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Khousay (Co-Say)

Khousay pronounced “Co-Say” is a known Memon dish in Karachi, Pakistan. Memon’s are a sub sect group of Muslims from the Indian subcontinent, whose name came from the root word “Mu’min,” which means believer. Their lineage traces back to Sindh, India and later they had migrated to Gujrat, India. When the partition happened between India and Pakistan, many of them moved to settle in Karachi, Pakistan. A big city with lots of food and culture, and where many of my relatives still reside.

(Thank you dad for helping me with this short history lesson)

Though Khousay is originally a Burmese and Thai dish called “Khao Suey,” Memon’s modified it and adapted to make their own version. It is a very pungent and aromatic dish with depth of flavor and is probably the most popular dish in any Memon home. Cooked noodles in a flavorful coconut curry with a meat gravy topped with herbs and toppings is the delectable dish we Memon’s call Khousay.

So let’s get started!

Serves 4 to 6

Curry Ingredients:

3 tbsp Gram Flour

3 tbsp Yogurt

1 tbsp Garlic/Ginger Paste

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

Salt (to taste)

1 can (13.5oz) Coconut Milk

1 1/4 Can Water

Curry Method:

-Add all ingredients EXCEPT coconut milk and water to a saucepan on high heat.

-Whisk to pull all the lumps out then add the coconut milk and water.

-Whisk to incorporate all the ingredients then stir.

-Cook until the curry comes to a boil and thickens.

-Be sure to taste and check for seasoning (salt) and set aside.

Chicken Gravy Ingredients:

2 lbs Boneless Thighs (small cubes)

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tbsp Garlic/Ginger Paste

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1/2 tsp Coriander powder

1 tsp Garam Masala

Salt (to taste)

1 cup (8oz) Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup Fried Onion

Chicken Gravy Method:

-Brown the chicken in a pot with oil and garlic/ginger paste.

-Add the spices and let them bloom for a minute

-Now add the tomato sauce and cook until the liquid released from the chicken dries down.

-Stir in the fried onions, put the heat on low, cover and cook until chicken cooks through and oil separates from gravy.

-Check for seasoning (salt) and add the separated oil from the top of the gravy into the coconut curry.

-Mix thoroughly and set both the curry and gravy aside.

-Boil thin spaghetti or egg noodles according to package or make Gluten Free zucchini noodles by cutting them using a spiralizer and cooking them on broil for 5 to 10 mins on a greased sheet pan.

-Assemble first with choice of noodles at the bottom, pouring coconut curry over top, with a spoonful of chicken gravy and topped with your choice of toppings.


Green onions

Garlic chips

Spicy Potato sticks

Fresh Lemon juice

Fried onion


Chaat masala Green Chilies Chopped or Sliced Boiled Egg

**Be sure to check for seasonings along the way.

**Here I make it with boneless chicken thighs but traditionally Khousay is made with beef. You can use any boneless meat you desire just make sure to cube it into small bite size pieces. Along with the meat I’m also using coconut oil (any oil will work, I just prefer coconut oil)

**Vegetarian Alternative: make the gravy using chopped mushrooms, eggplant and bell peppers.

**Garam Masala is an Indian allspice that can be found at your local Indian/Pakistani store or can easily be made at home using traditional Indian/Pakistani spices.

*If beef is being used make sure to add additional water to let the meat cook through and tenderize.

Tip on feeding kids spaghetti: cut the cooked spaghetti into small bite size strands using kitchen sheers so the kids can eat the noodles using a spoon with no mess. :)

A good Khousay has to have the right toppings. Some crunch, acid, fresh herbs and a punch of season spiced salt. I like making a topping station or tray where everyone can add what they like. Many also add chopped green chilies for an extra kick and boiled eggs, but it’s really up to you on what you like and prefer.

And there you have it, enjoy this delicious, authentic, hug in a bowl Memon favorite with a side of eggrolls or samosas for a complete hearty meal! :)

Check out the recipe for your Samosa side dish.

Happy eating!!! :)

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