Chicken and Spinach Karachi Curry

This is one of my all time favourite curry recipes adapted from Mumrez Khan’s Lamb and Spinach Karahi curry recipe from Rick Stein’s “Food Heroes” series, Mumrez is from the Karachi Restaurant in Neal Street, Bradford,  West Yorkshire and this is potentially the ONLY curry recipe you will ever need.


  • 250g/9oz ghee/clarified butter (you can just melt & skim some unsalted butter for this)
  • 65g/2 1/2oz garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 550g/1 1/4lb chopped onions
  • 50g/2oz fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 900g/2lb chicken breast (1 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 120ml/4fl oz water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 350g/12oz fresh washed spinach, any large stalks removed
  • 2 medium size green chillies
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • a pinch of ground cumin & freshly ground black pepper to serve


1. Heat the ghee in a large, heavy based pan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat, stirring now and then, for 20 minutes until they are soft and a light brown

2. Put the tomatoes, water, ginger and garlic into a liquidiser and blend until smooth.  Remove the fried onions with a slotted spoon, add them to the paste and blend briefly until smooth.

3. Lightly brown the chicken pieces in the ghee and then return the puree to the ghee left in the pan and add the salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, by which time sauce will be well reduced.  Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, paprika and ground coriander and continue to cook for 30-45 minutes for shoulder or 45-1 hour for leg, until the lamb is tender, adding a little water now and then if the sauce starts to stick.

4. Meanwhile, put 175g (6oz) of the spinach leaves into a large pan and cook until it has wilted down into the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer to the rinsed out liquidiser and blend to a smooth puree. Set aside. Rinse out the liquidiser again and add the green chillies and 2-3 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. Set aside.

5. When the lamb is cooked, there should be a layer of ghee floating on the top of the curry. You can either skim it off or leave it there, whichever you prefer (LEAVE IT). Then stir in the spinach puree and the remaining spinach leaves and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Now taste the curry and add as much green chilli puree as you wish, according to how hot you like your curries (ALL OF IT). Simmer for 2 minutes more.

7. Stir in the fresh coriander and Garam Masala. Transfer the curry to a serving dish and sprinkle with a little more ground cumin and some freshly ground black pepper just before you take it to the table.

Serve with your choice of rice, Naan breads, poppadoms, chapattis

About cwildman

Local Food Evangelist, 5th Generation Butcher based in the Yorkshire Dales, England. Town End Farm Shop, Artisan Butchery & Charcuterie, Home of The Yorkshire Chorizo.
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3 Responses to Chicken and Spinach Karachi Curry

  1. Alibi says:

    We’ve got a great recipe for “Bill’s lamb” curry


  2. Alena says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first

    comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this

    blog very often.




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