No toasting or grinding spices, no stuffing chili peppers, and no hard to find ingredients. This easy, fuss-free Pakistani & North Indian-style Achari Chicken recipe requires one pot and takes less than 50 minutes to make


Achari Chicken is a chicken curry made with ingredients used to make achaar, or South Asian pickle. So while the chicken itself isn’t pickled, it’s livened up with a zesty, tangy, ‘pickled’ flavor.

Ingredients that make Achari Chicken curry different from a regular chicken curry are:

  • Seeds or whole spices used to make achar.
  • Whole green chili peppers, sometimes stuffed with achari spices.
  • Yogurt, which gives it a richer, tangy base.
  • In terms of method, it cooks like Chicken Karahi, in that the curry is cooked down with an extra dose of tomatoes


In addition to foundational curry ingredients, Achari Chicken requires a few extra ingredients. Here are some notes on them:

#achari chicken
  • Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana) – Fenugreek seeds are an essential ingredient for Achari Chicken. Though they give a punchy flavor, they can be quite bitter, so feel free to reduce the amount if you find it too strong.
  • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji) – Nigella Sativa, not to be confused with onion seeds, are another essential ingredient. I’ve kept them minimal because they can taste quite strong. If you want them more visible throughout the curry, feel free to increase these by another 1/4 teaspoon. (More recipes that use Nigella Seeds: Haleem and Gluten-free Naan.)
  • Fennel Seeds (Saunf) – The mild, sweeter flavor of fennel seeds helps offset some of the bitter flavors of the fenugreek and nigella.
  • Chicken pieces: Like Karahi, Achari Chicken is made with a whole chicken that’s cut up into small to medium pieces, also called karahi cut (~18 pieces). I prefer it with bone-in chicken, but I’ve shared how to make this curry using boneless chicken below.
  • Green Chili Peppers: Large, mild green chili peppers are sometimes stuffed with achari masala (or a blend of achari spices + lemon) and added to Achari Chicken. To keep things simple, I’ve added a few unstuffed whole chili peppers (such as Serrano or Thai chilis) toward the end of cooking.
  • Yogurt – Use plain, whole milk (full-fat) yogurt. Yogurt substitutes: I haven’t tried these myself, but coconut milk/cream, dairy-free yogurt, or cashew paste would all work here.
  • Oil – You can use any neutral oil, and even a bit of mustard oil if you’d like.
    • Mustard Oil – Mustard oil, a pungent oil made from mustard seeds, is often used to make Achari Chicken. My father-in-law once told me that when he was a child, his mom used mustard oil to make curries. Here in the U.S., it’s banned for consumption due to high levels of erucic acid (Source). Though I haven’t tried it myself yet, if you’re comfortable using it, a small amount would be perfect here.



Here’s what we’re trying to achieve at each step:

  • Heat the oil and add the seeds. Adding them early on helps reduce their bitterness while infusing the oil with the achari flavor.
  • Brown onions: Brown the onions to form the base of the curry, then add garlic and ginger.
  • Sauté the chicken: This technique, called ‘bhunai‘ sears the meat and gives it richer flavor and color.
  • Add the tomatoes, green chili peppers, and spices. The moisture from the tomatoes along with a bit of water will be enough to cook the chicken while keeping it moist.
#achari chicken
  • Cover + Cook: Like a braise, a slow simmer will ensure tender chicken and well-developed flavors.
  • Sauté to reduce: Once it’s done cooking, sauté out the extra water until you can see the chicken turning glossy and the oil starting to separate
#achari chicken

Add yogurt and green chili: I experimented with adding yogurt earlier but found I loved the pronounced taste and consistency it gives when added at the end. After adding the yogurt, continue to cook it through until the oil starts leaving the sides again.


  1. Use full-fat, whole milk yogurt. Greek yogurt can curdle easier because of higher protein content.
  2. Let it come closer to room temperature before using it.
  3. Whisk it before adding it to the curry.
  4. Stir it in a little at a time.
  • Garnish: An extra squeeze of lemon juice, cilantro, and some julienned ginger to give it a special touch.
#achari chicken


If using boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut them into 1.5-inch pieces. There are 3 main differences when making this with boneless chicken breast or thighs:

  1. To prevent it from drying out, sauté it for less time after adding it to the onions (~2-3-ish minutes).
  2. Because of extra moisture from the chicken breast + tomatoes, you will not have to add any water before covering to cook.
  3. Cook/simmer for a shorter time. Depending on the size and if you use breast or thighs, 13-15 minutes of cook time should be enough


I would say this is a milder (but still very flavorful!) Achari chicken. Here are a few variations you may try:

  • Add store-bought or homemade Achari Masala along with the ground spices for more punchy flavor.
  • A sprinkle of mustard seeds would be very befitting here.
  • Achar oil – I wouldn’t use achar itself as I find it takes away from the nuanced flavors, but a little oil from the bottle at the end adds a nice scent and flavor.


No toasting or grinding spices, no stuffing chili peppers, and no hard to find ingredients. This easy, fuss-free Pakistani & North Indian-style Achari Chicken recipe requires one pot and takes less than 50 minutes to make.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 6 People
Calories 329 kcal


  • 1 Karahi


  • cup neutral oil
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, methi dana
  • 2 tsp  fennel seeds, saunf
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds, kalonji
  • 1 tsp  cumin seeds, zeera
  • 1 medium to large (~250-270 g) onion, finely chopped
  • 8  garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch ginger, crushed
  • 2 lb   bone-in cut up, skinless chicken pieces , (preferably cut small – See Note 1)
  • 2 tsp  kosher salt, divided
  • 3  small (~270-290 g) tomatoes (I use Roma), finely chopped
  • 2  green chili peppers , such as Serrano or Thai chili, chopped or sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp  red chili powder, or to taste
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup  plain, whole milk yogurt (See Note 2), whisked
  • 4  whole green chili peppers, such as Serrano or Thai chili


  • 2 tsp  freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp  cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tbsp  julienned ginger, optional, for garnish


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, heat the oil and add the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, and cumin seeds. The seeds will begin to sizzle. Immediately add the onions and sauté until they are lightly golden (~10-12 min). If needed, deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water. Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute, until aromatic.
  • Add the chicken and 1/2 tsp salt and sauté for 5 minutes, until it changes color. Add the tomatoes, green chili pepper, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and remaining salt (1 ½ tsp). Continue to sauté until the tomatoes soften (~2-3 min). Add 1/3 cup water (the water should cover about 1/3 of the chicken) and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer (low-medium), cover, and allow the chicken to cook for 20-25 minutes (depending on size), stirring once in between.
  • Uncover and raise the heat to high. Sauté for 4-5 minutes to reduce excess liquid. You will notice the chicken taking on a glossy appearance as the oil starts to separate, but it’ll still have plenty of curry.
  • Lower the heat to low-medium and stir in the whisked yogurt. Add the whole green chili peppers. Gently sauté for 2-3 minutes until well incorporated and you can see the oil separated from the curry. Taste and adjust salt, if needed. (I usually need another 1/8 tsp.)
  • Turn off the heat. Add lemon juice and stir to mix. Garnish with cilantro and julienned ginger. Serve hot with naan, roti, paratha, or other bread.



Note 1: Achari Chicken is typically made with smaller, cut up chicken pieces, also called karahi cut. See post for how to use boneless chicken.
Note 2: To prevent yogurt from curdling, try to have it closer to room temperature and continue to stir while adding.
Keyword achari chicken curry, achari chicken ingredients, achari chicken origin, achari chicken pakistani, achari chicken tikka

Here’s an easy Pakistani and Indian-style Seviyan (Sheer Khurma) recipe that takes around 20 minutes to make. This is a creamy and flavorful vermicelli pudding recipe that couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Perfect on its own or with extras like dried dates, raisins, or nutsTested to perfection!

Seviyan or Sheer Khurma (vermicelli pudding) is a widespread Eid-ul-Fitr tradition for South Asians.

What made her Sheer Khurma special was its less-seviyan, more-milky consistency. Sana generously shared her ratios with me, which I’ve used as inspiration to develop this recipe.


The word ‘seviyan‘ itself refers to the South Asian-style vermicelli pasta used to make all types of desserts. Seviyan can be prepared dry (Sukhi Seviyan) or with milk (Doodh Seviyan/Seviyan Kheer or Sheer Khurma). In context, when I say Seviyan, I mean a milk-based toasted vermicelli pudding.



Sheer Khurma is a milk-based toasted vermicelli pudding often made with dried dates, nuts, and other flavorings.

In Farsi (Persian), ‘sheer‘ means milk and ‘khurma‘ means dates. Given the name and luxurious additions, it’s no surprise that Sheer Khurma has Persian roots, and has evolved into the vermicelli version as we know it.


The main difference is that Sheer Khurma is generally more elaborate in its use of luxuries like dates and nuts, while Seviyan is simpler in its method and ingredients. That said, the interpretation of these dishes varies from household to household.


  • Pakistani or Indian vermicelli (Seviyan) – To make this recipe, you need South Asian vermicelli used specifically for making Seviyan/Sheer Khurma. It’s finer than other vermicelli pastas. A few brands I’m familiar with are Ahmed Foods, National, and Shan. They’re often labeled as ‘Roasted Vermicelli’, but we’ll be toasting them anyway. (See note below on how to use gluten-free rice vermicelli.)
  • Whole milk – I didn’t get a chance to test dairy-free options, but I think coconut milk would play well with the flavors.
  • Heavy whipping cream – Heavy whipping cream, or Double Cream for those in the UK, is the magic ingredient that makes it possible to make a quick Sheer Khurma. Without cream, you’d have to spend time reducing down the milk to give it some depth. I’ve given the quantity of 1 1/4 cup, but you can play with this to see what your ideal creamy ratio is. Try 1 cup if you want it lighter (or don’t want to use more than an 8 oz box of heavy whipping cream), or up to 1 1/2 cup if you’d like it even richer.
  • Blanched, slivered almonds – I buy these pre-made, but can do this yourself:
    • Place raw almonds in a bowl with water and microwave them for 1 minute. Drain and rinse, then peel the skin and slice into slivers.
  • Rose water or Kewra water – Both are diluted extracts that add a beautiful aroma to the finished dish. Each brand varies in strength, so adjust to taste.
  • Butter, ghee, or oil – I’ve used just enough to coat the seviyan while toasting it. If using ghee, note that it may rise to the top of the Sheer Khurma.
  • Green cardamom pods – I prefer not to bite into cardamom seeds in my seviyan, which is why I’ve used a good amount of the pods to give it flavor and scent. I break a few open to extract the flavor.
  • Sugar or sweetener of choice – The amount of sugar I’ve added is the amount you’ll need if you use 1 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. If you use an extra 1/4 cup, increase sugar to taste.


  • 1. Boil milk – First, heat milk and heavy whipping cream in a nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. (Don’t worry – the milk will not stick as long as you’re using a nonstick pan.)
  • 2. Toast Seviyan – Next, toast the vermicelli along with the cardamom pods for about 5 minutes. The color should change significantly, without burning it of course.

3. Combine – Add the toasted vermicelli to the simmering milk along with the sugar and any optional add-ins.

  • 4. Boil together – Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly for 5-6 minutes, until it starts to thicken. You’re simultaneously cooking the seviyan while reducing down the milk. The important thing here is to stop boiling when it’s runnier than you prefer. Once you turn off the heat, some vermicelli will rise to the top and stay there.
  • 5. Garnish – Lastly, garnish with nuts and rose or kewra water.


I experimented with adding dried dates (chuware) and was pleasantly surprised to find I actually enjoyed them. They impart a sweet, nuanced flavor to Sheer Khurma. If you’d like to add them, here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Soak 6-7 (~35-40 grams) dried dates in water overnight.
  2. Drain, pit, and chop them to your desired size. (It’ll come to about 1/3 cup)
  3. In a medium skillet, heat ghee or butter over medium heat. Toast, stirring often, for 7-8 minutes, until crisp.
  4. Add them to the milk once it begins to boil or along with the seviyan and other add-ins.


  • The tip worth reiterating – To keep its runny texture, stop boiling when it’s runnier than you prefer. It’ll get much thicker when it cools. If you prefer less milk/more seviyan or if you’re serving it warm, then feel free to reduce it down more.
  • The more it reduces down, the sweeter it gets. I suggest waiting until you’re finished boiling to adjust sweetness.
  • You can always add more cold milk to cold seviyan, hot milk to hot seviyan, sugar, etc. to ‘fix’ the consistency or sweetness.
  • If you’d like, you can toast the slivered almonds with a bit of butter on medium heat for about 3 minutes before beginning the recipe. I love adding toasted almonds along with the optional add-ins.
  • aLSO trt our more dessert recipes like Gajar ka Halwa ,INSTANT POT KHEER,



Here’s an easy Pakistani and Indian-style Seviyan (Sheer Khurma) recipe that takes around 20 minutes to make. This is a creamy and flavorful vermicelli pudding recipe that couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Perfect on its own or with extras like dried dates, raisins, or nutsTested to perfection!
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 6 People
Calories 496 kcal


  • Nonstick Sauce pan


  • 1 L whole milk
  • 11/4 cup  heavy whipping cream , increase up to 1 ½ cup for richer sheer khurma
  • 2 tbsp butter, ghee, or oil
  • 12  green cardamom pods, some slightly cracked open
  • 50 g  Pakistani or Indian vermicelli (seviyan), roughly broken up into small pieces (See Note 1)
  •  optional add-ins like toasted dried dates (chuware), toasted chopped nuts, etc., (See Note 2)
  • ¼ cup  cane sugar or sweetener of choice, plus more to taste (See Note 3)
  • 1 tbsp blanched, slivered almonds, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp rose water or kewra water, depending on strength


  • (Optional) If using dried dates or other optional add-ins, prepare them first. (See Note 2)
  • In a medium nonstick Dutch oven or large nonstick saucepan, bring milk and heavy whipping cream to a boil. (Cover to encourage faster boiling.) Reduce to a simmer (medium heat on my stove) and stir occasionally so the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom. Proceed to next step, being careful not to let the milk boil over.
  • Meanwhile, heat a medium to large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter/ghee or heat oil and add the cardamom and vermicelli. Toast, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, until the vermicelli deepens in color and becomes aromatic. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the toasted vermicelli, optional add-ins, and sugar to the simmering milk.
  • Raise the heat to high to bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes. As soon as it starts to thicken, remove from heat. (It should be runnier than you prefer since it thickens greatly as it cools.) Once it settles down, the surface should still be largely milky with some vermicelli resting on top.
  • Add the slivered almonds and rose/kewra water and stir. Serve hot or chilled (my preferred way). Garnish with additional nuts, if desired.



Note 1: 50g is 1/3 of a standard 150g packet of vermicelli (seviyan).  
Note 2: See post for how to add dried dates (chuware) and other add-ins.
Note 3: Sugar quantity is for 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream. If using more heavy whipping cream, increase sugar to taste. You also may need to add more sugar if not using dried dates.
Keyword dry seviyan, ghee wali seviyan recipe in urdu, seviyan recipe in urdu, seviyan recipe pakistani

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