Pakistan is a domicile to an assortment of delectable dishes, and we Pakistanis enjoy our food fiery and spicy!

Chicken Karahi being one of countless, authentic Pakistani cuisines is a must try if you desire to experience the true Pakistani culture.

Why this name, you ask? Well, since Chicken Karahi is cooked and usually also served in a large, open-mouthed wok like vessel known locally as a ‘karahi’, what other name could describe this sizzling meal!

While chicken karahi’s recipes vary from each province to each household; the underlining recipe remains unchanged- chicken cooked in loads of tomatoes to form scrumptious gravy!

Best served with freshly baked Naan or Tandoori Roti (plain, kalonji or garlic), the saltiness of the naan compliments the piquancy of the karahi on all levels! Although in some states, people prefer eating this dish with plain rice.

If you wish to create the amazing street Pakistani hawker style karahi, the recipe is jotted down below. However, if you want to add a twist to the Desi-ness, you can always go for newfangled versions like BBQ chicken karahi, chicken boneless karahi, chicken and cheese karahi and more!

Here’s your step by step guide:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving: 5-7 people

Meal Course: Lunch/Dinner

Calories: 295 kcal


·         Whole Chicken (cut into small pieces) 1kg

·         Cooking oil (2 tablespoons)

·         Ghee (1 tablespoon)

·         Water 1 cup


·         Chili powder (1 teaspoon)

·         Red button chilies (3)

·         Salt (1.5 teaspoon)

·         Cumin seeds (roasted) (1.5 teaspoon)

·         Turmeric Powder (1.5 teaspoon)

·         Black pepper (1.5 teaspoon)

·         Coriander powder (1 teaspoon)

·         Shan or National chicken karahi powder (1 tablespoon) (optional)


·         Ginger & garlic paste (1 tablespoon)

·         Chopped Tomatoes (8)

·         Onion (1 large) shredded

·         Green fresh coriander chopped (1 tablespoon)

·         Ginger juliennes (handful)

·         Lemon juice (1 teaspoon)

If you have all your ingredients ready, let’s get cookin’!

Instructions – Method of Cooking

·         Heat oil and ghee in your karahi (wok) for a few seconds on a medium flame.

·         Add the shredded onion juliennes and cook for 7 minutes until they turn white. Add roasted cumin and ginger garlic paste. Cook for 5 minutes.

·         Add the small chicken pieces one at a time. Keep tossing and mixing them till they are slightly fried.

·         As soon as they change their color, add chopped tomatoes, green chilies, ginger juliennes and handful of freshly chopped coriander leaves.

·         Stir a couple of times and add all powdered spices. Mix well.

·         Add ½ cup plain water. Mix well.

·         Cover the lid and let it simmer on low flame for 30 minutes, or till the chicken is fully tender/cooked.

·         After the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the tomatoes have converted into gravy, add lemon juice and give the dish a generous stir.

·         Taste-check for salt and spices. If you feel the salt is less, add more.

Tip: In case the dish is too spicy, simply add canned tomato puree or make a fresh tomato puree and add it.

Voila! Your traditional Pakistani chicken karahi is ready.

Simply garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and ginger juliennes.

Serve it hot!

Trust us, your guests will love indulging in this delicacy and you will definitely leave them wanting more!



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