At the heart of traditional Pakistani cuisine, the Karahi Chicken Recipe emerges as a culinary gem, which today we will cook in the Balti Dish, an essential utensil that captures the essence of this ancient dish. Karahi chicken is very popular in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, especially in Pakistan and northern India. I must say that today's recipe is specifically White Karahi Chicken , a variation on the traditional karahi dish, a recipe that perfectly balances richness and creaminess with spiciness. It is a recipe full of flavor but less spicy than its red versions, and I strongly invite you to try it.

Traditionally prepared over high heat , Karahi Chicken is distinguished not only by its rich blend of spices, but also by its use of yogurt in the marinade, which gives it a smooth texture and lighter hue compared to other curries. The combination of yogurt, spices such as cumin and coriander, along with tender chicken, fresh tomatoes, ginger and green chiles, creates a vibrant, nuanced flavor, and a distinctive spiciness.

Unlike traditional karahi, which is usually red or orange due to the use of tomatoes and a good amount of chili powder, White Karahi is characterized by its lighter color and creamy sauce. This change is due to the use of yogurt or cream, along with a spice blend that includes, but is not limited to, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and sometimes white pepper. Fresh garlic and ginger add depth to the flavor, while the green chili adds a touch of heat without altering the color of the dish.

It is commonly served with naan, roti, or rice , making this dish a delicious and comforting option for any meal.

NOTE: If you like exotic flavors or want another chicken recipe in the balti dish, I invite you to see one of my favorite recipes, Chicken Curry.

Karahi Chicken Recipe

A Little History and Recipe Description

Karahi Chicken owes its name to the utensil in which it is traditionally cooked, the "Karahi", similar to the wok but deeper, used in South Asian kitchens. This dish is characterized by its quick cooking over high heat, where the chicken is mixed with fresh tomatoes, spices such as cumin and coriander, and is often garnished with fresh ginger and green chilies to add freshness and a spicy touch.

Originally from Pakistan, Karahi Chicken has transcended borders, adapting to different palates without losing its essence. It is a dish that reflects the history and culture of a country where food is a central element of social and family life, a celebration of community and tradition passed down from generation to generation.

The key to an authentic Karahi Chicken lies in the quality of its ingredients and the love with which it is prepared, inviting all those who try it to share a moment of connection and enjoyment. With each bite, you discover not only the depth of Pakistani flavors, but also the history of a people who find in their gastronomy a reason for pride and joy.


For the chicken marinade

  • 450 g boneless chicken cut into cubes or small pieces (breast or thigh)
  • 120 ml natural yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2-4 green chilies (chopped)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed

For the Chicken Karahi recipe

  • 60 ml of oil
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds (or powder)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or powder)
  • 60 ml of cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A 2.5 cm piece of ginger, julienned
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro to garnish
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced, optional


  1. Mix the marinade components and then add the chicken, making sure it is well coated. Refrigerate to marinate. Ideally, you should marinate overnight, although a 2-hour period is also sufficient.
  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you start cooking to allow it to cool.
  3. Heat the Balti dish on a medium temperature, add the coriander and cumin seeds, and fry them until they change color and give off a stronger earthy smell. Then, remove them from the plate and grind them using a mortar or small grinder.
  4. Place the chicken that has been marinating in the Balti dish and let it cook over medium-low heat until all the water has evaporated and the chicken is completely cooked. Although Karahis are usually cooked at a higher heat, this method is not recommended for chicken breast.
  5. Once the water has evaporated and the spice mixture starts to stick, it's time to add the oil.
  6. Increase the heat and continue cooking until you notice the oil beginning to separate and float to the surface, and the chicken takes on a deeper color.
  7. Add the ground coriander and cumin, allowing the chicken to soak in these aromas for a minute before adding the cream.
  8. Stir everything very well, taste and, if you wish, add a little water to obtain a lighter sauce. Adjust flavor as needed.
  9. To serve, garnish with the julienned ginger, chopped fresh cilantro and, if you prefer, sliced ​​green chiles.

karahi chicken


No one better than Sara to make this recipe: Sara, a Canadian food blogger of Pakistani origin, enthusiastically shares delicious and accessible Pakistani recipes on , from traditional dishes to her personal favorites and baking passions.


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