Chicken Karahi dhaba style

This version of Karahi chicken is mostly made at roadside shacks (dhaba) in Pakistan and it is truly yummy!


  • 3 ozs butter
  • 6 tbs cooking oil
  • 2lb chicken cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp freshly crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp freshly crushed ginger
  • 1 lb finely chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp dry coarsely ground coriander
  • 2 tsp coaresely ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red chillie flakes (skip for mild)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbs dry methi (fenugreek)
  • 3 tsp finely sliced (or grated) fresh garlic
  • 6 tbs freshly sliced green coriander
  • 3 sliced jalapenos (optional)


  1. In a small bowl add the salt, dry coriander, cumin, ground black pepper, chillie flakes and garam masala – dry masala mixture.
  2. Wash the chicken pieces in cold water and drain.
  3. Place the butter and oil in a non-stick pan, when butter melts add half the chicken pieces and fry on full heat until chicken turns a golden brown, remove into a dish, fry the second half of the chicken and remove.
  4. In the remaining oil and butter mixture, add ginger and garlic fry for two minutes, then add the tomatoes, and half the dry masala mixture.
  5. Mix well and add a cup of water, cook covered until the liquids from the mixture dry up and the mixture is bhuned (oil separates). Keep stirring from time to time so mixture doesnt stick.
  6. Add chicken and stir in yoghurt, cook on medium heat and bhun again.
  7. Add the remaining dry masala mixture (add an extra 1 tsp red chillie flakes and 1 tsp ground black pepper for a hotter dish!)
  8. Add 2 tbs dry methi (fenugreek) and the freshly sliced garlic (YES this is unusual!).
  9. Mix well, cooked covered for 5 mins on very low heat, add the thinly sliced ginger, garnish with freshly sliced green coriander and fresh jalapenos.
  10. Suitable to serve with naan or chapattis not suitable to serve with rice.


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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