I can’t believe, I haven’t yet posted the recipe that was my first curry love! Yesterday I was making Chicken Ginger Masala for lunch and suddenly the floodgates of memories opened up that I associated with this simple dish.

It’s something I always ordered when I went to dine out with my parents. There used to be this wonderful restaurant, called Kababish, in Gulberg – Lahore, where my parents and I went to dine almost every weekend before going to watch the 9 O’clock movie show. I almost always ordered the same stuff, Chicken Ginger Masala with Cumin Raita and Roghni Naan, and then tutti frutti ice cream for dessert.

That restaurant is long gone and the place taken over by some multi-storey building, my father is long gone and so is the excitement that I used to feel every Sunday, looking forward to my favourite scrumptious dinner and fun evening. But to this day, whenever I cook this dish, I relive those wonder moments once again with each bite. There is something very homely and comforting about the sweet and sour thick masala that coats the tender chicken pieces, with lots of depth, heat and texture from ginger.

Usually people associate ginger with Chinese stir fried dishes and think that Chicken Ginger Masala is just another curry dish with extra ginger garnishing on top of it. But when you will try this recipe, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the curry clearly tastes of ginger. And has a unique taste of its own.

Don’t get scared with the quantity of onions and tomatoes going in with only 1/2 kg of chicken because we want to make lots of masala. Also the onions and tomatoes make a very delicious, caramelised sauce which tastes divine when scooped up with naan. This simple curry is definitely a variation of Karahi and Handi dishes, and iconic of Pakistani cuisine which uses very few and basic spices and lots of onions, garlic, tomatoes, ginger and herbs for flavouring.


1/2 kg boneless chicken, cut into cubes
3 medium onions, chopped
7-8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger paste
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon red chillies
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee(clarified butter)
2 inch piece ginger, julienned
A small bunch coriander, chopped
Few green chilli peppers, chopped

This Is What You Do:

Puree tomatoes in a blender. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep pan on medium heat.

Add onions and fry till they are tender and light golden.

Add garlic, ginger paste and boneless chicken pieces. Cook for 5 minutes or till the chicken is light golden.

Add tomato puree, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Cover the pan and let chicken cook in tomato juices. Cook for almost 15 minutes or till the chicken is done and liquids sufficiently reduced in the pan.

Remove cover, add half of the julienned ginger. Rub cumin seeds between your palms t crush them a little and release their fragrance and flavour, and chuck into the curry. Keep stirring and cooking another 5 minutes or till the curry separates from oil. Since we didn’t add too much oil, you will only see a fine line on the edges.

Serve hot, garnished with remaining julienned ginger, chopped coriander and green chilli peppers.

Serves 4

12 Replies to “Chicken Ginger Masala, Pakistani Cuisine”

  1. Absolutely delicious looking curry, Maria. I’m a big fan of all your curries. And what wonderful memories you have that come with the curry, that i enjoyed reading. Bookmarked to try soon.

  2. Hi, is this is the same as the one in the menu of KBC located in saddar Karachi? Here I am assuming that you are from Karachi

    1. M Hasnain, I am not from Karachi, and I have no clue about the restaurant you have mentioned. This is my family recipe.

  3. I stumbled upon your website couple of days ago. This is the third recipe I am trying. The first two turned out great. Loving them all so far. I do have a little request: Could you possibly give a more precise measurement of the onions and tomatoes, since I am not such an expert cook…….😊

    1. Hey Mehrunissa!😊 Welcome to my virtual home – Foodaholic 😊 Thank you so much for trying out my recipes. I’m delighted to know you are enjoying cooking and eating them.
      Regarding measurements of vegetables – can you please be more clear. I give the quantity in number if a few are required like 1 onion or 4 tomatoes and in kg if a lot is required like spinach or turnips or potatoes in some recipes. Do you want me to give me quantities in cups?
      And don’t worry about not being an expert, everyone begins somewhere 😊
      I’m here to help always, if you need any tips.

      1. Thank you Maria. You are so kind 😊 Yes, it would be helpful if I knew how many cup(s) is a medium onion sliced and a medium tomato chopped.

        1. Pleasure is all mine, Mehrunissa! 😊 Actually the number of onions, tomatoes or any vegetable needed to measure in cup depends on how coarsely you chop it. 1 medium onion roughly chopped is almost 1 cup and 1 medium tomato is 3/4 cup.

  4. Janeman, was looking for chicken karahi recipe. And you know your recipe is the first thing to cross my mind:-) I think I found it. Thank you

    1. Aww! Thank you, dear heart! What a pleasant surprise to hear from you after a long while 😊 I know we share the love for Spicy chicken curries 😄
      This one is quite like karahi but with a dominant ginger flavour.
      Enjoy! 😘

  5. LOL!Maria,I have searched your recipes many times for chicken ginger masala and coukdn’t find it.Today I had taken out boneless chicken and came here,hoping that I might find some other good bonelss chicken recipe and Voila!Chicken ginger is here.Thanks.

    1. Haha! 😄 Can you believe it? though I cook it at least once a month because my whole family loves it too!
      Maybe it was some telepathic message you sent me that made me post this recipe finally 😁
      Hope you’ll enjoy, dear Myeda! 💕

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