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Chicken Karahi recipe Pakistani
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4.8 from 39 votes

Chicken Karahi Recipe

A bright and tempting chicken cooked in tomato gravy, served with shredded ginger and chilies.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Diet Gluten Free
Keyword Chicken kadai recipe, chicken Karahi recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 342kcal



For Chicken

  • ½ kg chicken cut into pieces
  • cup oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small (100 gram) onion very finely chopped


  • ½ tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ tablespoon green chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or paprika for red color
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves optional (kasuri meethi)
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder optional
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder freshly grounded
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli (skip red chilli if you like less spicy food)


  • 3 tomato sliced or pureed
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • piece ginger thickly grated
  • 2 medium chillies
  • 1 lemon sliced in wedges


  • Heat oil in a wok, add chicken, salt, and pepper. Fry for 3 minutes until color changes. Then remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • In the same oil, add onions and cook for 3 minutes until translucent.
  • Next, fry spices for a minute until it sizzles.
  • Now mix in tomatoes and salt. Cook on high 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) chilies and ginger. Cover the karahi for a few minutes to let the chillies soften. Chicken Karahi is ready. Garnish and serve.



Chicken: Bone-in chicken is best for karahi. Boneless chicken can also work but the fats from bones add more flavor to karahi.
Ghee or oil: I used oil in this recipe to keep it simple and healthier. I must confess ghee AKA clarified butter tastes much better.  
Fresh tomatoes: Fresh, flavorful, deep red, fully ripened, and firm tomatoes add a lot of flavor to the recipe.
Spice Level: This curry is moderately spiced as per Indian tastebuds. But, if you are not used to spicy Indian food, then skip red chili powder altogether and also cut green chili paste in half for a less spicy Karahi. After chicken is cooked, taste test and add a little chili powder if/as needed.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek leaves are different from fenugreek seeds. These add a very food aroma to the curry. But you can skip it if not available.
Garam masala: It is a powdered mix of many Indian whole spices and can be skipped without altering the taste.
Leftovers: Most ingredients in karahi retain their taste and color upon freezing.


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 644mg | Potassium: 501mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1103IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg