Spicy Steamed Chicken


This is a recipe I have been waiting more than 10 years for. THE PICTURE DOES NOT DO IT JUSTICE! I’m sorry but I took it quickly before I could eat it.

What you have the privilege of learning about is a speciality of my aunt’s. A few weeks ago I boarded a flight to Karachi and went to see her. I’ve been salivating about this dish for years and although mum could make it, she eventually forgot it and also kept forgetting to ask her sister for the recipe. I suppose she didn’t have much of an interest when she has a chicken phobia. So, by visiting my aunt this was the only way I could be sure I would get the recipe.

With open arms, she bestowed her secret for spicy steamed chicken. She calls it ‘steamed chicken’ but that makes it sound like it’s bland when it’s not. It has a fiery flavour that makes this chicken finger lickin’ good. Seriously.

Since there isn’t a name for it, I’m just going to call it Spicy Steamed Chicken. Steamed because it cooks in steam from water (and some other ingredients) and it is the EASIEST and QUICKEST main course you can whip up and knock the socks off anyone with it. You’ll be asking yourself, “Is that all there is to it?” and my answer is “Yes!” It’s also healthy with no oil or butter required.

The tantalising deal with this is the gravy it cooks in and the key ingredient is a thing known as Chaat Masala, a seasoning commonly used by Indians and Pakistanis to flavour savoury dishes and even sprinkle on fruit. It is always used in fruit salads during Ramadan and adds a real kick. You can buy a packet of Chaat Masala from most supermarkets. Failing that, you will certainly find it in Asian grocery stores. Make sure you choose Shan – don’t bother with any other.

This dish is actually more about estimating quantities of ingredients and adding to taste. I’ve indicated measurements to give you an idea but depending on the size of the chicken or the pieces used, you may have to increase the measurements. Just remember, the ingredients should form a watery mixture, not a thick paste or be too dry.


1 baby chicken cut into pieces (about 500g)
2-3 tbsp water
2-3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Chaat Masala seasoning
2 tbsp soy sauce

Serves 2


  1. Place chicken in a casserole dish or saucepan that has a lid.
  2. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT for the soy sauce and stir the chicken around so the sauce coats it. This takes less than 60 seconds!
  3. Cover the pan and heat until boiling point.
  4. Then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken has cooked. Make sure you stir in between.
  5. When the chicken is done, add the soy sauce and stir for a few minutes until the gravy starts to thicken.
  6. Serve immediately with rice, chapattis or naan bread.
  7. You can also use drumsticks, wings, thighs or cubes of chicken breast.
  8. Now tell me this isn’t f***ing amazing when you’ve made it.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Dollypinkress says:

    Im in the process of making this now! The sauce smells like imli (tamarind) yum

    1. Sheenie says:

      I hadn’t thought about that! Let me know if your sauce doesn’t thicken. x

  2. Dollypinkress says:

    Hi it didnt thicken too much but it doesnt matter because it was like shorba and tasty. i added some butter beans i thought it may be nice with the chicken. I loved the recipe thank u ❤

  3. Sheenie says:

    Aw I’m chuffed! I think with practise it’ll get better. Happy to have shared it. X

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