Monday, 19 November 2012

Chicken Karahi

The word Karahi mean "Wok" in Urdu. This dish is traditionally cooked in a wok on a high flame hence called Chicken Karahi. 

My recipe for chicken Karahi has evolved after eating Karahi at a truck hotel on Karachi- Hyderabad Indus super highway in Pakistan many years ago.I never forgot the taste. What struck me the most about that particular Chicken Karahi was the simplicity of the technique and minimum spices it used to make such an unforgettable taste.

My reverse engineering of the recipe led to some success in creating a similar taste at home. I have realized too many factors play a part in creating that important taste. Using a fresh (not frozen and thawed) chicken is the most important one. 

Also the choice of oil, butter and ghee(clarified butter) effects the flavor tremendously. The intensity of flame also effects the taste of final product. I never imagined cooking chicken karahi could become such a technical process.So here we go.


Chicken : ½ Kg Boneless 
Tomatoes: 3-4 medium sized (pureed)
Ginger/Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Cumin seed – 1 tsp
Vegetable Oil - 3 tbsp (i prefer sunflower oil)
Butter – same amount as oil. (You can use all Butter or all Ghee- clarified butter)
Crushed Red chilies - 1/4 tsp
Green Chilies - 1 large or 2 medium - cut in small pieces
Crushed Black Peppercorns - 1/4 tsp
Ginger – Julienne - 1 inch
Fresh Coriander- For Garnish


  1. Heat a pan (it should have a lid) and add oil and butter to it. Don’t let the butter burn.
  2. Add chicken and sauté it on medium to high heat so it changes color.
  3. Add cumin seeds and Ginger/Garlic paste. Cook them for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the Tomato puree and cook on Medium heat.
  5. Now add salt, Crushed red Chilies, crushed black peppercorns, half of chopped green chilies. Add half of julienne ginger.
  6. Cover the pan & cook on medium heat till the moisture from tomatoes evaporates and chicken is tender. Mix from time to time.
  7. Now reduce the heat to the lowest and allow the oil/Butter to come out from the sides of the chicken. This should take about 5 mins.
  8. Switch off the stove. Dish out in a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining Julian Ginger, Green Chilies and Coriander.
  9. Serve hot with flat bread or buttered naan with cucumber salad and yogurt raita on the side.