Pakistani Chicken Karahi Recipe (Easy & Simple)

Pakistani Karahi Chicken Recipe
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Being from a Pakistani household, Karahi was always in our weekly dinner rotation, and I may be biased but no one ever beat my moms simple, spicy, tangy Karahi who made it exactly like my mama (paternal grandmother). We tried it at many restaurants and variations by other family members but no one ever came close.

Once I got married and moved away I attempted repeatedly to get it right but was never able to, but I didn’t give up. I have learned some tips and tricks over the years of attempts to get it as close as possible when I am having the craving and my mom is too far away.

Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Karahi

Pakistani Karahi Chicken Recipe

Tender Chicken covered in a spicy, tangy, and naturally sweet sauce. Served over rice or with naan.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 pounds of boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 5 plum tomatoes quartered
  • 4 Thai green Chilis chopped fine
  • 1 inch grated Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of chopped Cilantro for garnish
  • 1/4 cup of oil for cooking


  1. Wash and cut your chicken thighs into 2 pieces.
  2. Heat a nonstick pot on medium heat and add oil.
  3. Add grated ginger to the oil and let it roast for about a minute.
  4. Add quartered tomatoes and turn the heat up.
  5. Cook tomatoes on high heat until they break down and most of the liquid from the tomatoes evaporates.
  6. Add turmeric, red chili powder, and ground cumin and let it cook for just a minute.
  7. Add your chicken pieces, turn down the heat to medium and let it cook with lid on until chicken is tender.
  8. Take out your chicken and let the remainder of the sauce cook until all the oil starts to separate.
  9. Now add the chicken back in with the chopped Thai chilis, and salt, now cook everything together for 2 minutes on medium low heat.
  10. Turn the stove off and mix in chopped cilantro. Now serve with rice or naan.


Don't skimp on the oil, it is necessary for the tomatoes and spices to fry and not just stew.

Originally my mom doesn't remove the chicken mid cooking and re add it, but for me, I don't get the chutney like consistency from the tomatoes unless I pull the chicken out. This also helps not over cook the Chicken and disintegrate.

Adding the chilis towards the end is essential so they keep their fragrance and fresh taste, if you add them with the tomatoes their flavor tends to get lost in the karahi.

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Anum Shah

Masterchef at A SpiceBox
Anum Shah is a recipe developer and owner of She learns, tries, and obsesses over cooking techniques until nailing the perfect recipe. Recipes range from healthy, tasty, and easy kid recipes to complex, spicy and savory creations for adults.
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