Pakistani Chicken Karahi

Created by Kari Ray

Until 1947 Pakistan and India were one country under a single flag. Not surprisingly, the food culture today remains a closely woven fabric. As a result, Karahi, arguably the most celebrated Pakistani dish, is also widespread across India. The warm spices of turmeric and garam masala, combined with flavorful aromatics garlic, ginger and onions, produce a rich meal worthy of sharing regardless of political boundaries.

Want to make it vegetarian? Substitute the chicken for roasted cauliflower.


  • 2 Tbsp ghee (or oil)
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 tomatoes, diced and pureed in a blender (about 5- 6 cups)
  • 2-4 green chiles, seeded and chopped (Serrano or Jalapeño)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 Tbsp fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), chopped



  1. In a large, non-stick pan, heat the ghee over medium high heat.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds. Sauté for 10-20 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the tomato puree, chilies, chili powder, salt, garam masala and turmeric. Mix well.
  5. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 20 min. If there is still too much liquid after cooking for 20 minutes, remove the lid and cook, uncovered until it thickens (5-10 min).
  6. Garnish with slices of fresh ginger, sliced chilies, and fresh cilantro. 

To Serve

Serve with warm naan bread or rice.

15 minutes
35 minutes
50 minutes
1 cup
6 servings
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