Chicken Karahi Recipe

The first time I tasted Chicken Karahi cooked from outside was when I was 16. My brother Raja brought some back from a local restaurant in Sukkur, Sindh. The Chicken Karahi my mother used to cook was different – it had more gravy and different spices.
I told Raja to go back to the restaurant and ask the chef how they made the Chicken Karahi. The chef cooked the Karahi in front of Raja and explained the recipe. Then Raja came home with the recipe and I tried cooking this version of the Chicken Karahi for the first time at home. To this day, I still use that recipe to cook Chicken Karahi 🧡 😃😃.


  • 1 whole chicken (approx. 3 lbs) or 3 lbs chicken legs cut in 3 pieces, without skin
  • 4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 whole dried red chili
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 2-3 green chilies, split in half
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


  • Wash then dry chicken pieces with paper towel to remove any water
  • Heat pan on high heat
  • Add ghee to hot pan
  • Cut whole chicken into parts with skin removed and add to pan
  • Add garlic clove, salt, cumin seeds, and bay leaf
  • Stir occasionally until chicken pieces are browning, try to get a golden colour
  • Chop the tomatoes and add to pan
  • Add the ground black pepper and whole red chili
  • Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for over 15 minutes until meat is tender and tomatoes are cooked through
  • Remove lid and increase heat to high
  • Add yogurt and stir and cook until the oil is released (approx. 12-15 minutes)
  • Reduce to low heat, cover pan + simmer for 5 minutes
  • Garnish with julienned ginger, green chilies and chopped coriander leaves


Serve with onions:

  • Chop 1 onion into rings on a small plate
  • Add salt and soak in water for 10 minutes
  • Remove water and add 1 tsp olive oil
  • Mix and press onions with fingers

Serve with Raita:

  • Add 1 cup of yogurt in small bowl and whisk into thick consistency
  • Add 1/4 tsp salt or adjust to taste
  • Add 3-4 tbsp cold water
  • Add 1/4 tsp ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • Mix all ingredients

Serve your Chicken Karahi hot, with onions, raita as well as naan, or roti or rice. Bon Appétit!


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