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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمن الرَّحِيْمِ

Peshawari Chicken Karahi

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4 from 4 votes
Peshawari chicken karahi or chicken kadai is a spicy chicken curry recipe that originates from Peshawar made with fragrant spices and fresh garlic. With this authentic chicken karahi recipe, you will be guaranteed to impress all your friends and families.
Peshawari Chicken Karahi

Today, I’m here to whisk you away on a flavourful journey to the heart of Pakistan, where the fragrant aroma of Peshawari chicken karahi fills the air. This dish is a testament to the rich tapestry of flavours that Pakistani cuisine offers, and I’m here to spill the spices and secrets.

As I delve into this tomato-kissed masterpiece, let me paint a delicious picture for you. Imagine tender chunks of succulent chicken, marinated in a symphony of spices that tickle your senses. These spices, carefully handpicked from the bustling markets of Peshawar, infuse the dish with a warmth and depth of flavor that’s simply irresistible. The tomatoes, bursting with tangy sweetness, lend a delightful contrast to the rich, spicy chicken.

A Culinary Expedition

Close your eyes for a moment and let me take you on a gustatory journey. Imagine the bustling streets of Peshawar, where time seems to slow down as the tantalising scent of spices wafts through the air. It’s a place where culinary traditions are as old as the rolling hills, and the sizzle of a karahi (a traditional wok-like pan) is the soundtrack of everyday life.

Now, picture me, your trusty culinary explorer, donning my apron and embarking on a quest to uncover the origin story of Peshawari chicken karahi. I delved deep into the vibrant heart of Pakistan, where every bite of food tells a story.

You see, the tale of this dish is like a culinary expedition itself. It hails from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, where history is as rich as the flavours that grace the plates. Peshawar, with its ancient bazaars and winding streets, is where our journey begins.

Legend has it that this dish was born out of necessity, a classic case of making the most of what you have. In the arid regions of Peshawar, onions could be as elusive as a mirage in the desert. But tomatoes, those ruby-red treasures of the garden, were bountiful. And so, our resourceful cooks decided to craft a dish that would become a regional sensation.

The absence of onions in Peshawari chicken karahi is what gives it that unique twist. Instead, ripe tomatoes take center stage, infusing the gravy with their tangy goodness. It’s a testament to the creativity of the people of Peshawar, who turned scarcity into a culinary triumph.

As I stood in those bustling streets, inhaling the fragrant aromas and savoring each bite of Peshawari chicken karahi, I couldn’t help but marvel at how food has the power to tell stories. This dish, with its rich history and robust flavours, is a true reflection of the land from which it emerged – a place where tradition meets innovation in every delicious bite.

When Spices Collide

Ah, the spice rack – a treasure trove of flavours waiting to be explored. But what if you find yourself face to face with an empty spice jar or two? Fear not, my fellow culinary explorers, for I’m about to share some ingenious ingredient substitutions that will keep your Peshawari Chicken Karahi adventure on track, no matter the spice shortage!

The Kasuri Methi Dilemma: Kasuri methi, those delightful dried fenugreek leaves, are a key player in this dish, adding their unique aroma and flavour. But if you can’t get your hands on them, don’t fret. Fresh methi leaves, available in many grocery stores, can step in as a worthy replacement. Just chop them finely and toss them in for that delightful, slightly bitter twist.

Ah, the fiery allure of bullet chilies! If you’re running low on dried bullet chilies, a dash of red chili powder can come to the rescue. Adjust the quantity to suit your heat tolerance, and remember, it’s all about finding that perfect balance of spice.

Garam Masala Mysteries: Garam masala, that magical spice blend, adds depth and complexity to the dish. In a pinch, you can create your own by blending equal parts of ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. It may not be the exact same as your store-bought blend, but it’ll do the trick beautifully.

Coriander Conundrum: The vibrant green garnish of fresh coriander adds a burst of freshness to your Peshawari Chicken Karahi. If your herb garden is bare, don’t despair. Try substituting it with parsley for a similar visual appeal and a touch of herbal goodness.

Garlic Galore: Now, let’s not forget the garlic! Fresh garlic cloves, when crushed to perfection, infuse the dish with a pungent, aromatic kick. But if time is short and convenience is calling, garlic paste can step in as a worthy understudy. Just remember, while garlic paste is a fine substitute, fresh garlic always adds that extra layer of flavour that’s hard to beat.

So there you have it – a spice-saving arsenal to keep your Peshawari Chicken Karahi dreams alive, even when your spice rack plays hard to get. Cooking is an art of adaptation, and these substitutions will help you craft a culinary masterpiece that’s uniquely yours. Now, let’s get back to that sizzling karahi and embrace the delicious chaos of the kitchen!

A Plant-Based Love Story

Don’t worry, my fellow plant-based food explorers, I haven’t forgotten about you! Let’s embark on a delightful plant-based love story with Peshawari chicken karahi. You see, while this dish is traditionally a carnivore’s delight, there’s no reason our vegan friends can’t join the flavour fiesta.

So, here’s the scoop on how to make this aromatic masterpiece plant-based without compromising on taste or tradition. Let’s bid adieu to the chicken and welcome our plant-based heroes: tofu and tempeh. These protein-packed champs are ready to soak up the flavourful embrace of our spices. Cut them into bite-sized chunks and let them join the party in your karahi.

