Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi or Murgh Karahi is a delicious, lightly spiced Pakistani curry that relies more on the fresh garnishing at the end then it does the spices used. You’ll see that the only “masala” we use are cumin, turmeric & chilli powder.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Chicken Karahi
Chicken Karahi

The word “Karahi” refers to the receptacle the curry is cooked in, much like “Balti” Karahis are very similar to woks, except that they have steeper sides. They are traditionally made of cast iron and are also known as kadai, korai and kadhi, amongst others. You can use a wok or a saucepan, as you wish.

I’ve been making this curry for as long as I can remember and love using a combination of chilli powder & black pepper as I love how these two combine to create a deeper flavour in Chicken Karahi. However, I do prefer going for a mild chilli powder, taste but not the heat.

Perfect served with pulao rice, plain rice, naan, parathas – anything!

Shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi or Murgh Karahi is a delicious, lightly spice Pakistani curry that relies more on the fresh garnishing at the end then it does the spices used.
5 from 21 votes
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Course: Curries, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian and Pakistani
Keyword: chicken, curry
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 216kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 750 g chicken on the bone
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions halved & sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic pounded or crushed
  • 2.5 cm ginger pounded or grated
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mild chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coarsely crushed black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 4 medium tomatoes chopped, about 6 parts to a tomato
  • OR 200g tin chopped tomato


  • large handful fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • small handful mint leaves chopped
  • 2 mild green chillies sliced on the diagonal
  • 5 cm ginger, cut in long strips


  • Coat the chicken with the turmeric powder and leave aside while you get all the other ingredients ready.
  • Heat the oil up in your chosen pan, over medium high heat.
  • Add the sugar followed by the chicken to the oil and brown for a couple of minutes, turning once. This stage gives depth to the final dish.
  • Add the onions and sauté for about a minute.
  • Add the pounded garlic and ginger and cook for just 30 seconds.
  • Add the dry spices and salt and coat thoroughly for about a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and water, bring to boil and leave to cook until chicken is done, about 45 minutes, depending on the size of your portions.
  • Serve in the karahi, if using, with the garnish sprinkled all over & dig in while it’s still hot!


Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
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