Chicken Karahi

Chicken karahi, or kadai chicken, is a popular and traditional North Indian and Pakistani dish which can be served with naan, roti, or rice.

This is a one-pot recipe which is traditionally cooked in a large cast-iron pan, similar to a wok, and creates multiple servings.

We will show how anyone can cook this at home with a simple saucepan and how you can replicate the same restaurant-quality flavors.

What Is Chicken Karahi?

Chicken karahi, or kadai chicken, is a famous restaurant-style dish that is popular in North Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

There are variations of this chicken karahi curry recipe, but it mainly consists of spicy chicken thighs in a rich tomato base with green bell peppers, extra ginger, and cilantro.

The name chicken karahi, or kadai chicken, is basically named after the way it’s traditionally and authentically cooked – in a large heavy cast-iron pan in the open fire which is similar to a wok.

Imagine a stir-fry but with a Punjabi twist, this recipe is popular in restaurants and the streets, and also wedding parties and functions.

Despite its traditional connections, this is actually a fantastic recipe if you want to spicy chicken at home and meal prep it for work because the leftovers taste amazing.

There are multiple ways to make this recipe at home without a cast-iron pan or wok because you can use a regular saucepan if that’s all you have or use an instant pot which is an easier method.

In this recipe post, we demonstrate how you can cook chicken karahi in a regular saucepan which means anyone can follow these instructions.

Top view of freshly cooked chicken kadai

Chicken Karahi Recipe

Chicken karahi, or kadai chicken, is a popular and traditional North Indian and Pakistani dish that is served best with naan breadbasmati rice, or roti. There is no typo, this recipe does contain alot of garlic!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Meal Prep
Cuisine Indian, North Indian, Punjabi
Servings4 people
Calories (per serving)407.3 kcal



  • Add vegetable oil to a saucepan on medium-high heat
  • Add onion, garlic paste, ginger paste, and green bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken thighs and cook for 5 minutes on high heat.
  • Add the spice mix and tomatoes. Reduce heat and cover for 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and ginger.
    Top view of freshly cooked chicken kadai


Serving: 1peopleCalories: 407.3kcalCarbohydrates: 11.14gProtein: 26.15gFat: 28.78gSaturated Fat: 7.27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7.23gMonounsaturated Fat: 11.22gTrans Fat: 0.15gCholesterol: 145.78mgSodium: 713.76mgPotassium: 599.75mgFiber: 2.62gSugar: 3.54gVitamin A: 970.57IUVitamin B1: 0.18mgVitamin B2: 0.25mgVitamin B3: 7.54mgVitamin B5: 1.69mgVitamin B6: 0.76mgVitamin B12: 0.95µgVitamin C: 35.31mgVitamin D: 0.15µgVitamin E: 1.25mgVitamin K: 27.99µgCalcium: 52.36mgCopper: 0.19mgFolate: 23.79µgIron: 2.09mgManganese: 0.34mgMagnesium: 48.68mgPhosphorus: 280.54mgSelenium: 29.2µgZinc: 2.21mgNet Carbohydrates: 8.52g
Read more nutritional information values.

Data source: USDA

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How To Reheat Chicken Karahi?

Saucepan5 minutes, on medium heat.
Microwave2 minutes, covered.

How Long Does Chicken Karahi Last?

Fridge3 to 4 days.
Freezer3 months.

Recipe Ingredients

Chicken Thighs: Use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe which is one of the reasons why this dish is full of flavor.

Garlic & Ginger: Extra garlic and ginger are important for this recipe, so you may need to use more than your regular serving. Use fresh garlic and ginger for the best results, or you can substitute it with garlic and ginger paste.

Spice Mix: The spices required are garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, Kashmiri red chili powder, and ground turmeric. You can use regular red chili if you want.

Chopped Tomatoes: You can use chopped tomatoes or canned tomatoes to make the tomato base.

Recipe Tips

  • To speed up time, you can pre-cook the chicken thighs in the air fryer or oven, before you add them to the saucepan or wok.
  • If you can, use a wok on high heat for the best results, but it’s totally fine to use a regular saucepan.

Recipe FAQ

Is This Recipe Good For Meal Prep?

Yes, this spicy chicken curry is amazing for meal prep because it tastes better the next day.

What Is A Kadai?

Kadai is similar to a wok, which is a deep cooking pot, traditionally made of cast iron and cooked on an open fire. It’s ideal for deep-frying certain dishes but also great for Indian and Pakistani stir-fry and stew recipes.

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