Chicken Karahi


This is probably one of my favourites, if not, the most favourite chicken dish in my life. I was introduced to the dish, by a very close friend of mine from university, who mentioned that it was one of his favourite dishes to eat and I was intrigued. I googled a recipe, hoping it was as authentic as it could get and gave it a shot.

It was absolutely delicious, if I may say so myself! Haha. Thanks Faizan! It’s now a firm personal and family favourite! I wasn’t sure if it came close to the original, but he did say it looked pretty close!


(The first attempt)

**The original recipe can be found here **

Karahi refers to the cooking utensil, which is essentially a wok. The dish is made by stir-frying chicken with spices, green chillies, tomatoes and plenty of garlic and ginger. Popularly served with naan, I’ve found simple basmati rice to be a good accompaniment as well. It’s quite a spicy dish, packed with lots of flavour.

Karahi has an interesting background and I was quite fascinated to read through this article, detailing the history and evolution of the dish. Karahi  is also popularly made with mutton, and I’ve even attempted a fish version which was yum!

Faizan sent me a picture (below) of the most famous karahi in Lahore, which is call “butt karahi”. It’s derived from the “butt” caste in the region.


The original butt karahi from Lahore

That does look super yummy. It’s not a difficult dish to make, and if you have all the ingredients prepped, you’ll have it ready in no time.

I’ve seen several recipes online, but this is the one I used and it’s simple to follow.

Chicken Karahi

  • 500 grams chicken (boned/ boneless- personal choice)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 green chillies, slit through the middle (I even slice it diagonally)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground roasted cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kasturi methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoom garam masala
  • 2-3 tablespoon yoghurt (whisked)
  • A handful of chopped coriander leaves

In a karahi (or wok), heat the oil and add the garlic and ginger. Add in the chicken and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes.

Add in the chilli powder and tomatoes and salt. Cook, covered, for approximately 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the yoghurt, green chillies, cumin, methi, garam masala and half of the chopped coriander leaves.

(Kasturi methi should be available in Asian grocery stores).

Mix well and cook, until the sauce is reduced to a thick curry. I sometimes add a little water (1/4 cup), if you need a little extra gravy.

Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining coriander and some thinly sliced ginger (optional), with naan/ chapatthi or rice.

 **For the fish version, be sure to use a white firm fish fillet (cubed) **


Bon Appetit!


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