to you my friend...
Thank you Chitra - I have some vegetarian things in the pipeline, hopefully you will like those 🙂
I don't think I've ever said this before, but that chicken looks beautiful!
haha thanks Salma!
This looks so lovely and tempting to try. Mentioning good old times always bring tears to my eyes, so I can very much relate to what you feel. What really breaks my heart is that mu kids will not share the same memories and experiences as I am, but anyways they sure will have their own.
I hear you Amira, I feel some things will be so utterly foreign (no pun intended) for my kids. They will never get the joys of playing in monsoon rains and then coming inside for garam pakoras but I try my best to create other memories similar to those ones ... of course then people think I am crazy for letting my daughter get wet in the rain!
Happy (belated) Independence Day! Looks delicious - I love ginger so much. And I bet the secret ingredients give it that je ne sais quoi 🙂
hhaha Carrie you are exactly right 🙂
Teresa Blackburn says
You are singing my culinary song with all that fresh ginger! This is so tasty looking and I thank you and wish you a late, but better late than never, Independence Day.
dedy oktavianus pardede says
Lovely dish !!!
my Indonesian licking really love any spicy food like this chicken ginger
i really craving over it not.....
Lubna Karim says
This sounds quite droolicious to me....the zing from ginger and taste of chicken....wow.....Will try this soon....
Better late than never....Thank you for participating in Global Ramadan Event - Joy From Fasting To Feasting - VII.....
My pleasure Lubna, thanks for stopping by!
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Lala Rukh says
Recipe looks so yummy ! I made it too but with slight variations.... results were amazing !
awesome!!! I am doing my happy dance... good thing you can't see it, it's pretty dorky lol 🙂
Scrumptious! We enjoyed it a lot. Many thanks dear.
That is fantastic to hear! Thanks for trying it out!
My husband and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for the recipe. I have a question, do you know any tips for perfect cooked chicken sometimes, chicken gets hard and rubbery. Do you have any tips to get juicy and tender chicken? Thanks
Sana that is great to hear! thanks for letting me know. Generally chicken gets rubbery when we overcook it - so I would suggest watching your cook time closely. When I do overcook it the I tend to add water and simmer it on low for another fifteen-twenty minutes. It does change the masala if it is a dry dish but at least my chicken is edible then! Hope this helps 🙂
Do you use chicken breast or boneless thigh for this recipe?
Hi Sumaiyah! I usually use chicken breast, but you can use boneless thigh too, it definitely is more moist! DO let me know how it turns out!
Just made this. It was both simple and delicious!
Looks delicious and sooo easy... i love cooking with boneless chicken. Definitely making this tomorrow (leftovers tonight) 🤭😂
Amazing!!!!!! Loved it! Thank you for sharing!
excellent!!! THANK YOU for trying it!
Hey..which ketchup do u use? Can I use Heinz or do I need to get it from a desi store?
Any ketchup works! Happy cooking!
Oh my goodness!!! Just tried your recipe and I am in LOVE!!! Was a hit with the fam too. Thanks for sharing Sarah!
yay!!! Thats fantastic news!!!!
Zahra B says
Made this for the 10000th time the other day, this time for my family and they all loved it just as much as I do!
That's so so awesome Zahra! Glad you like it and thank you for sharing this!
This is such a delicious recipe! I’ve made it twice now and both times the pot is locked clean (literally)!
Thanks for sharing!
Now THAT'S definitely sign of success! Thank you for sharing!
Just tried this! too yummy and so simple. loved it. it's moving to my weekly menu now 🙂
Thank you Hina! That is awesome to hear!
12/10 for this recipe! easy, delicious and quick!
Hi- Can I substitute crushed or diced canned tomatoes? if so how much
Hi Anita! You could, but I do think fresh work best here. If you do I would go with crushed over diced and about 3/4-1 cup worth. Hope it works well for you!
I’m sure you already know this but this recipe is amazing! even an amateur like me is now capable of making a decent meal. Thank you 🙂
Muniba thank you thank you thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to leave this comment!
In the recipe you never mentioned adding oil or butter
Sorry it goes in later, my mistake
Worked out lovely, didn’t put in the 1/4 cup oil though! Thought that was a bit too much. Put in a tablespoon. The kids loved the dish. Thanks!
I am so glad it worked for you and less oil is even better!
I made this today and it turned out UH MAZING!!!
first time i ever made a pakistani dish....
And it was super easy and quick (literally under 45 mins!!!) and turned out sooooo delicious like a dhabay ki boneless handi!!!
only thing I missed was the coriander powder since it is mentioned in the ingredients but i couldnt find when to put it in the instructions.
anyway even without it it was superb!!!
I am SO SO vey happy to hear that and I will just double check!
Made this and omg it was delicious! This dish was so quick and easy to make, the whole family loved it. Thank you for your delicious recipes Sarah!!
I was searching for a different type of chicken recipe that is quick and easy; and can’t believe my luck - stumbled upon this! Made it today and it’s amazing. This is going to be my go to chicken recipe from now on.
Can’t wait to explore your blog for more
That’s absolutely fantastic to hear! Thank you!!!!
Jefrina Charles says
Tried it today. Loved loved loved the flavors.
That’s fantastic to hear - thank you!!!
Irush @blendoflife says
OMG I just made this!! I love how easy and quick it is and it turned out so sooooo gooood!!! Thank you!! I'm going to be making this a lot more 😀
I am SO glad to hear that and thank you for leaving a comment!
Afsheen Hameed says
So So good! This has become my go-to ginger chicken recipe.. thank you so much for sharing!
Sarah Mir says
Glad you enjoyed it!!!
This recipe is as close to bbq tonights version of ginger chicken as possible. I remember it being the first dish we ordered whenever we visited bbq tonight. So happy we got to taste the same at home. Though mine turned out to have more gravy than it should have but taste hit the spot!
Seeing the soy sauce and ketchupin the list I was too sure. But tried it once and I always keep going back to it. Such an easy recipe to put together and it tastes so so good. I lovee it. And so does ny familyy.
Thankyou soo much for such an amazing recipe ❤️
Sarah Mir says
They are definitely unusual ingredients, but the dish would not be the same without them! SO glad you enjoyed it!
Another finger licking Delicous recipe. I think the first of yours that I tried long ago. The addition of a little soy sauce and ketchup is genius. Adds the prefect, subtle umami.
Sarah Mir says
Thank you Shazieh! I do feel that the recipe is a little lacking without those two!
This has to be easiest and yummiest ginger chicken recipe, it has become a family favorite, my little one asks me to make this almost every week.
Sarah Mir says
you know that is just the BEST thing to hear - thank you!
Just made it today!
Looks yummy and tastes great.
I trippled the recipe for my family and followed it to the letter (unusual for me😃)
I cook a lot of Pakistani recipes so this was not some revolutionary recipe but it had just a little something extra to make it stand out. It's a keeper.
Sarah Mir says
Yay! That is fantastic to hear! Thank you so much!
What a great recipe! It is so hard for me to make something that every one in my family enjoys, and this was it! It is on repeat at this household! Even my husband makes this using your recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it!
Sarah Mir says
That is absolutely fantastic to hear Afsheen! Thank you to him and you!