BowlsChickenCuisineCurriesMainsPakistaniQuick & Easy

Pakistani Chicken Karahi Easy & Authentic

30 mins Cook
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Chicken Karahi, or Kadai chicken, is surely one of the most famous curries inside and outside of Pakistan and India. this is a restaurant-fashion Pakistani fowl Karahi recipe that can be prepared speedy and without problems with no finicky steps. tested, perfected, and cherished by means of heaps!

You can also try my recipe of Chicken Bhuna Masala. I’m sure you’ll love the recipe.

What is Chicken Karahi?

Karahi is named after the pan in which it was originally cooked – a heavy, often cast-iron pan that’s similar to a wok, but rounder with a flatter base. Traditionally, meat would be simmered and stir-fried in this karahi in an open fire.

I’ve read in multiple places that karahi originates in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly Northwest Frontier) province of Pakistan, which makes sense given the cuisine’s heavy use of meat and black pepper.

Chicken karahi’s distinguishing features are its rich, tomatoey base and a fragrant finishing of green chili peppers, cilantro, and slivers of ginger.

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Pakistani Chicken Karahi Easy & Authentic

Does Chicken Karahi Include Onion?

Maximum would agree that conventional Pakistani fowl karahi does now not encompass onions. however after I polled my Instagram network, i discovered that the general public desired it with the onions.

After several trials, I decided to consist of a small onion without a doubt because I just can’t get sufficient of karahi’s ‘masala’ and onions help produce greater of the good things. nevertheless, it’s miles totally up to you in case you need to feature onions or not, so sense free to leave out.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This Chicken Karahi recipe requires simple ingredients commonly used in South Asian cooking. Here are a few things to note:


I’ve used oil for fluidity and ghee for taste. This recipe doesn’t require as much oil as most Karahis, but you can increase the oil or ghee as desired for a more restaurant-like finish.

Type of Tomatoes Used in Chicken Karahi

The tomatoes are the star aspect in chicken karahi, so it’s crucial to use ripe, tasty ones. I’ve tried this recipe with both Roma and vine tomatoes and that they each paintings properly. however, I select Roma because vine tomatoes can every so often add an excessive amount of moisture whilst cooking the curry. whilst unsure, move for the tastiest tomatoes available.

Chicken Cuts and Using Boneless Chicken

Traditionally, Karahi is crafted from a cut up entire chicken. One tip regarding the chook cuts is to make sure your chicken portions are small. that is often referred to as karahi reduce, which is 1 chicken reduce into round 18 portions. essentially, strive no longer to use a big chicken (this recipe calls for 2-2.2 lbs) or huge cuts.

you could use boneless hen as well, even though you’ll cook the chicken for a shorter time and spend an extended time sautéing out the moisture.

Note: This recipe calls for around 2-2.2 lbs of chicken. Adjust salt, spices, etc. according to the amount of chicken you have. Also, if you’re only serving 2-3 people, you can use around 1 pound of chicken and halve the rest of the ingredients.

How to Make Karahi

here’s what we’re trying to gain at every step:

heat the oil and brown the chopped onions. Sauté the onions until they’re lightly golden. Then add garlic, ginger, and green chili pepper. The onions will deepen in shade because the aromatics cook.

  • Sauté the chicken. This method, known as ‘bhunai‘ sears the meat and offers it richer taste and shade. A sprinkle of salt here facilitates layer the flavor.
  • add the tomatoes, spices, and salt. The moisture from all of the tomatoes might be enough to cook the chicken even as maintaining it wet.
  • Cover & cook. allowing the hen to slowly simmer while blanketed consequences in tender chicken and properly-evolved flavors. This also allows the tomatoes destroy down properly.
  • Uncover and stir-fry on high heat to sauté out the water content. You’re done as soon as the chicken taking over a glossy look as the ghee/oil starts offevolved to split
  • Stir within the yogurt. I experimented with adding yogurt earlier however determined I cherished the reported flavor and consistency it offers when brought at the cease. After adding the yogurt, retain to prepare dinner it through until the oil begins leaving the perimeters again.

More Tips for Making the Best Chicken Karahi

  • Even though no water is used to cook dinner the chicken, in case you’re the usage of a smaller/slender pan, you may end up with too much liquid after the chicken has cooked. If that’s the case, carefully take out the liquid right into a smaller saucepan and prepare dinner it down. Then add The decreased liquid again to the chicken. this can save you the chook from getting too soft and falling off the bone.
  • In case you don’t like julienned ginger on your curry (but why?), add more crushed ginger in the starting and much less, if at all, on the end.
  • Freshly floor black pepper is an crucial of completion and helps bring together the beautiful depth of flavors. try now not to use pre-floor black pepper, except you’ve floor it yourself…fresh..preferably mins in the past. Heh. You get my factor.

What to Serve With Chicken Karahi

Typically, curries with lots of gravy (like Classic Chicken Curry) go well with both rice and roti, and curries with minimal gravy (like Mixed Vegetable Curry) go well with roti. Since chicken karahi is a ‘dry’ curry, it goes incredibly well with Tandoori naan, paratha, roti, or other bread.

Pakistani Chicken Karahi (Easy & Authentic)

Pakistani Chicken Karahi (Easy & Authentic)

Chicken Karahi, or Kadai chicken, is surely one of the most famous curries inside and outside of Pakistan and India. this is a restaurant-fashion Pakistani fowl Karahi recipe that can be prepared speedy and without problems with no finicky steps. tested, perfected, and cherished by means of heaps!
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
30 mins
total time
45 mins



  • 2 tbsp ghee, See Note for dairy-free

  • 2-3 tbsp neutral oil, or sub more ghee

  • 1 small (~150 g) onion, finely chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 3/4 inch ginger, crushed

  • 1-2 Serrano or Thai green chili peppers, whole

  • 2-2.2 lbs (~907 g) skinless, bone-in chicken, cut up into small pieces

  • 8 small (~600 g) tomatoes (I use Roma or Vine), diced

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp red chili powder, or to taste

  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt, whisked – See Note for dairy-free

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground, or more to taste

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

  • 2-3 green chili peppers, slit in half

  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, julienned

  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat a massive, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat, and add the ghee and oil. as soon as hot, add the onions and sauté for five-6 mins, or until lightly golden. upload garlic, ginger, and complete green chili pepper and sauté for about a minute.
Add the chicken and ½ tsp salt and sauté for five mins, or until the color of the bird adjustments and it has stopped liberating water. add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, red chili pepper, and last salt and sauté for any other minute.
Lower the heat to medium, cowl, and allow the chicken prepare dinner for 20 mins, stirring as soon as in between.
Discover and raise the heat to excessive. Sauté for 10 minutes to complete cooking the bird and decrease extra liquid.* you will be aware the chicken taking on a glossy appearance because the ghee/oil begins to separate.
Lower the heat to medium, add in the whisked yogurt, and gently sauté for two-3 mins. flavor and add more salt, if needed. (I typically need some other 1/8 tsp.) add freshly floor black peppercorns and garam masala, and stir to combine. top with inexperienced chili peppers, julienned ginger, and cilantro. Serve hot with roti, naan, bread, or rice.


Vine tomatoes have more water content than Roma. Depending on your tomatoes and and if you use a small/narrow pan, you may have to sauté out any excess water in a small pan. To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute ghee with more oil and omit the yogurt.
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