Basar Chicken With Pumpkin.

This dish was cooked some time ago…when I started the blog to demonstrate caremalisation. My Basar chicken with pumpkin.

So finally the clips on what gives your curries maximum taste!
Its the beautiful spices that stick to the pan and you scrape of soon after. Doing this repeatedly a number of times helps develop spices and creates an amazing layer of flavour! More on Caramalisation here http://lets talk about Caramelasation

This is where my seasoned karai comes in.
It’s a stainless steel pan, you can use iron, aluminium or a wok! A Indian cooking spatula is useful or a chefs cooking spoon.

I find some dishes cook better in certain pans. Cooking in my karai allows the masala to catch. That’s what you want, just for it to just catch and you remove it…mix it into the curry and continue the process. Do not leave it for any length of time.
A couple of minutes in total that’s all otherwise you will lose your vibrant curry colour and flavour as overdoing it can make your curry bitter.

I cooked pumpkin with boneless ready chopped chicken thighs today. I’ve also used Basar powder a curry powder blend that is used in Pakistani cuisine and varies in its composition both in commercial brands and personal homemade recipes. More about Basar and other spices found here Tools of the trade!

I implore you to try the Bengali gharam masala at the very end. 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom and cinnamon powder sprinkled at the end! It just lifts the dish!


1 kg boneless chicken. I used thighs.
Half butternut squash cut into 2 inch chunks
Quarter cup oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods split
1 tej patta/ bayleaf torn
3 peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic sliced
I onion blended
3 cloves
1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste.
3 to 4 green chillies. Check for heat and adjust.
1/4 cup ready fried crispy onions
2 tbsp dried Kasuri methi
1 fresh tomato (I used tomato puree as out of tomatoes!)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp Al Noor basar.
1 tsp chilli powder (don’t add if you like mild curry as this Basar is hot).
Fresh coriander
1/4 tsp Bengali gharam masala this is cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods ground into powder.


Heat oil in a karai or steel/aluminium pan.
Add the whole spices then the garlic slices to flavour the oil till its golden brown.

Add your blended onions, ginger/garlic.
Sizzle for a few seconds then add salt, crispy fried onions and cook this on low till onions have nicely coloured and you have that beautiful roasted onion aroma.

Add tomato puree. Stir well cover on med/low and cook this till the puree have totally cooked out with onions and oil is splitting.

Add 3 tbsp water and the powered spices.
Cook this down…till oil splits.
Add quarter cup of water and keep cooking it out till oil splits. Cook this for about 5 mins.

Now add your chicken and pumpkin. Stir well and here we start the caremalisation. Reduce your heat to med/ low. Let the masala catch onto the bottom and side of the pan, just for seconds then scrape off into the masala and repeat. You just do this for couple of minutes.

Add a drizzle of oil, this will add a lovely sheen to your finished dish.

Now add a cup of water, stir well and let this come to boil, reduce heat and simmer open till your chicken and pumpkin is cooked.

Taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary. Sprinkle the Bengali gharam masala, stir and let it stand for 5 mins then serve.

I serve it with rice and chappatis.

Follow the step by steps as reference:

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