A colourful dish from Pakistan that is not at all hot but extremely full of flavour.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (33 votes)

It should ideally marinade in its topping for about an hour before cooking and should not be cooked ahead of time. This can also be made with chicken joints. It is best to buy either breast or thigh joints for this method, and keep cooking time to 90 minutes.


  • 1 chicken, jointed into pieces (see Note) 
  • cooked rice and lemon wedges, to serve


  • 1½ tbsp onion, finely minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander, or fresh leaves, chopped
  • pinch minced or powdered garlic
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1 cm (½ in) stem chopped green ginger or drained ginger in syrup
  • pulp of 2 large ripe tomatoes (canned and drained can be used)
  • salt and pepper
  • about 1½ tbsp olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 1 hr 

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients except the oil on a deep plate, pounding well, then add the olive oil and mix in thoroughly. Put the chicken pieces (or whole chicken, see Note) in the dish and rub this marinade all over, especially over the breast and legs if cooking a whole chicken. Cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for an hour (see Note) turning at least once. It can stay longer in the marinade if convenient.

2. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

3. Line a baking tin with enough foil to cover the chicken, put the chicken and marinade in the middle. Secure foil loosely at the top.

4. Cook for half an hour, then lower heat to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roll back the foil and cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the chicken pieces are brown. (If cooking a whole chicken, continue cooking for another hour after lowering the heat, then roll back foil and put back in oven so that the top and legs can brown – about 20 minutes is usually enough, but check that the Lahori marinade is not drying up.)

5. Put onto a warm serving dish with the pan juices and serve with freshly boiled rice and wedges of lemon.



• This dish can be made with a whole chicken, a whole chicken cut into pieces, or with chicken breasts or thighs. Watch the cooking time carefully if using chicken pieces, breasts or thighs to make sure the chicken doesn’t overcook.

• It’s better if this has time to marinade, but you can cook it straight away.

• This recipe is based on one from The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon.