My favorite comfort food!

Brace yourself! You are in for a real treat! I am about to share with you, what I would classify as, our family’s secret recipe. After reading it you might feel that you’ve eaten this or some version of it before but I will politely (yet vehemently) disagree! You don’t believe me? Just cook this recipe and if you and everyone who eats it can’t stop licking their fingers and wants more and more and more…then you must have done something wrong while cooking it 😉 

I don’t know the exact story behind this recipe, how or why my mother developed it the way she did but it is the most delicious thing she ever made for us. I still remember how many times we begged and pleaded with her to make us this recipe again and again and again. My Ammi called it Garlic Chicken! And to me it seemed like the most sophisticated and elaborate delicacy that was the depiction of my mother’s love for us girls. She would cook garlic chicken and serve it in one big plate and put it on a tray. Then she would have my sisters and me sit in front of her and she would give us a morsel of the meat wrapped in fresh khubus or warm parathas in turn. It is a wonderful memory from my childhood. My sisters – who are avid readers of my blog – will agree. 

Growing up I thought it was an elaborate dish and required many hours of hard work by my Ammi to get it ready in time for dinner. But when I got married and she finally shared the recipe with me I was truly and utterly flabbergasted! It was so easy. In the beginning I went a little overboard and made the recipe quite regularly that one day Mr. Mazhar politely suggested I ask his mother for another chicken recipe just to change things up a little. Hint received 😉

So it was after a long hiatus that I revisited this recipe yesterday and it was well received by Mr. Mazhar or so I think… he didn’t let on if he was disappointed. Good man! 


Garlic Chicken


  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1kg chicken, cut into 10/12 parts
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 1/2 can/packet tomato purée 
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 whole green chillies


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on a medium high flame. Add the sliced garlic. Sauté till lightly golden and aromatic.
  2. Add the chicken with just a splash of water and turn the flame on high. Brown the chicken on high heat till golden brown and its liquids have dried. 
  3. Then add the whole and purée tomatoes, season to taste, turn down the flame to low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes. 
  4. Add the green chillies , cover again and cook until the different chicken parts are cooked through. The lovely reddish oil should have separated from the gravy now which should be thick and fragrant from the dissolved tomatoes and the chillies. 

The most amazing dinner you will ever eat is ready! Isn’t that super easy? Serve with hot naan, chappati, khubus or parathas and devour!

    A point to note: Mazhar and I have a pretty low threshold for tolerating heat so I put in the chillies whole which brings in the aroma and slight taste without too much heat. My Ammi used to add sliced chillies and lots of them because she loves spicy food and so they are an integral part of the recipe. You can cater to your own taste. I do add quite a bit of freshly ground black pepper though and it gives the dish a more palatable heat for us. 


    4 Comments Add yours

    1. hynasami3 says:

      I’ts true….this dish was always special….It was a treat…

    2. shaistayesha says:

      Wow, picture look amazing and this sounds really easy to cook. I think I will be trying this soon for dinner, just a question; tomato puree and tomato paste is not the same thing is it?

      1. Nida Sami says:

        Thanks for your comment. Do try it and share your experience with me too. I will be so excited to hear your comments.

        You are right, purée is a more concentrated form of tomatoes than paste. If you do use paste rather than purée I would think you would need a little more than that mentioned in the recipe. Just taste the gravy and you will know when you hit a note that is appealing to your palate. Enjoy!

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