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Holding Chicken Karahi in a karahi

Pakistani Chicken Karahi

This is a restaurant-style Pakistani Chicken Karahi recipe that can be prepared quickly and easily with no finicky steps.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Diet Gluten Free, Halal
Keyword Pakistani Chicken Karahi
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 234kcal


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil or sub more ghee
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3/4 inch ginger crushed
  • 1-2 Serrano or Thai green chili peppers whole
  • 2.2 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken
  • 8 small (around 600 grams) tomatoes (I use Roma or Vine) diced
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder or to taste
  • 2 tsp kosher salt divided
  • ¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt whisked
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns freshly ground, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2-3 green chili peppers slit in half
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ginger julienned
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat, and add the ghee and oil. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until lightly golden. Add garlic, ginger, and whole green chili pepper and sauté for about a minute.
  • Add the chicken and ½ tsp salt and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the color of the chicken changes and it has stopped releasing water. Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, red chili pepper, and remaining salt and sauté for another minute.
  • Lower the heat to medium, cover, and allow the chicken cook for 20 minutes, stirring once in between.
  • Raise the heat to high and continue to sauté for 10 minutes to finish cooking the chicken and reduce excess liquid.* You will notice the chicken taking on a glossy appearance as the ghee/oil starts to separate.
  • Lower the heat to medium, add in the whisked yogurt, and gently sauté for 2-3 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Add freshly ground black peppercorns and garam masala, and stir to combine. Top with green chili peppers, julienned ginger, and cilantro. Serve hot with roti, naan, bread, or rice.


*Vine tomatoes have more water content. Depending on your tomatoes and the size of your pan, you may sauté out any excess water in a small pan.


Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 905mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg