A kadai (or karahi) is basically an Indian wok but with two round handles on each side. It is a multi-purpose cooking vessel used for anything from stir frying to toasting spices and even deep frying. Most every household has at least one and for an Indian cook, it is absolutely indispensable.
Kadai Chicken is more of a dry dish with very little “gravy”. It is very different from a curry but equally delicious. Better still, the leftovers are just perfect for a wrap sandwich the next day.
KADAI MURGH (Wok Fried Chicken with Vegetables)
1 lb chicken thighs (skinless & boneless), cut into 1½” pieces
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
3-4 small red dried chilies, to taste
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 medium bell pepper (red or green), large dice
1 cup of baby corn
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)
salt & pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
juice of ½ a lime
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a wok or large skillet on medium high heat, add about a tbsp or so of the oil and start browning the chicken on both sides. This may be done in batches, so do not over crowd the pan. The chicken should only be lightly browned but not fully cooked through (yet). Set aside until needed.
To the same wok or skillet, add the remaining oil and the onions. Stir fry until slightly browned and then add the dried red chilies, ginger and garlic. Stir fry for a few minutes and then add the spices (turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, red chili powder, salt & pepper). Stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes and then add the chicken pieces along with the tomato. Now add just about ½ cup of water, scraping up any bits left on the bottom of the pan. Cover and let cook on medium low for another 4-5 minutes or until the chicken has cook all the way though. There should be very little liquid left in the pan. If there is liquid, just let it cook until evaporated. Now add the dried fenugreek leaves, green bell pepper & baby corn. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes. The vegetables should still have a little crunch to them, do not overcook them. Finally, garnish with freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with fragrant Basmati rice and hot chapatis or rotis.
Feel free to add your favorite combination of vegetables such as carrots, peas, squash, mushrooms, zucchini…