Ready for some karahi twist? This creamy chicken white karahi is super easy to make and so finger-licking good. This is my go-to chicken recipe when I want a quick dinner. What more? Everyone loves it!
Updated: 6 March 2021
What is chicken white karahi?
White karahi is a Pakistani Dhaba (roadside restaurant) food. It is a white-colored tomato-free version of traditional red karahi. It is enriched with yogurt and cream. The recipe evolved in the hands of restaurant cooks.
This recipe is an amazing day saver and even face-saver. When you have no time to cook or you have unexpected guests or you have been out the whole day and you don’t want to order food because you want home-cooked food. This quick recipe of white karahi never disappoints on such occasions. And, did I tell you that kids love it!
Key to delicious white karahi
Making white karahi is very easy. If you keep these things in mind you can create a delicious karahi in no time with number of variations.
Bone-in chicken: I personally, prefer bone-in chicken for karahi because the bine releases the fats that enhance the flavor of karahi. You can also choose other meats like lamb or beef and make karahi similarly. The method will be the same just that red meat will take longer to cook and make sure meat is fully cooked before adding yogurt.
Wok: The key equipment of karahi is karahi or wok itself. The large surface area that this vessel provide add a lot to the flavor. try to invest in a good non-stick karahi.
Spices AKA White Karahi Masala: The spices of karahi are really simple. The key is roasted and coarsely grounded cumin and coriander. The nutty flavor of roasted cumin lift the whole taste of karahi. You can alway keep a bottle of pre-roasted and grounded cumin and coriander seed to lift some of extra work in the last moment.
Creamy factor: Chicken White karahi needs a creamy factor for that white color. We are using cream and yogurt both which are dairy products. If you are looking for non-dairy options, you can add coconut cream and cashew paste too. But that taste will change a little bit.
Quick Cooking Tips
In the recipe below, I cooked the chicken directly. But sometimes, when I have time to plan, I simply marinate the chicken with everything in the recipe except yogurt and cream. Then I cook it until all masala is fried well and then I add yogurt and follow the remaining step as it is. And it’s so simple. I particularly wanted to share this pre-marination trick so someone can benefit. Try to cook in a wok (karahi) but if you don’t have one then you can cook in a large pot or pan that allows a lot of bhunnofying surface.
How to make White Karahi with cream?
Dry roast coriander, cumin, and black pepper in a pan. Then ground into a slightly coarse powder.
Heat oil in a wok and add chicken pieces. Fry for 2 minutes on high heat until pinkish hue vanishes. With the heat still on high, add ginger garlic paste, and onion paste. Keep stirring.
Add green chili paste and roasted and grounded spices of step 1. (You can see the grounded spices are neither very coarse nor very fine). Cook for 5 minutes on high heat stirring until onion water gets dry and onion's color changes to brown.
Add yogurt and whole spice powder (garam masala). Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until chicken is tender and yogurt water dries.
The chicken is tender and a layer of oil has separated on top. Add cream and cook for 1-2 minutes until desired consistency of gravy is reached.
When a layer of oil separates on the top your white Karahi is ready. Cut medium green chili into halves and remove seeds. Add half of it in karahi for aroma and save the remaining half for garnish.
Garnish with remaining chili halves and shredded ginger. Serve with nan, chapati, or roti.
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Hungry for Karahi? Check these!
White Karahi recipe with cream
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon whole black pepper
For white Karahi
- ½ kg chicken pieces
- ¼ cup oil
- salt to taste
- 1½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 medium (100 gram) onion, blend into paste
- 1 tablespoon green chilli paste
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder, (garam masala)
- ¾ cup yogurt, whipped (dahi)
- ¼ cup cream
- 4 medium green chili, divided
- 2 inch ginger, shredded
- Dry roast cumin, coriander and pepper in a pan and ground them into powder. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok and fry chicken pieces for 2 minutes on high heat until colour changes.
- Mix in onion paste, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste and grounded spices. Fry for 5 minutes until onion water is dried.
- Add yogurt, mix and cover the lid. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until chicken is tender.
- Next, add cream and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove seeds of chilies and cut into two halves lengthwise. Mix half of chillies in karahi.
- Garnish with shredded ginger and remaining chili halves.