Main Dishes

Shinwari Lamb/Chicken Karahi

The Shinwaris, are a nomadic Afghan people and those that have moved to Pakistan have succeeded in establishing themselves via their food.

As with any new migrants, familiar food provides much comfort, so the Afghans have opened up small ‘dhabas; (roadside restaurants) on major trunk roads and in some of the cities too. These are not only frequented by truck drivers but are now trendy eating places due to the authenticity of their foods.

One of the many different karahis they made is known as Shinwari karahi, and I have seen it served with a naan steeped in some of the karahi juices and water. It is truly a mouth-watering combination.

Print Recipe
Serves: 5-6 Cooking Time: 40-60 mins


  • 500g fresh tomatoes
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 2 tbs ghee
  • 1 kg lamb shoulder or chicken with bones cut into pieces
  • 1 tbs fresh garlic paste
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • half tsp turmeric
  • half cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp chillie flakes
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 4 tbs fresh sliced coriander
  • 1 tbs finely sliced fresh ginger
  • 3 fresh green chillies slit
  • 1 finely sliced lime
  • 1 tbs ghee



Boil some water and keep aside.


Take each tomato and using a sharp knife make an X at the opposite side of the stem, put the tomatoes in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Leave aside for a minute, using a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes and cool. Gently peel off the skin, chop and keep aside.


Heat a wok/karahi, add the ghee, oil and meat pieces, fry together on a high heat until meat is brown all over, add the ginger and garlic and cook together for 2 mins.


Now add the skinned tomatoes and mix in, add 2 cups of water and cook covered for 5 mins.


Add the salt and turmeric, cook covered, on a low heat for 20 mins, if using chicken it will be almost done, stir well and proceed to stage 6. If using lamb stir well and cook covered, on a low heat for a further 40 mins or until meat is cooked, you may need to add more water.


Add the yoghurt, black pepper, chillie flakes and cumin, mix in, then stir from time to time on medium/high flame until oil separates from the mixture - bhun stage.


Garnish with the coriander, ginger, green chilies and lime slices.


Finally heat another tablespoon of ghee in a small pan, pour over the karahi to give it a glaze. (optional)

Meal: Main Dishes


Best eaten with naans dipped in water, then placed on a heated frying pan, sprinkled with a tablespoon of the gravy from the karahi and heated on both sides. yummy!!