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Authentic Shinwari Chicken Karahi- with a secret ingredient!

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

This is one of my husband’s favorite recipes. It makes him so happy to see this at the dinner table. He hovers over me while I’m cooking it, desperate to ‘check’ it. Usually we make this on a Friday afternoon. But because of COVID, we don’t wait for Friday now. So, don’t wait any longer and indulge in this moreish and delectable Chicken Karahi. Using the authentic Peshawari ingredients and cooking method. I added my own twist, without overloading the recipe with spices.

I have never tasted such great flavor from such simple ingredients.

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6


1 kg chicken- cut into 26 small pieces

8 Tablespoons oil

12-15 tomatoes- hulled and quartered

2 teaspoons salt

½ tablespoons black pepper

4 large green chilies- whole

2-inch ginger- julienne (into matchsticks)

A handful of fresh chopped coriander

½ teaspoon garam masala powder

1 small lemon- quartered and deseeded.

⅓ cup of lamb fat- cut into pieces


  1. Place a wok on the stove, on a medium heat. Add the oil and heat it up.

  2. Add the lamb fat cubes to the oil and fry for 2 minutes, until softened and translucent. The fat will melt into the oil.

  3. Add the chicken and fry for 5 minutes until the chicken changes color to a golden brown.

  4. Put the tomatoes on top and cover. Keeping the heat on a low, cook for 20 minutes.

  5. Remove the tomato skins from the wok and discard them. We don’t need them.

  6. Break down the tomatoes and dry the water. This takes another 20 minutes.

  7. Add the green chilies and cook until the oil is visible around the sides. The masala should continue to cook on the spoon. That tells us its ready.

  8. Sprinkle in ginger, salt and pepper. Mix well.

  9. Usually we don’t add water to chicken karahi, but if you would prefer a thinner sauce, then you can add ¼ cup water and cook it on a low heat for a further 15 minutes. Turn off the stove.

  10. Garnish with chopped coriander, lemon and garam masala powder.

  11. Serve with naan bread.

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