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Lazy Chicken Karahi | Pakistani Chicken Curry

Chicken Karahi in a large black pan with a swirl of yoghurt and coriander scaterred on top.
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Spicy Chicken Karahi is considered a national dish of Pakistan by some fans of the dish! Full of chilli heat and complex flavours of garam masala, our version of this Pakistani Chicken Curry is both quick to make and easy to eat, as we use boneless chicken! A perfect weeknight dinner for those who enjoy a bit of spice in their food!

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What is Karahi Chicken?

Chicken Karahi refers to a well-known Pakistani Chicken curry cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce. The word Karahi doesn’t describe the flavour of the curry though. It is actually a method of cooking. Karahi is a type of metal pan/ wok in which the chicken is cooked.

Popular across Pakistan and North East India, this chicken dish is typically made with pieces of bone-in chicken and a deliberate amount of chilli and ginger.

How is Our Pakistani-Inspired Chicken Curry Different?

There seem to be as many different recipe variations as there are families! But we have decided to share a simple version of the Pakistani Chicken Curry that can be made quickly, but without compromising on flavours.

  • We used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of more traditional bone-in chicken pieces.
  • We dialled down the chillies in this recipe to make it more manageable for Western pallets.
  • Our Chicken Kahari has some yoghurt stirred in at the end to cool the dish down further.
A pan with Karahi chicken on a wooden table with green teatowel on it.

Ingredients and Substitutes

  • vegetable oil: or any other odourless oil.
  • garlic clove: peeled and finely chopped.
  • chilli peppers: we used green chillies, but red will work just fine. Make sure to eliminate most (if not all) of the seeds in your chilli peppers if you cannot handle spicy food.
  • root ginger: peeled and very finely chopped.
  • ground cumin.
  • chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs: cut into 2 x 2cm cubes.
  • salt
  • tinned chopped tomatoes: or use tomato passata instead.
  • garam masala.
  • coriander: leaves and stalks roughly chopped.
  • ground almond or plain flour to thicken the sauce.
  • Greek yoghurt: can be replaced with sour cream or creme fraiche.
Ingredients for Pakistani Chicken curry on a wooden chopping board.

Method

Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and chopped chilli peppers. Fry for 30-40 seconds on medium heat.

Chilli, garlic and ginger in a large frying pan.

Add the chicken pieces, and carry on cooking for approximately 8 minutes, until the pieces are almost cooked through. Towards the end of cooking add the spices and salt and mix to combine.

Pour the tinned chopped tomatoes into the chicken pan, increase the heat and boil for 5 minutes until the tomato sauce has reduced by about a third. If your sauce is too thin, dust 1/2 tbsp of flour all over and mix (alternatively stir in 2 tbsp of ground almond)

Pouring tinned tomatoes into the pan with cooked chicken breast.

Garnish the curry with coriander and some chilli. Serve with rice or flatbreads (we have suggestions in the section below)!

Recipe FAQs

Can Karahi Be Made With Other Types of Poultry or Meat?

Absolutely! Traditionally this Pakistani curry is made with either chicken or lamb/ mutton (called Kahari Gosht). However, you will have to prolong the cooking times significantly, as lamb takes longer to cook.

What Can I Substitute Greek Yoghurt With To Make This Dish Dairy-Free?

Oat cream or coconut-based yoghurt works well in this recipe.

What to Serve With Chicken Karahi?

Chicken Karahi goes very well with rice and various flatbreads. Our favourite ones include:

Other Delicious Chicken Recipes From Around The World

We love making things interesting by cooking recipes from around the world. Chicken is enjoyed in every corner of the planet, and here are some of our favourite recipes:

Recipe Card

Chicken Karahi in a large black pan with a swirl of yoghurt and coriander scaterred on top.

Lazy Chicken Karahi | Pakistani Chicken Curry

Spicy Chicken Karahi is considered a national dish of Pakistan by some fans of the dish! Full of chilli heat and complex flavours of garam masala, our version of this Pakistani Chicken Curry is both quick to make and easy to eat, as we use boneless chicken! A perfect weeknight dinner for those who enjoy a bit of spice in their food!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 4 portions
Calories 273 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 10 g root ginger peeled and julliened
  • 2 chilli peppers finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 600 g chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs cubed
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5 g coriander roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

Instructions
 

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and chopped chilli peppers. Fry for 30-40 seconds on medium heat.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and carry on cooking for approximately 8 minutes, until the pieces are almost cooked through. Towards the end of cooking add the spices and salt and mix to combine.
  • Pour the tinned tomatoes into the chicken pan, increase the heat and boil for 5 minutes until the tomato sauce has reduced by about a third. If your sauce is too thin, dust 1/2 tbsp of flour all over and mix (alternatively stir in 2 tbsp of ground almond).
  • Garnish with coriander and some chilli. Serve with rice and/or flatbreads!

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 34gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 909mgPotassium: 853mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 475IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Karahi Chicken, Karahi Curry, Karahi Curry With Chicken Breasts, Pakistani Chicken, Pakistani Chicken Curry, Spicy Chicken Curry
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6 Replies to “Lazy Chicken Karahi | Pakistani Chicken Curry”

  1. Priya Srinivasan says: Reply

    5 stars
    Healthy and a hearty curry, perfect with rice/roti! Love your detailed post and suggestions to make it dairy-free! Lovely share!

  2. I’m always looking for new way to prepare chicken for dinner. My family loves food with spice and this was great.

  3. 5 stars
    We absolutely loved this with white rice. It is a constant rotation in my home.

    1. So glad to hear! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Such a perfect comforting meal!! I love it and my whole family enjoyed it, too!

    1. That’s lovely, Toni! So glad the whole family likes a bit of spice in their food!

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