Now, let’s talk about serving up our vegan Peshawari masterpiece. Warm, fluffy vegan naan or a generous serving of steamed rice still make the perfect partners for this dish. Sprinkle it with fresh coriander and squeeze zesty lemon juice over the top for that irresistible finish.

And there you have it, my plant-based friends – a Peshawari Chicken Karahi that’s transformed into a delightful vegan love story. It’s proof that when you mix tradition, spices, and a dash of creativity, you can create a culinary masterpiece that satisfies all palates. So, grab your karahi, embrace your inner chef, and savour this plant-based journey of flavour that’s as bold and exciting as it is compassionate.

A Feast Awaits

We’ve arrived at the grand finale – the part where we turn a dish into a full-blown culinary spectacle. Peshawari Chicken Karahi is not just a meal; it’s a gastronomic adventure, and your palate deserves the red carpet treatment.

The Naan Spectacular: First up, let’s talk bread. Warm, fluffy, and slightly charred, naan is the perfect partner in crime for your Peshawari Chicken Karahi. Tear off a piece and scoop up that luscious tomato-based gravy with all the grace of a seasoned pro. It’s like a tango on your taste buds, with naan leading the way.

The Steamed Rice Rendezvous: If you prefer a calmer dance, steamed rice is your ideal partner. Its neutral, fluffy demeanor is the yin to the karahi’s yang. The chicken and tomato sauce cuddle up to the rice grains, creating a harmony that’s pure comfort. It’s a culinary love story waiting to be devoured.

The Freshness Factor: Don’t forget the garnishes! Sprinkle your masterpiece with fresh coriander – it’s like a confetti shower for your dish. And a generous squeeze of zesty lemon juice? Well, that’s the plot twist that elevates every bite. The tangy surprise in each mouthful keeps your taste buds guessing and wanting more.

The Cool Cucumber Raita: For those who like a touch of cool amidst the fiery spices, cue the cucumber raita. It’s the soothing sidekick that swoops in when things get a little too hot. Creamy yoghurt, cucumber, and a hint of cumin create a refreshing contrast that cools your palate without stealing the show.

The Tableside Drama: Finally, let’s talk ambiance. Set the stage for your Peshawari Chicken Karahi feast. Dim the lights and light some scented candles. Dining is an experience, my friends, and the right setting can transport you to the bustling streets of Peshawar.

So, my fellow culinary explorers, there you have it – a detailed guide to serving Peshawari chicken karahi with a touch of wit and flair. Remember, food is not just sustenance; it’s an expression of culture and creativity. So go ahead, whip up this delectable dish, and savour the flavours of Pakistan with all the enthusiasm of a true foodie. Bon appétit!

Check Out My Other Recipes!

As we savour the delectable essence of Peshawari chicken karahi, my culinary curiosity can’t help but wander to other tantalising dishes that would perfectly complement this feast. Allow me to amaze your taste buds with a selection of delectable recipes that dance in harmony with our spicy chicken delight.

First in line is the timeless bhuna gosht, a dish of tenderly cooked mutton that embodies robust flavors and aromatic spices. Much like the Peshawari chicken karahi, it weaves a symphony of tastes, creating a culinary masterpiece that pairs divinely with a warm piece of naan bread or a steaming bowl of fragrant basmati rice. Trust me, it’s a gastronomic symphony.

Next, we delve into the realm of chicken karahi, a cousin to our beloved Peshawari chicken karahi. This dish boasts succulent chicken pieces, sautéed to perfection in a sizzling wok. The spices entwine with the chicken, producing an exquisite dish that begs to be savored with zeal.

Venturing further, we encounter the comforting allure of chicken tikka masala, a British classic with a culinary heritage of its own. Its velvety sauce envelops tender chicken pieces, offering a warm embrace to your taste buds. Pair it with some fluffy naan bread, and you’re in for a treat that transcends borders.

Lastly, let us not forget the humble yet indispensable naan bread, a soft, pillowy companion that completes every Indian meal. Its doughy perfection and slight char provide the ideal vessel to scoop up the rich, flavorful gravies of these dishes.

These recipes, much like Peshawari chicken karahi, weave a tapestry of flavors that beckon you to embark on a gastronomic journey. Give them a try, and do share your culinary escapades in the comments below. I eagerly await tales of your culinary odyssey!

Peshawari Chicken Karahi

Peshawari Chicken Karahi

Peshawari chicken karahi or chicken kadai is a spicy chicken curry recipe that originates from Peshawar made with fragrant spices and fresh garlic. With this authentic chicken karahi recipe, you will be guaranteed to impress all your friends and families.
4 from 4 votes
Sadia Halimah Aziz
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 320kcal


  • 50 ml Oil
  • 1 Garlic Bulb
  • 600 g Tomatoes
  • 600 g Chicken
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ tsp Coriander Powder
  • Coriander
  • 1 Bullet Chilli


  • In a pan heat up the oil on medium heat until hot then add the crushed garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until softened
  • Add the chicken and cook for 15 minutes
  • Add the salt, black pepper, chilli powder, garam masala, Kashmiri chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder then cook the spices for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the coriander and bullet chillies and cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Your Peshawari chicken karahi is ready!



Calories: 320kcal
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3 months ago

Getting ready to try the recipe, is there a substitute for bullet chili?

The Aziz Kitchen

Salaam and hello everyone!

I’m Sadia, the person behind The Aziz Kitchen. A 20-and-some year-old Muslim aspiring doctor and writer who loves to experiment with cooking, baking and all things food. On this blog you will find my favourite, delicious, family-friendly recipes.

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