Pakistani Chicken Karahi


This dish gets its name from a karahi, a flat open pot used a lot in Pakistani and Indian cooking. In spite of its name, this recipe can be made in any pot. My mom came up with this recipe; it's a little spicy (by Pakistani standards), but simple and foolproof.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins


  • ½ cup sunflower oil

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded, cut into 12 pieces

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger and garlic paste

  • ½ teaspoon red chile powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 4 green chile peppers, finely chopped, or more to taste

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or karahi over high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add water, cumin, salt, ginger and garlic paste, red chile powder, and turmeric; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  2. Stir tomatoes and green chile peppers into the pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken pieces are no longer pink at the bone, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

  3. Sprinkle cilantro leaves over chicken and cook until leaves look slightly wilted, about 30 seconds.


Substitute corn oil for sunflower oil if desired.

Serve with naan bread.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

429 Calories
33g Fat
10g Carbs
23g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 429
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 698mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 94mg 472%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 662mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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