Pakistani Chicken Karahi

Incredibly flavorful and filling, especially when paired with a flatbread (like roti).

2-4 servings

Time: 30 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

I had Pakistani Chicken Karahi suggested to me during a livestream, and after testing and researching for this video, it's one of my new favorite dishes.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Meat

    • chicken thighs
      , boneless, skinless
      ~450 g~1 lb
    • salt
      a sprinkle
    • cooking oil
      , or ghee
      a spoonful
  • Sauce base

    • garlic
      , crushed
      2 cloves
    • fresh ginger
      , crushed
      a 1" piece
    • tomatoes
      , canned or fresh
  • Spices

    • cumin
      , freshly ground
      1 parta spoonful
    • garam masala
      1 part
    • kashmiri chili powder
      1 part
    • ground coriander
      1/2 part
    • turmeric powder
      , ground
      1/2 part
    • black pepper
      , freshly ground
      1/2 part
    • msg
      , optional
      1/8 part
  • Flavor adjusters (optional)

    • green chilies
      , rough chopped
      5 small
    • butter
      15 ga knob
    • salt
      to taste
  • Garnishes

    • fresh ginger
      , juliened
      to taste
    • cilantro
      , roughly chopped
      a handful


Step 1: Prep the chicken & aromatics

Dice the chicken into 1" bite-sized cubes.

In a mortar & pestle, crush any whole spices and then set aside.

Then, crush together the ginger & garlic until they form a paste.

If using whole peeled canned tomatoes, grab three from the can and drain off any excess liquid. If using fresh tomatoes, peel or just use a box grater to puree most of the tomato flesh off from the skin.

Step 2: Sear the chicken

Set a wok or large pan over high heat and add the oil.

Once hot, add the chicken and a generous sprinkle of salt.

and stir occasionally until the chicken is lightly on the exterior, but not quite cooked all the way through.

Step 3: Add the sauce base aromatics

Add the garlic and ginger paste and for 30 seconds to and release their flavors.

Add the whole peeled tomatoes (or grated fresh tomatoes) and cook while stirring for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.

Crush the tomatoes with a spatula to develop the sauce.

Step 4: Add the spices

Stir all the spices into the sauce.

Let the sauce for another 5-10 minutes until it is fairly thick, stirring frequently.

Step 5: Adjust the final flavors

If using, toss in the chiles for extra heat, and the butter for a richer mouthfeel.

Let the sauce further until your desired consistency. It should be fairly thick and glossy.

Turn off the heat and TASTE. Add salt or anything else that might be needed to balance the flavors.

Step 6: Garnish & serve

With the heat off, add the julienned ginger and cilantro leaves. Toss once and serve with rice, roti (or any other flatbread), or eat as is.




Also Appears In