Reworking a classic…

A classic recipe is everlasting, tried and true and a has the ability to take one on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. There is no doubt about it that somethings are just great as they are but the trend these days is to revive, rejuvenate and rework some classics to give them a modern twist. So….I thought I’d try something old as something new. The recipe has something borrowed but thankfully nothing blue 😁

I was in a bit of rush to get a lot of things accomplished that day and had to get dinner done quickly so I had to come up with a quick recipe. I recalled that I had recently seen such a recipe while on a search for dinner ideas. Pinterest does come in handy sometimes! Chicken with whole spices (Khara Masala) is a classic Pakistani recipe, most likely created by a man as it requires very little effort but packs a lot of flavour. As the name suggests all the spices are added in whole thereby making it a quick fix dinner. The original is absolutely delicious but this recipe made a few subtle additions that gave its flavour profile a great uplift. I was happy with the results but Mr. Mazhar was quite impressed which is always a plus. His highest level of approval was also awarded to this recipe so my next dinner guests will most likely get to try it!

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients they may seem like a lot but you just have to chuck them in (while releasing some of your day’s stress; pounding the living daylight out of the spices! 🤛🏼) just kidding! Please crush them only slightly to release their flavour and aroma. The method is only two steps and the tempering is optional. So in all honesty I got everything in the pot and went off to tick some other things off my to-do list and I completely forgot I had started dinner! Fortunately I walked into my kitchen just in time to turn off the stove. The meat hadn’t fallen off the bone but was definitely on the soft side. Disaster averted! Note to self: set a timer when cooking this recipe again.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste 
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1&1/2 tsp coriander seeds, slightly crushed
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, whole
  • 8-10 cloves, whole
  • 5-6 pieces round red chilli peppers, whole
  • 3-4 pieces black cardamom, slightly crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • 2 sticks cinnamon, whole
  • 10-12 pieces green cardamom, slightly crushed
  • 1 kg whole chicken, skin-off, cut into 8-10 pieces 
  • 1&1/2 yogurt, whipped
  • Salt, to taste 

For tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 4-5 round red chilli peppers, whole
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  1. In a large pot heat the oil and add in the onions, sauté for a minute, then add the ginger, garlic pastes. Fry until the onions turn translucent then add in all the spices. Fry for another minute to release the aroma of all the spices.
  2. Add in the chicken and mix well with all the spices. Cook on a high flame till the chicken changes colour. Pour in the yogurt and add the salt, mix well with the chicken. Cover the pot and cook on a low flame for 20-30 minutes or till chicken is tender. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes or till the oil separates from the gravy. Transfer the chicken into your serving platter and set aside. Dinner is ready!
  3. For the tempering, in a small frying pan heat the ghee and add the red chilli peppers. Fry for 30 seconds (keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t burn) then add in the curry leaves and cumin seeds. Fry for another 10-15 seconds and pour over the chicken. 

A tasty dinner is ready to be served with warm bread (naan or roti). Mazhar said the modern twist of adding the tempering to the original classic recipe was the icing on this “proverbial” cake 😉. Do try this easy peasy recipe and enjoy cooking a delicious meal for yourself, your family and friends. I look forward to hearing from you about your experience. Enjoy!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. hynasami3 says:

    I love it when there is something new with the old….looks delicious and I love a good wholesome curry!

  2. nigamin says:

    I am impressed at the fusion… why didn’t I ever think of that…. a must try recipe. Looks yummy..

  3. Sadaf says:

    This recipe was so easy and taste was yummmmmm ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    A must item at a dinner IA.
    Thanks for sharing your innovation with us. Waiting to try another soon.

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you so much Sadaf baji. I’m so happy that you tried and liked my recipe. Hope to keep sharing more for you to enjoy so keep checking in 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s