Sunday, 6 October 2013

Chicken Haandi

My recent work trip to Pakistan took me to Multan (Located in the South of Province Punjab), a city I have only passed through as a kid while my father was posted at Bahawalpur many years ago. So I took this opportunity to go all touristy in Multan and did some serious sohan halwa, multani chappals, blue pottery shopping binging. What joy! 

As a kid I remember our house always had a continuous supply of Multan’s famous sohan halwa and Kushaab’s dooda. It was regularly served with tea & shami kebabs to the guests visiting us. Somehow these two items were so much part of my childhood while growing up in Pakistan. Which explains why I bought a ton of sohan halwa from Multan.  I also visited the shrines of Bahauddin Zakaria & Shah Rukhn- e – Alam and was in awe of the architectural marvels these shrines are despite their age. The city indeed was a pleasant surprise. I also ended up having the best ever Karahi at Ramada Multan. I am still in the process of reverse engineering it and will share the recipe if I succeed. I look forward to going back to Multan and enjoy some more sohan halwa in near future.

On my arrival at my base camp - Rawalpindi, my mother in law had prepared an incredibly delicious chicken Haandi for me. She was kind enough to show me this simple and delicious recipe in her kitchen. This dish is cooked in a traditional Pakistani clay pot called Haandi. This can be served with Chappati - Flat bread or Naan.

(I have not used clay haandi- traditional Pakistani clay pot for cooking this recipe simply because of the difficulty in photographing the food inside a haandi.)

Chicken – ½ kg (boneless)
Onions – 1 cup (make a paste in blender)
Garlic – 1 tsp. (paste)
Ginger – 1 tsp. (paste)
Oil – 4 Tbsp.
Salt – ½ tsp. (adjust to taste)
Chili powder – ½ tsp. (Adjust to taste while keeping in mind the use of green chilies in the recipe)
Cumin – 1 tsp. (crushed)
Dried whole Coriander – 1tsp (crushed)
Water – ½ cup
Lemon Juice – ½ lemon (large)
White Vinegar – 1 Tbsp.
Green Chilies – 1
Fresh Coriander for Garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a pan & add the onion paste.
  2. On high heat let it change color to pink. It will take 5-7 minutes.
  3. Now on medium heat add half of ginger & garlic. Also add cumin & coriander. Cook for another 1-2 mins.
  4. Add boneless chicken, half of the green chili, salt, red chili powder, remaining ginger/garlic and mix. Cook till it chicken changes color. Lower the heat.
  5. Now add ½ cup of water and let the chicken simmer for 1-2 mins.
  6. Now add the vinegar and lemon juice. Mix and cook till the water reduces to half, the oil has separated on the side and the smell of vinegar has disappeared from the food. It will take about 5-7 minutes on low heat.
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and green chilies. Pair it with Tandoori Roti and Mint Chutney.


  1. Won't adding onions solely make dish sweeter ? what if i add yoghourt or tomatoes too ?

    1. Surprisingly no. The onions don't make it sweet. I would suggest you try the recipe as it is first. I am certain you will not be disappointed. If you don't like the result then you can always use yogurt & tomato. I have tried those as well.

    2. Thanks Ambreen . Will be trying it soon (yes with onions only ) :)

    3. Let me know if you liked it or not? :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the simple yet amazing recipe :)

  3. Dear I tried this recipe but my chicken handi was much whiter as compared to yours :S what may be the reason?

    1. Hi Hina, you can add a pinch of turmeric if you like but don't add anything over powering. I am not a big fan of turmeric.

  4. Dear did u add turmeric powder to it too?