Chicken karahi literally means chicken curry dish that is cooked in a Karahi/ Kadai/ Kadhai/ frying pan/ wok. It’s typically a dry-curry with a thick sauce.
So the dish doesn’t have soupy like curry sauce, and it’s best enjoyed with roti/ chapati, naan bread, pita bread or flatbreads. But really, you can have this tasty chicken curry with plain white Basmati rice if you wish. I do that every so often.
As for the taste, Chicken Karahi has well-balanced spices with moderate chilli heat. But of course, you can always adjust to your personal likings.
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Ideally, you use chicken with bones. Because chicken releases lots of water that it can break the poultry meat quickly. So if you use boneless chicken, chances are the poultry will go very soft and tender while your curry will still be very runny like a soup.
And if you use chicken with bones, somehow the bones will try to absorb the water at the same time they try to hold the meat ?.
I usually use a baby chicken that weighs about 800 gr/ 28.22 oz, skinless and cut in 8 pieces.
Onion gives a natural sweetness to the dish. For this recipe, I use either 2 medium onions or 1 big onion.
As a general rule, I would use brown onion (yellow onion) in most of my cooking. Especially my Pakistani dishes. But sometimes I run out of them and have the red onions instead. So I do use red onions once in a while.
I don’t really find a difference in the food taste. So don’t worry if you can only use red onions. Your Chicken Karahi will still taste delish.
Ginger and garlic
These two herbs are a must in almost all Pakistani savoury dishes. I use ginger garlic so often that I often buy in bulk, mince them and freeze them in cubes. Or, sometimes I use the mincer to make freshly crushed ginger and garlic.
Spices for Chicken Karahi
I must admit that I love Pakistani curries because they don’t put too many different spices in a dish. So all the spices are well-balanced and work well together with other ingredients such as tomatoes or yoghurt to give enough aroma and flavour. This is what makes a good curry, in my opinion.
After more than 15 years cooking all sorts of Pakistani cuisines, I can say that some basic spices will almost always go in their curries. There are whole/ ground cumin seeds, whole/ ground coriander seeds, chilli powder, and turmeric powder.
And you need these basic spices for Chicken Karahi plus some extras such as ground black pepper.
Needless to say that fresh tomatoes are the best to use in cooking. However, sometimes we run out of fresh ones that tinned tomatoes will be an ideal option. In that case, you can use half a can of tinned tomatoes for this recipe. That is about 200 gr/ 7.05 oz.
Like it or not, we must admit that Indian and Pakistani cooking uses a lot of fat such as oil or ghee in their dishes. Although it admittedly makes the curries taste yummy. But when you eat curry regularly like 4-5 times in a week, surely you would want to think about your overall healthy diet, wouldn’t you?
Therefore I now take great care in how much oil I put in my curries. As for the oil type, I use either rapeseed oil or sunflower oil.
And now, ever since my husband is on a special diet as a part of his cancer fight, I try to use organic rapeseed oil or organic sunflower oil.
The simple method to make the best Chicken Karahi
There are many types of Indian/ Pakistani chicken curries. And the name of each dish varies according to the method, just like this Chicken Karahi. It’s the curry made with chicken that is cooked in a karahi – frying pan/ wok that is also called Kadai/ kadhai.
And this is the easiest curry that you’ll ever make. Because all you do is literally dump all the ingredients, except oil, in the karahi/ wok and just slow cook it.
When your chicken is cooked, and the sauce liquid is almost gone, then you add in the oil.
After that, you only need to further cook for about 5 minutes. Or, until the oil is mixed with the sauce but some separate at the edges.
Thank you for reading this recipe. I hope you’re now thinking of trying it. When you do, share what your opinion is about your chicken karahi and the picture of your creation. It will be awesome. You can tag me @soyummyrecipesbydevy if you share your cooking on IG or Pinterest.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check out my other recipes that may interest you.
- Chicken kebab patties.
- Chicken and peppers curry.
- Chicken tikka strips.
- Lamb keema matar – Pakistani lamb minced meat curry with green peas.
- Aloo Keema – Pakistani minced meat and potato curry.
- Aloo Gosht – Pakistani style meat and potato curry.
- Lauki Gosht – Pakistani style meat and bottle gourd curry.
- Lamb burger kebabs – perfect to cook on a griddle pan or barbecue.
Thank you and all the best.