Chicken Recipes/ Pakistani Food Recipes

Pakistani Karahi Chicken (boneless) with Step by Step Video

a close up of a dish of Karhai Chicken with green chilies,ciilantro and ginge

Disclaimer: This is still a food blog and I know you are here for the recipe so please go ahead and go straight to it by clicking the link below and I won’t be offended in the least! Today I am going to take the opportunity to share some things that have been on my mind lately apart from Boneless Karahi Chicken!

Jump to the Boneless Karachi Chicken Recipe or just watch below for the step by step!
Karhai Chicken (boneless Karahi) by FlourAndSpice on Jumprope.

As 2020 goes on I find myself becoming more introspective. It seems to be a year determined to push us, to test us. On some days I find it incredibly overwhelming. There is a post going around social media that essentially says that what if this is the beginning and not the end. I found that concept jarring at first, but then the more I reflect on it I realize we are at a crossroads. What we do from here on is on us. The causes we support, the actions we take, all that is within our control.

I cannot end Covid on my own, but I can help slow it down. I cannot end racism on my own, but I can make a concerted effort to educate myself and conduct myself in a way that is more socially responsible. I also cannot end child labor, but I can support organizations that feed and educate children so that they have options.

There have been days where sharing another recipe has seemed trivial. Like does the world need another Karahi Chicken recipe? Recently a young mother asked me for an easy fix version and I shared this and her response fueled this post right here. So enough of my emotional prattling let’s move in to some Karachi Chicken things shall we?

What is Karahi Chicken

Karahi Chicken or Karhai Chicken is a wok based dish where the tomatoes and chicken are cooked at a fairly high heat and then simmered till doneness. It is NOT a gravy based dish but rather a more dry one. However, since I have family members who like lots of masala I will share tips for how to create more of it in the Recipe Notes.

The best Karahi Chickens are the kinds you get at roadside eateries or dhaabas. This is similar to the one I have eaten and cooked the most at home. However, if you want to check out it’s more assertive companion then I have a version right here which is pretty delicious if I do say so myself.

Boneless Chicken? Really?

Karahi Chicken is best when made with bone in chicken cut into smaller pieces. The flavour of the bones and the dark meat really elavates the dish. However, I find that boneless chicken is so darn convenient and so that’s the version I am sharing today. Often boneless chicken doesn’t do so well because it gets that funky chicken smell/texture. I manage that issue by doing a quick highly unorthodox yogurt marinade.

Tips for a DELICIOUS Karachi Chicken or Karhai Chicken

  • Use a large pot (wok shaped is ideal) for cooking. You want lots of room to cook everything down!
  • In a simple dish how you treat spices makes a huge difference. Coriander and cumin seeds that are roasted and coarsely crushed are game changers! If you only have powdered versions quickly roast them in a dry pan on medium heat!
  • Ideally you would peel your tomatoes, but I don’t always have time for that. If you don’t like the bits of tomato skin then puree your tomato or use passata which is SO convenient.
  • Garnishes are everything! The chicken alone will be tasty, but the magic happens when you turn the stove off, scatter over thinly sliced pungent ginger, fresh citrusy cilantro, and fresh green chilies. DO NOT cook your garnishes! It takes away from the magic of the dish.

Hope you try this recipe and like it! Do let me know what you think by rating the recipe below. As always you can share your recreations by tagging me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog 🙂

5 from 3 votes
a close up of a dish of Karhai Chicken with green chilies,ciilantro and ginge
Karahi Chicken (boneless)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: Chicken, Karhai, Karahi
Author: Sarah – Flour & Spice
  • 1 lb chicken chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup passata or puree from 3 tomatoes
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2-4 green chilies
  • julienned ginger (8-12 slivers)
  1. Marinate the chicken in the marinade ingredients for at least 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a pan and then coarsely crush

  3. When you are ready to cook heat your pan on medium high heat and add the chicken, crushed cumin and coriander, passata, salt and chili powder

  4. Mix well and cook on medium high heat until the liquid is evaporated and the masala starts to stick to the bottom.

  5. Add the oil to the pan now and cook the masala on medium heat until the oil rises above the masala (the famous bhunna).

  6. At this point your chicken is done and you should be able to easily break it. If for some reason you cannot then add a splash of water and simmer on low heat until it's to your liking.

  7. Add the kasuri methi and black pepper and give it a gentle mix. Adjust seasoning!

  8. Turn off the stove, top with the garnishes and let it sit for a minute before serving so that all the flavours meld. Eat hot with some naan or chapatai!

Recipe Notes
  • Salt: this is a teaspoon of salt measured with restraint, I always suggest starting off with less and adding more if you aren’t comfortable eyeballing the amount. 
  • For more masala the fastest way is to increase the tomatoes. You may also change the recipe around by starting it by sauteeing off a finely diced onion for a more chicken masala kind of dish. 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Mehwish Anwar

    Very tasty and delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Penny for your thoughts?