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.
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.
- 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.
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 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)
Garnish the curry with coriander and some chilli. Serve with rice or flatbreads (we have suggestions in the section below)!
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.
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:
- Chicken with Grapes in Cream & White Wine Sauce
- Ras El Hanout Chicken with Tahini Drizzle
- Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry
- Senegalese Chicken Yassa
Lazy Chicken Karahi | Pakistani Chicken Curry
- 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
- 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!