How to make spicy chicken karahi

Chicken karahi is a popular dish from the northern areas of Pakistan. Whether you visit an upscale fancy restaurant or a road side vendor, this chicken dish is widely available in a variety of tastes. It can be served with plain chapatti, garlic naan or plain boiled rice.

Chicken karahi can be prepared by various cooking methods but this recipe is very easy to make, quick to serve and uses very little oil. It can be rather spicy so adjust the ingredients according to your taste buds.


1 chicken – 1 1/2 kg- cut in small pieces
1 teaspoon salt (or as per taste)
1 teaspoon crushed (not powdered) black pepper
4 fresh ripe tomatoes (thinly chopped)
1 inch piece ginger cut in thin strips
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
Few green chilies cut in long strips.
A little oil
Fresh green coriander
A few wedges of lemon (optional)
A little butter (optional) 


In a wok, place chicken, salt, black pepper, ginger, garlic and tomatoes and cook on medium heat. Stir once or twice to evenly spread spices over chicken.

Do not add oil or water at this stage. The juices from chicken and tomatoes are sufficient for the cooking. It is best not to stir the chicken too much. As the meat turns tender, it can start breaking up.

When the juices dry up, drizzle with a little oil and stir well.

Cover with lid and let cook for 5 more minutes till the oil separates completely.

Garnish with butter, thin slices of ginger, green chilies, lemon wedges and fresh coriander.

Serve with cool yogurt and a fresh green salad comprising cucumbers, onion rings, mint and lettuce.

Serves 3-4 persons. If you wish to reheat any leftover portion, add a little water so that the dish does not become too dry.