My mother in law’s chicken haandi recipe: The perfect dish for a casual dinner

Published: October 29, 2013

My mother-in-law's special chicken boneless haandi. PHOTO: AMBREEN MALIK

My recent trip to Pakistan was directed towards Multan – a city which I had only visited once in the past during my childhood when we lived in Bahawalpur many years ago.

I took this opportunity to roam around the city, to see what it had to offer. I did a lot of shopping too, from sohan halwa and multani chappals to blue pottery and the likes. What joy it was!

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 and shami kebabs to the guests visiting us. Somehow, these two items became a symbolic 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 and Shah Rukhn-e-Alam, and I was in awe of the architectural marvels these shrines represented, despite their age. The city in itself was a pleasant surprise to me.

I also ended up having the best ever Karahi at Ramada Multan. I am still in the process of reverse engineering it and I will share the recipe too, if I succeed. I look forward to going back to Multan and eating more sohan halwa in the near future.

Anyway, after arriving back home, I was knocked out by the boneless chicken haandi my mother-in-law had cooked for me. On my request she agreed to show me how to make this simple yet delicious haandi.

So here goes the recipe,

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

Chicken – ½ kilogram (boneless)
Onions – 1 cup (make a paste in blender)
Garlic – 1 tea spoon (tsp) (paste)
Ginger – 1 tea spoon (paste)
Oil – 4 table spoon (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 – 1 tsp (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 and add the onion paste.

2. Keep it on high heat and let the colour change to pink. It will take around five to seven minutes.

3. Now on medium heat, add half the quantity of ginger and garlic. Also add cumin and coriander. Cook for another one to two minutes.

4. Add the boneless chicken, half of the green chili, salt, red chili powder, remaining ginger and garlic and then mix it all together. Cook it till the chicken changes colour. Lower the heat.

5. Now add half a cup of water and let the chicken simmer for another one to two minutes.

6. 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. This will take about five to seven minutes. Keep it on low heat.

7. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and green chilies. Pair it with tandoori roti and mint chutney.

This is the perfect dish for a casual dinner ceremony.

I hope you enjoy this scrumptious haandi as much as I did. In fact, call your friends and family too, it will definitely be a treat they will all remember!


This post originally appeared here.

Ambreen Malik

Ambreen Malik

The author is a Microfinance Banker, food blogger, LSE Alum and a dragon in training. She tweets as @ambreen_malik (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Bilal

    Good one girl, any good recipe of white chicken ??Recommend

  • Bilal

    Good one girl, any good recipe of white chicken ??Recommend

  • MK

    Thanks, as a fellow expat I really appreciated this and have promptly emailed it to my wife.. HehehRecommend

  • 123xyz

    yuck! disgusting!

    no non-veg please.Recommend

  • katlu irshad

    Looks delicious! Makes me hungry, i have to go get something to eat.:)Recommend

  • Chicken Karahi Lover

    Imagine you were born as a tiger.Recommend

  • Vijay K

    Sounds scrumptious ! Will try it today when I get home. The pictures are very helpful and clear. Half a spoonful of tamarind paste dissolved in a bit of hot water might be an alternative to vinegar. Thank you!Recommend

  • gp65

    Why did you read this blog when the title made it pretty clear what you should expect?Recommend

  • Glenn Ryall

    Easy to follow. Thinking of trying it this weekend :)Recommend

  • Quratulain fatima

    This not only looks yummy but the food photography is awesome as wellRecommend

  • Insaan

    Just replace Soybean nuggets with Chicken. Just soak Soybean nuggets in warm water (salt added) and use them in place of chicken. You can call it my mother-in-law’s …whateverRecommend

  • Insaan

    What is “White Chicken”?Recommend

  • Insaan

    Animals that eat other animals have special teeth to kill and tear up meat…..carnivorous have canine teeth.
    Humans did not learn how to cook for thousands of years. I don’t think humans used to eat raw meat.Recommend

  • WookieBrown


    Human evolution is intricately linked with the consumption of meat. In fact, our large brains and physical development wouldn’t be the same without meat. Not to mention, during hunter-gatherer societies, it was cooperative hunting that gave way to the development of common language and culture.

    Source: Should We Eat Meat? by Vaclav SmilRecommend

  • Insaan

    Cows, horses, and other herbivores have good physical development and brain size too. I am sure there are millions of vegetarians out there who are as much physically strong and more intelligent as meat eaters. Are you saying human beings ate raw meat?Recommend