Simple Chicken Karahi Recipe

Chicken Karahi Pakistani style in a white bowl with coriander leaves garnish

Chicken Karahi

Chicken karahi, or Murgh Karahi in Urdu, means chicken curry cooked in a Karahi/ Kadai/ Kadhai. And Karahi is a typical frying pan with a shape similar to a wok. 

This chicken curry is a dry curry with a thick sauce. So the dish doesn’t have soupy or gravy-like curry sauce. And it’s best enjoyed with roti/ chapati, naan bread, pita bread or flatbreads. 

The dish is one of the most popular ones among the restaurant menus. 

Pakistani chicken karahi with overlay text

So, if you fancy having a curry night at home with very little effort, then this dry chicken curry is the one you should try. Because it’s dead easy to make. No fret or hassle. 

And the best thing is that you know what you put in your dish. Plus, you can guarantee the freshness of your meal. 

With well-balanced spices that marry with savoury poultry, this chicken karahi is definitely one to have for your comfort weekly meal. 

You can even cook it on the weekend as a prep for your busy week.  

What you need to make it

Don’t be discouraged if I tell you that you need 12 items to make this murgh karahi. Because most of those items might already be kept in your kitchen. 

So, here are the things that you need to make chicken karahi:

  1. Chicken.
  2. Onion.
  3. Ginger.
  4. Garlic.
  5. Ground cumin.
  6. Ground coriander.
  7. Turmeric powder.
  8. Kashmiri red chilli powder.
  9. Black pepper.
  10. Tomatoes.
  11. Salt.
  12. Cooking oil.

Of all the ingredients, there are a few that I need to put a note on.

When it comes to chicken, 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, is skinless and is cut in 8 pieces. 

As for tomatoes, needless to say, that fresh tomatoes are the best to use in cooking. However, if they are not available, you can use tinned tomatoes. 


In that case, half a can of tinned tomatoes for this recipe will be more than enough. That is about 200 gr/ 7.05 oz.

The simple method to make the best Chicken Karahi

As the name implies, you cook this curry in a karahi/ Kadai which is similar to a deep frying pan or a wok. You can also use a skillet to make this dish. 

And this is the easiest curry that you’ll ever make. 

Because all you do is dump all the ingredients, except oil, in the karahi/ wok. Then just cook it until all the liquid has gone and the chicken becomes tender. 

When your chicken is cooked, and the sauce liquid has almost all evaporated, you pour 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. 

chicken pieces and all spices and herbs in a wok
cooking chicken pieces with a lid on
cooking chicken karahi
almost cooked chicken curry with some juices
chicken karahi with less juice
dry chicken karahi in a wok

Top tips on making delicious Murgh Karahi

  • Chicken releases water that can make the dish runny. So initially, cook the chicken at moderately high heat to let the poultry release its juice quickly. Make sure you turn and toss the chicken every so often to ensure it cooks evenly. Do so for at least 5 minutes until the liquid slightly evaporates. Then turn the heat down and put a lid on the karahi/ pan. Leave it to cook until the gravy dries up. Again, make sure you keep turning the chicken to ensure it doesn’t get burned at the bottom.

Storing Matter

As mentioned above, this chicken dish is ideal for weekly meal prep. You can cook the dish in a batch on the weekend, and store it in the fridge for the meal during your busy week. The dish keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

And if you want, you can also freeze it for up to 2 months. Take it out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge overnight before you need it. And make sure you reheat the chicken until it is piping hot before serving. 

Ideally, you don’t reheat it too many times. Therefore, just reheat as much as you need it. And once the chicken has thawed, you must not refreeze. 

More chicken recipes from the Pakistani kitchen

Thank you for reading this Chicken Karahi recipe. I hope you’re now thinking of trying it. When you do, please share what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply). I’ll really appreciate it.

a white bowl of Pakistani chicken karahi

Don’t forget to check out my other chicken recipes of Pakistani foods that you may love.

Last but not least, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest. To sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Take care and all the best.

Yield: 6

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi in a white bowl

Chicken Karahi is a flavourful chicken curry dish that is so easy to make. This recipe uses Pakistani style karahi with simple spices that give you well-balanced aroma and taste. Just delicious.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 800 gr/ 28.22 oz chicken (one baby chicken), cut in small pieces.
  • 2 medium onions, chopped.
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • ½ inch ginger, minced.
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander.
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder.
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 200 gr/ 7.05 oz tomatoes (fresh or tinned).
  • ⅓ cup/ 80 ml/ 2.82 oz cooking oil.
  • 3 whole green bird’s eye chillies (optional)


  1. Get your karahi/ Kadai/ kadhai/ frying pan ready. Put the chicken, onion, ginger, garlic, all the spices, salt and tomatoes in the pan. Give them a good stir until all chicken pieces are covered with spices. Then cook at medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Take care and keep stirring the meat so it won’t get burned at the bottom of the pan.
  2. When the chicken is cooked but still firm, turn the heat down and slow-cook it with a lid on. It takes about 30-40 minutes for the chicken to become tender and the masala (spice mix) to get thickened. 
  3. Once most of the liquid evaporates, add the whole chillies (if using) and pour in the oil. Stir well and cook further for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is shiny with a bit of oil separated at the edges.


  • Traditionally, chicken karahi is made a little dry and enjoyed with flatbreads such as roti/ chapati, naan bread or pitta bread. But you can always leave it a bit runny with extra sauce if that’s what you prefer. 
  • Some chicken releases more water. So you may have to adjust the heat to medium-high so the curry sauce will evaporate quicker. 
  • If you have little children to feed, you may want to swap the chilli powder with paprika powder so that your curry will be less spicy.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 446Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 125mgSodium 495mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 33g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

Did you try the recipe?

Share how you like the recipe in the comments below and show a picture of your creation


  1. Sounds so delicious – I can’t wait to give this recipe a try! I’ll pick up the ingredients this week. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you. Hope you like your chicken karahi.

  2. Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.

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