Karahi Chicken Recipe

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Karahi Chicken Recipe

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Karahi Chicken Recipe

Karahi Chicken Recipe: A Flavorful Pakistani Delight

Karahi chicken, a staple in Pakistani cuisine, is known for its rich, spicy, and aromatic flavors. Named after the traditional wok-like pan, or “karahi,” in which it is cooked, this dish is both simple to prepare and immensely satisfying. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this delightful dish at home.


  • 1.5 lbs (700g) boneless chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 3-4 green chilies, sliced
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Fresh ginger, julienned (for garnish)
  • Salt to taste


Step 1: Prepare the Chicken and Spices

  1. Cut the Chicken: Start by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces. This ensures even cooking and allows the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  2. Spice Mix: In a small bowl, mix the coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Set

Step 2: Cook the Base

  1. Heat the Oil: In a large karahi or wok, heat the vegetable oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Sauté the Onions: Add the sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown. This should take about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add Ginger-Garlic Paste: Add the ginger-garlic paste to the onions and cook for another 2 minutes until the raw smell disappears.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

  1. Add Chicken: Add the chicken pieces to the karahi. Stir well to coat the chicken with the onion and ginger-garlic mixture. Cook until the chicken starts to change color and is no longer pink.
  2. Add Spices: Sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken. Stir well to ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the spices.

Step 4: Add Tomatoes and Cook

  1. Add Tomatoes: Add the finely chopped tomatoes to the karahi. Stir to mix everything together. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and form a thick gravy.
  2. Add Yogurt: Lower the heat and add the yogurt. Stir well to combine and cook for another 5 minutes. The yogurt adds a rich creaminess to the dish and balances the spices.

Step 5: Finish and Garnish

  1. Add Green Chilies: Add the sliced green chilies to the karahi. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference.
  2. Cook Until Done: Continue to cook the chicken on medium heat until it is fully cooked and tender. This should take another 10-15 minutes. If the gravy becomes too thick, you can add a little water to reach your desired consistency.
  3. Finish with Garam Masala: Sprinkle the garam masala over the chicken and stir well. Cook for another 2 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Step 6: Serve

  1. Garnish: Garnish the karahi chicken with freshly chopped cilantro and julienned ginger.
  2. Serve Hot: Serve the karahi chicken hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice. It’s perfect for a hearty meal and pairs wonderfully with a side of raita or a fresh salad.

Tips for Perfect Karahi Chicken

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh tomatoes and green chilies add a vibrant flavor to the dish. Avoid using canned tomatoes if possible.
  • Control the Heat: Adjust the amount of green chilies and red chili powder to suit your spice tolerance.
  • Simmering: Letting the chicken simmer with the tomatoes and spices ensures that the flavors meld beautifully, giving you a rich and flavorful gravy.

Healthier Variation

For a healthier version, you can reduce the amount of oil or ghee used and opt for boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of thighs. Additionally, you can increase the quantity of tomatoes and yogurt to make a lighter gravy without compromising on taste.


Karahi chicken is a delightful and aromatic dish that brings the essence of Pakistani cuisine to your kitchen. Its rich flavors and tantalizing aroma make it a favorite for special occasions as well as everyday meals. This recipe ensures a delicious and authentic experience that will leave you and your guests wanting more.