Last Updated: 21- Nov – 2019
Step by step Pakistani Chicken Karahi recipe with photos. Here’s a quick and yummy recipe of Pakistani chicken karahi. The kind of karahi you get on dhabba (street restaurants) of Karachi when you travel to Pakistan.
I fried the chicken first just like they do it on Dhabas in Karachi. Why? we all know chicken has a short cooking time compared to mutton. So if you cook chicken in tomato puree it gets either over-cooked and chicken flesh come falling off the bone. Or sometimes tomatoes have a raw taste if cooked on high flame. Both condition will spoil the taste and delicacy of Karahi. So frying chicken and then adding to tomato puree later helps overcome over-cooking of chicken. And using tomato puree or tinned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes are also helpful because tomatoes release lycopene upon slow cooking. So if you don’t give fresh tomato enough time to cook. It gives a raw taste.
What is Karahi in English?
Karahi, Kadai or Korai is a thick, circular, and deep cooking vessel similar to a wok but with steeper side and smaller base. This vessel is frequently used in South Asian Cooking. The dish cooked in Karahi is sometimes also reffered as Karahi. There is no specific name for a Karahi in English but it is often mistakenly called wok.
What makes Karahi special is the shape of vessel which allows easy stirring and lots of surface area for searing and high heat cooking. South Asian cooking demand searing on high heat until oil separates on the sides of pan and Karahi is perfect vessel to achieve desired results.
What is Karahi made up of?
Traditional Karahi were made of copper or wrought iron. Now a days, karahi are made of stainless steel, non stick base or aluminium too. Best Karahi is one that has thick base and is heavy. Thick base allows even distribution of heat essential for cooking on high heat without burning the food.
What is Karahi Curry?
Karahi curry literally refers to any curry cooked in a karahi. Usually, Karahi is a tomato based curry with very few spices like ginger, garlic , green chillies, cumin, coriander and pepper. Usually, a karahi is made lamb or chicken. A delicious variant of red tomato karahi is white karahi, which is a dairy based curry with spices similar to red karahi.
Is Karahi Spicy?
A karahi is a moderately spiced curry with spice levels similar to tikka masala. Usually, green chillies are added in karahi in the end for spicy touch and tempting aroma.
Can I make Chicken Karahi curry without Karahi vessel?
While, Karahi vessel is absolutely essential for getting that restaurant like taste in Karahi curry. Any vessel similar to karahi like wok can do the job without compromising the actual taste.
If you don’t have a wok as well than look for wide based and thick bottomed vessel like fry pan that can help you sear easily.
My other similar karahi recipes are
How to make Pakistani chicken Karahi?
Pakistani Chicken Karahi Recipe
- ½ kg chicken – , cut into pieces
- ¼ cup oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- Salt – to taste.
Whole Spices to roast
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed – (sabut dhanya)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds – (sabut zeera)
- 5 nos red button chillies – ( gol lal mirch)
- 1½ inch piece kashmiri red chilli
- ½ teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves – (kasuri meethi)
- ½ tablespoon chopped garlic
- ¼ teaspoon all spice powder – (garam masala)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli – (skip red chilli if you like less spicy food)
- ½ tablespoon green chilli paste
- 1 small (100 gram) onion – very finely chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- salt – to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter – (optional)
- 1½ piece ginger – , thickly grated
- 2 medium chillies
- 1 lemon – sliced in wedges
- Dry roast whole spices (coriander, cumin, red button chilli, kashmiri chilli, dry fenugreek leaves) and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok, add chicken, salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes until color changes. Then remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- In same oil fry grounded spices and other spices ( chopped garlic, all spices powder, black pepper powder, red chilli powder and turmeric) for 30 seconds and then add green chilli paste, fry for another 30 seconds.
- Throw in onions and cook for 3 minutes until translucent.
- Now pour in tomato puree and salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes until oil separates.
- Add chicken to the gravy and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes until chicken is tender. (Add ¼ cup water, if required).
- Add 1 tablespoon butter (if using) and ginger. Remove seeds of chilies and cut each into 3-4 length-wise slices. Add to the Chicken Karahi and serve with tandoori nan or chappati and lemon wedges.