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Chicken and Chickpea Curry Karahi

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Cooked in a karahi, this chicken and chickpea curry is hugely popular and easy to prepare.

This chicken and chickpea curry is cooked over a high heat in a karahi. The high heat cooking give the curry a delicious and smoky flavour. This is one you’ve simply got to try soon. 

You will also find links to some of the most popular side dishes to enjoy with your chicken and chickpea karahi.

Chicken and chickpea curry

Make this today!


What is karahi cooking?

A karahi is a pan that is similar to a wok but usually has not handles or two. The rounded base maked it possible to cook over a high heat while stirring it all together to make a delicious sauce.

Cooking chicken and chickpea curry like this build flavour, with results that are far better than simply stewing the ingredients.

You might also like to try some other karahi style curries. I have the recipes for you. Try butter chicken karahi, black pepper chicken karahi, chicken bhuna karahi, white chicken karahi and chicken keema karahi to start! All of these curries can be served together with the chicken and chickpea curry as part of a big meal. 

What do you serve chicken and chickpea 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 chicken and chickpea 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.

Dried vs tinned (canned) chickpeas

Although not necessary, you will get better results if you used dried chickpeas (chana) and cook them until tender. The texture is better to what you get in a can and you can use the cooking liquid to help flavour the curry. 

That said, tinned (canned) chickpeas will work perfectly well and you will be able to prepare this chicken and chickpea curry much faster.

Working ahead

If cooking dried chickpeas, you can do this up to three days before cooking the chicken and chickpea curry. Just cover the cooked chickpeas and place in the fridge.

You can also blend the chickpeas required for this recipe at the same time. The blended chickpeas are added to the curry to thicken the sauce.

What to serve with chicken and chickpea curry?

Although this karahi curry is amazing served over rice or with naans, there are a lot of carbs in the chickpeas. 

You can therefore serve chicken and chickpea curry on it’s own with no sides!

Step by step photos of chicken and chickpea curry

Ingredients for chicken and chickpea curry

Get all of your ingredients together before you start cooking. It’s easier that way.

blending the chickpeas

Blend half of the chickpeas to a thick paste and set aside for later.

Infusing the whole spices in the ghee.

Infuse the whole spices in the oil for about 40 seconds.


Frying the chopped onions.

Add the chopped onions to the pan and fry until golden brown.

Adding chicken to the pan.

Add the chicken and fry until almost cooked through. Stir often and hard to coat.

Stirring in the garlic and ginger paste.

Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and continue stirring to coat.

Adding the tomatoes to the pan.

Add the tomatoes. Cover the pan and simmer over a low to medium heat for 8 minutes.

Removing the tomato skins from the tomatoes.

Remove the skin from the tomatoes with tong. Squeeze the tomatoes as you do.

Simmering the curry over a high heat.

Over a high heat, continue stirring and breaking the sauce down. Then add the ground spices.

Simmering the curry over a high heat.

The tomatoes will all melt into the sauce and it will look something like this.

Adding the chickpeas to the pan.

Add the chickpeas and a little water and continue stirring. I add about 250ml (1 cup) water or the cooking liquid from cooking the chickpeas.

Adding the chickpea paste to the curry.

Add the chickpea paste. The sauce will become much thicker. If it is too thick for your liking, add more water.

The finished chicken and chickpea curry.

Continue simmering until you have a nice thick sauce, perfect for picking up with naans or chapattis. The ghee or oil will rise to the top when the curry is finished cooking. 

Chicken and chickpea curry garnished with lemon, chillies, coriander (cilantro) and julienned ginger.

Serve garnished with julienned ginger, chillies, lemon and coriander (cilantro).


Yield: 4

Chicken and Chickpea Curry Karahi

chicken and chickpea curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 250g (9 oz) dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight or 4 x tinned (canned) chickpeas (garbonzo beans)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (optional)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) ghee
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 600g Chicken thighs, on the bone and cut into three pieces


  1. If using dried chickpeas, cook them first. Pour the washed and soaked chickpeas into a large saucepan with the bicarbonate of soda and cover completely with water. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and cook for about 70 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft enough to smash between your fingers. Strain but retain the cooking liquid for later.
  2. Place roughly half of the cooked chickpeas in a food processor and blend to a thick paste. Set aside.
  3. Put a karahi or wok over a medium high heat and melt the ghee. Then add the black peppercorns, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and and cloves and let their flavours infuse into the ghee for about 40 seconds. Stir in the chopped onion and continue frying for about 8 minutes or until the onions are turning a light golden brown and then stir in the garlic and ginger paste.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cover the pan. Let this all simmer for about 8 minutes over a medium heat. Lift the lid and give it all a good stir. The skins of the tomatoes will be peeling off. If not, simmer a little longer and they will. Remove the skins using your hands or tongs and discard. Stir in the chilli flakes, ground cumin, coriander.
  5. Add the chicken and stir it right into the sauce. Continue stirring often to cook the chicken through. Then add the remaining cooked or tinned (canned) chickpeas with about 125ml (1/2 cup) of the cooking liquid or water.
  6. Cover the pan. Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Give it all a good stir and add the blended chickpeas.
    The curry will look a bit dry so go ahead and add more of the cooking liquid or water. I usually add about 250ml (1 cup).
  7. Cover again and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. The ghee will rise to the top and the flavour of it all will be incredible. If you prefer more liquid, just add it until you are happy with the consistency. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and garnish with chopped coriander and/or julienned ginger.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 426mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 42g

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