Chicken Dhaniwal Korma

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As the weather plays hide and seek and the winter stands at the front door, knocking ever so softly, something in me makes me think of Kashmir. The winters in Kashmir were long, hard and bitter. With little or no electricity to keep homes warm, people usually made do with  a Kangri to keep them warm and toasty.  A Kangir {pronounced – Ka (as in ca of car) ; ng ( as in ng in any word.. daring caring .. the last ng sound ) ; ur .. as in fur.. so together it makes ca .. ng..ur. Now that you got the sound, see how it looks like :


It’s like a portable fireplace, you fill in the wood charcoal, top it off with burning coals from a coal chimney starter or from a kangir with left over burning coals from the previous night.  Then you cover it with some coal ash and let it be a toasty treat in your Pheran. Once you get your own kangir for the day, you set out to do your winter chores – which for me as a kid meant – eating warming comfort food like the dum aloo, Marchwangan korma  and playing games of carom and cards & read books by the lantern lights . Oh I forgot to add that my siblings and I did  create a ruckus every now and then.

Winter is coming – As the Starks in Game of Thrones would say.  It sure is! But not before it gives us Coloradans some spectacular and dramatic sunsets.



With the approaching winter and my longing for my birth place Kashmir, I try to recreate the flavors of childhood in my Colorado kitchen.  Nostalgia at its best! Dhaniwal korma in general is made with mutton and cilantro with a generous amount of fried onions thrown in. I recreated the dish using chicken.  Chicken dhaniwal korma has the citrus fresh aroma of freshly ground cilantro, sweet fried onions and creamy yogurt. What’s not to like!


Chicken Dhaniwal Korma


  • One pound chicken red meat [drumsticks or thigh meat]
  • 1/2 C onion sliced fine
  • 1/2 C chopped tomato
  • 2 tsp ginger- garlic paste
  • 1 Tsp cumin powder
  • 2 - 3 Thai green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp fennel powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 C chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs Oil
  • 1/2 tsp ghee
  • 1 C Plain yogurt room temperature
  • 1/4 C water


  1. Saute the onions until medium brown. Since we are not using too much oil, this will take quite some time. In a time crunch, saute the onions in more oil and then remove the excess oil.
  2. Once the onions turn a good shade of brown, add the ginger and garlic saute until cooked.
  3. Remove from the pan and puree them.
  4. Blend the yogurt with the fennel and add the water. whisk it all together.
  5. Now in a heavy bottom medium size pan, add the ghee and then add in the yogurt and bring it all to a rolling boil stirring constantly. The yogurt needs to be at room temperature and needs to be whisked well, else it might split.
  6. Add in the onion puree mix, salt, chicken and the rest of the spices
  7. Cook, covered for 10 minutes - 15 on medium heat and check for doneness. Add in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are completely cooked. add in the cilantro
  8. Cover and cook until you see the ghee floating on top or the meat has a thick sauce covering it.
  9. Usually served with rice, but goes well with bread, roti, naan too.





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Comments 12

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  1. So good to see a new recipe from u Ansh!!!!!! 🙂 Missed u so much!!!! Warm warm hugs to u!! This recipe is a must try…everything about it is tempting! Thank you!

    I Loved the Kangir! Seems so simple and handy. I missed u a lot recently while watching glimpses of Kashmir in ‘Rockstar’. They showed the Kangir in one of the scenes.

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      Priti! Thank you for your infectious enthusiasm. You always make me smile!! I miss the kangir ! sometimes, on cold winter days when I snuggle up in a throw on my couch, I wish for it to magically appear and give me that toasty comfort!

      Hugs and Love you! For being you!

  2. Aw! doll, u sure bring to life ole memories with the feeling of warmth.. I so luved the picture of the kangir.. I want one:) and what I wud not give to see that sunset… chicken looks tasty but I woudl luv it with mutton..

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