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White Chicken Karahi

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This white chicken karahi is close to a British style korma. It does have chillies but they can be left out.

I’m currently writing a new cookbook featuring 80 chicken curry recipes and this white chicken korma will most definitely feature. This is an authentic white chicken korma, made just as they do at the best karahi food stalls but developed for the home cook. You might also like to try other chicken karahi recipes such as my chicken bhuna and chicken keema karahis.

white chicken karahi

What is white chicken karahi?

A white chicken karahi is cooked similar to all authentic karahi curries but it is made with white sauce ingredients such as yoghurt and cream. 

Although this curry can be spicy, it usually isn’t. The recipe was probably first made long before chillies made their way to the Indian subcontinent. Nowadays, mild, seedless chillies are often added but they are there more for colour than spice.

What do you serve white chicken karahi with?

If you’d like to make this curry into a feast, you’ve come to the right place. You could just go for a side of Basmati rice or mushroom fried rice.

If you’d like to make naans, why not try one of these?  Instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans. Oh, and really easy but just as delicious are homemade chapatis.

Want to start your white chicken karahi meal off with a bang? How about fried shop bought poppadoms or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own poppadoms from scratch and serve them with coriander chutney, red onion chutney, and/or tamarind chutney.

How to get this recipe just right

When cooking karahi style, it is important to cook over a high heat. When you do this, the sauce will begin to caramelise to the sides of the pan. Scrape this in for additional flavour.

You want to stir and scrape often as this is an oil emersion sauce. Stirring will ensure it becomes creamy smooth. 

How much oil?!

Yes, there is a lot of oil being used when you cook an authentic chicken karahi. This white chicken karahi is no exception.

The oil helps break down the sauce and when it’s finished doing it’s job, it floats to the top. Traditionally, the karahi would be served with the floating oil but you could skim this off the top if you want to make a lighter version.

Ingredient for white chicken karahi

Get your ingredients together before starting. It’s a lot easier that way.

Cooking the chicken

Bring the water, oil and ghee to a simmer to cook the chicken over a high heat.

Simmering the chicken

Cook over a high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Adding the spices and yoghurt

Stir in the ground spices and yoghurt. Be sure to stir well so that there are no lumps.

Adding chillies to the pan

You can add a few chillies to the sauce if you like for colour. Keep simmering and scraping the sides of the pan.

Adding the cream to the pan.

To finish, stir in the cream. Try it and add salt to taste.

Finished white chicken karahi

Top with the lime slices, julienned ginger and coriander (cilantro) if you like.

Finished white chicken karahi with garnishes

Dig in!

Chicken white karahi served with chapattis

So good served with chapattis.

holding chicken with a chapatti

Yield: 4

White Chicken Karahi

white chicken karahi
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) water
  • 125ml (1 /2 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) chicken thighs on the bone, cut in half and skin removed
  • 250g (9oz) plain natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 banana chillies, halved, lengthwise down the centre or other green chillies
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) single cream
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) ginger, julienned
  • 3 tbsp coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced into about 6 thin rounds
  • Salt taste


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a karahi or wok and add the oil, ghee and chicken. Simmer over a high heat, string often until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the chicken is white and cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, whisk the yoghurt and milk together with the coconut milk powder and ground spices so that it is smooth and thin enough to pour.
  2. Add the yoghurt and milk mixture to the pan along with the chillies and stir well to combine. Yoghurt has a tendency to curdle so really get in there and move the sauce around to keep it smooth. If your yoghurt does curdle, it isn’t a big problem as the lumps should eventually emulsify into the smooth white sauce.
  3. Continue simmering to thicken the yoghurt sauce. The sauce will become quite thick, clinging to the meat after a few minutes. When it does, pour in the cream and continue simmering and stirring it all together in the hot karahi (pan).
  4. Once you have a sauce consistency you are happy with, season with salt to taste and garnish with the julienned ginger, coriander (cilantro) and lime slices.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 16gProtein: 12g

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I hope you enjoy this white chicken karahi recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 


Wednesday 29th of March 2023

Hey I have only just found your curry recipes and I love love them. Its a cheeky Q I know but when is your new chicken curry cook book going to be out 🤔 do I put it on my Xmas list or fingers crossed sooner?? Thanks you're a ⭐

Dan Toombs

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

That book is not out until next October but I have a book coming out this October. This next one is spicy one pot dishes from around the world. Thanks for your support. Dan

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