Sara Dhanani

Archive for the ‘Curries’ Category

Matchi Bhaat

In Curries, Favorite Recipes on February 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm

I finally attempted a recipe my grandma used to make. It has intimidating me for Oh so long.

This is a delightful, fragrant fish curry which my family would serve with dill rice and fried fish with potatoes. My aunt sent her version and I changed it a little bit to make a saucier curry to serve with rice.

This traditional Sindhi recipe is made with dill, cilantro, green chilies, and preferably made with a firmer white fish. It’s a little labor intensive, but totally worth the time.

3 Cod fillets cut in 1/2 or 3rds
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch dill
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 green chilies
2 teaspoons rai – black mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds – crushed with a mortar and pestle along with 2 tbsp of cumin seeds
2 tomatoes ( my aunt didn’t use these but I thought they added a lot of flavor)
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Cayenne
Salt to taste ( I needed a full teaspoon in the curry and also in the rice)
3 potatoes ( peeled and cube 2 and slice one potato)
2 cups basmati rice – wash till water runs clear and then soak in water till ready to use.

In a magic bullet/blender, blend 1 bunch of cilantro, 3/4 bunch of dill, garlic and chillies with 1 cup of water. Keep it aside, we will use 1/2 for the fish curry and the other half for the rice.

Fish Curry: my family used to make this very watery and serve with fried fish. I didn’t have the patience for that, so I made it with a thicker curry and it was really good)

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pot ( wide would be ideal, but anything works), add 1/2 of cumin/coriander, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, cayenne pepper and then 1/2 of the dill/Cilantro mixture. Let it fry. Add 2 chopped tomatoes and keep sautéing ( if it sticks, add 1/4 cup water) until the curry has some oil leaving it. Add 1 cup of water, bring to a simmer and add the sliced potatoes ( this was my addition, traditionally no potato in the curry) and cod. Cover and let it do it’s thing. You can cook it to your desired consistency.

Rice –
Heat oil in the vessel of your choice, add Rai seeds, rest of cumin/corriander seeds, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and then the rest of the cilantro/dill mixture. Chop the rest of your dill ( other 1/4 from the bunch) and add that now. Sauté. Add 3 -3.5 cups of water – bring to a boil. Add cubed potatoes, salt to taste. Once the water is boiling, drain the water from the soaked rice and add rice to the boiling water. I cook by estimating so 1:1.5 ratio is was I use (rice/water). Bring rice to boil, once boiling, lower heat and cover the pot till rice is done.

The best Chicken Karhai

In Curries, Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry, Week night meals on April 24, 2015 at 7:45 pm

I love making chicken Karhai! It’s fast and delicious making it a perfect week night meal. I usually serve it with naan. This is the second Karhai post on the blog and is by far the best Karhai I have made and is inspired by my sister in laws, sisters recipe! Thanks Noreen and Saira!!


1-1.5 pounds of bone in chicken

1 tablespoon of ginger julienned 

5-6 whole dried red chillies

1 tsp coriander seeds 

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

1 carton of crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon kasuri methi

A small bunch of chopped freshcoriander 

1/4 cup of a high heat oil 


Heat oil in a large non stick pan. Add 1 tablespoon of julienned ginger in the hot oil, add chicken and cook on a high flame. Coarsely crush cumin and coriander seeds and add the the chicken. Also add the red chillies. Fry for a few minutes till the water from the chicken evaporates. Add the crushed tomatoes and continue frying on high heat the oil separates from the tomato. Add garam masala, kasuri methi and mix it together. You could add a teaspoon of red chili powder but I haven’t felt the need for it. Add fresh chopped coriander and serve with hot naan.. And per my husband a cold cold beer. 

Chicken Tikka Masala

In Curries, Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry, Week night meals on November 10, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Chicken Tikka Masala. This is a super easy, full of short cuts and cheats version inspired by a wonderful recipe by Grace Parisi. It is absolutely loved by my pre-schooler, she will lick the plate clean!  I use ready made tandoori chicken masala (dry spice rub which I found at our local whole foods). This is a staple in our freezer too since it freezes so well.


