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Curries of the World
Mridula Baljekar

This karahi chicken was the dish that inspired a style of cooking known as karahi cuisine in northern India, where fenugreek is a typical flavouring agent. In the west, dried fenugreek leaves can be used for convenience, as fresh fenugreek is generally more difficult to find. The dried leaves are sold in Indian and Pakistani food stores throughout the year, and will keep well in an airtight jar.

serves 4

225g/8oz chicken thigh meat, skinned and cut into strips
225g/8oz chicken breast fillets, skinned and cut into strips
2.5ml/½ tsp crushed garlic
5ml/1 tsp chilli powder
2.5ml/½ tsp salt
10ml/3 tsp tomato purée (paste)
30ml/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bunch fresh fenugreek leaves or 15ml/1 tbsp dried
15ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

1 Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the chicken strips and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2 In a bowl, combine the garlic, chilli powder and salt with the tomato purée.
3 Heat the oil in a wok, karahi or large pan. Lower the heat and add the tomato purée and spice mixture.
4 Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat further.
5 Add the fenugreek leaves and the chopped fresh coriander to the pan. Continue to stir-fry for 5-7 minutes, then pour in 300ml/½ pint/1¼ cups water, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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