Chicken Marinade:
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons tandoori chicken masala
1 cup plain yogurt
Oil for broiling (1-2 tablespoons)
One table spoon ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less or more!)
1 heaped teaspoon tandoori chicken masala
1 large onion, finely chopped1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
One 35-ounce jarred peeled and chopped tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
One tablespoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, two tablespoons of tandoori chicken masala and set aside.Using a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the broiler (HI) and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade; scrape off as much of the marinade as possible and then sprinkle a little more tandoori chicken masala on the side up. Season the chicken with salt, a little oil and place on a baking sheet. Broil the chicken, turn it over and sprinkle tandoori chicken masala on the other side and broil till cooked and slightly charred. Transfer to a cutting board and cut it into 2-inch pieces.

To make the masala heat 1-2 tablespoons of  oil. Add the onion, garlic and ginger paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent and fragrant,about 5-7 minutes. Add the garam masala, cumin, coriander powder, cayenne, cardamom and tandoori chicken masala frying, for 1 – 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the sugar and salt to season. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Take it off the heat and blend with a hand blender until fairly smooth. Return to heat and add the cream,cooking over low heat till combined. Stir in the chicken; simmer gently for 10 minutes and serve with basmati rice or naan.

I always make extra tandoori chicken for chicken tikka pizza, sandwiches, rolls….


Palak Paneer

In Curries, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian, Week night meals on July 18, 2011 at 1:47 am

Palak Paneer. I have never made Palak Paneer until today. Inspired by my toddlers “I’ll eat anything green”, I decided to give this vegetarian curry a try. Palak Paneer is as green as it gets. My puppy girl loved the saag! I adapted this recipe from Indian Simmer by Prerna. I love her simple indian cooking and this recipe was easy to follow.

Here’s my adapted version of her recipe.


Frozen spinach – approximately 4 cups

1/4 cup frozen methi

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

8 oz packet of paneer cut into cubes

1/2 cup red chopped onion

1 /2 cup crushed tomato

1 tablespoon ginger & garlic paste

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 – 2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 tbsp coconut oil




Cut Paneer into cubes. Boil water with 1 teaspoon salt. Once it has come to a boil, turn off heat and place the cut paneer in the hot water.


Simmer spinach in a saucepan with cilantro and methi. Once it is soft, turn off heat. Let it cool and then blend it. You may need to add water to make a thick paste.
Saute onion, ginger & garlic paste with cumin and garam masala in the coconut oil.
Cook till it is fragrant and translucent and then add the crushed tomato. Add this to the blended spinach and give it another whirl.

Return the contents of the blender to your sauce pan and heat till the curry simmers. Now add the heavy cream and drained paneer to the spinach. Cover it with a lid for 5 mins. If you think the gravy is too thick, add a bit of water.

Serve with hot chapati or rice.

Karhai Gosht

In Curries, Favorite Recipes on July 17, 2011 at 12:46 am
This karhai is incredibly easy and is very similar to the karhai served in dhaba restaurants in Karachi. In our home, we always made karhai with chopped onions. I decided to try making karhai without onions just to see if it was any good. My husband loved it and declared it the best karhai ever and I concur!
It was eaten up so quickly, I din’t even get a picture!
This recipe serves two, but it can easily be doubled.
  • Thinly sliced steak or other lean cut of beef – 1/4 pound
  • 1/2 tsp meat tenderizer powder
  • 1/3 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Whole Green Chillies
  • chopped Cilantro – a few tablespoons.
  • 2 tsp. of Ginger & Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 2 tbsp. of Oil

1) Sprinkle meat tenderizer on beef.
2) Fry beef with the Garlic and Ginger paste in oil.
3)Add 3 glasses of water to meat.  Cover and let cook on medium heat until meat is tenderized and the water has evaporated.

4)Once the meat is tender and looks cooked, add salt, cumin and garam masala. Fry till the curry is fragrant. 5)Add crushed tomato and cover the pot. The curry is done once the oil separates
6)Add green chillies and chopped cilantro.
Serve with naan/paratha.