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Slow cooker chicken karahi

Slow cooker chicken karahi, served on a bed of pilau rice and garnished with fresh coriander

This slow cooker chicken karahi is a delicious and easy-to-make, Indian-style dish. It’s sure to become one of your go-to curries! The main flavours come from earthy turmeric, fragrant, crushed coriander seeds, and green chillies. How hot you make it is up to you – it all depends on the chillies.

Easy to make with a few key ingredients

To make this slow cooker chicken karahi, start by making a fresh paste. Blend (or grind) toasted coriander seeds, turmeric, garlic, green chillies, and ginger. Deeply score chicken thighs (on the bone and with skin on), and rub the paste into the chicken.

Next, brown the chicken on both sides, then set aside. In the same pan, sweat onion, then add chopped tomatoes and cook until softened. Place the chicken, onions, and tomatoes in a pre-heated slow cooker. Quickly fry whole green chillies, place them into the pot, and cover everything with chicken stock.

Cook for around six hours on low/auto setting. Just before serving, stir in chopped, fresh coriander. The result is tender, melt-in-the-mouth chicken that will fall off the bone, in a fragrant, fresh sauce. Serve the chicken on a bed of pilau or plain, boiled rice, with a naan bread, or chapatis.

Is karahi a word for curry?

The word karahi comes from the Hindi word for a traditional Indian cooking pot. A karahi is similar in shape to a wok. The dish is also sometimes called kadai chicken or simply karahi, depending on the region in which it is prepared. The similar words karai, kadhai, and kadai all refer to the same type of cooking pot.

Interestingly, the word curry, which is often used to describe all manner of Indian dishes, actually derives from the Tamil word kari, which means sauce or relish. The word was adopted by the colonial British. It was simply used to describe any dish that had a sauce or gravy.

Slow cooking is easy, and brings out flavours

One of the reasons that slow cooker chicken karahi has become so popular is that it is incredibly easy to make. All you need to do is prepare the chicken and make a simple paste. Then, chop up some onions and tomatoes. Brown the meat, part cook the onion and tomatoes, then throw everything into a slow cooker with some chicken stock. The slow cooking process allows the flavours to develop and meld together. The result is a dish that is bursting with flavour.

In conclusion, this slow cooker chicken karahi is a delicious and easy-to-make Indian-style dish. It is perfect for busy weeknights, or lazy weekends. The origins of the dish can be traced back to the traditional Indian cooking pot known as a karahi. The dish’s flavours are a testament to the rich culinary traditions of India. By using a slow cooker, you’ll create a tender, flavourful chicken dish. This dish is sure to become a firm favourite!

Slow cooker chicken karahi, served on a bed of pilau rice and garnished with fresh coriander

Slow cooker chicken karahi

An easy, slow-cooked chicken curry flavoured with turmeric, coriander, and fresh chilli
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 500 kcal


  • 8 Chicken thighs On bone, skin on
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 Thumb-sized Ginger piece (root)
  • 1 Large white onion Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 6 Tomatoes Chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric (ground)
  • 3 Green chillies De-seeded
  • 6 Green chillies Whole
  • 25 g Fresh coriander Chopped
  • 450 ml Chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch Salt For seasoning
  • 1 pinch Ground black pepper For seasoning


  • Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan
  • Place the garlic, turmeric, coriander seeds, chopped chillies, ginger, and 1 tbsp oil in a food processor or pestle and mortar, and blitz to a paste
    Paste for chicken karahi in a granite pestle and mortar
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • Using a sharp knife, deeply score the chicken thighs
  • Rub the paste into the thighs, ensuring it covers them and goes into the score cuts
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large frying pan, over a medium-high heat
  • Brown the chicken on both sides, around 4 – 5 minutes a side, then set aside
    Browned chicken thighs in karahi paste, ready for slow cooker
  • Preheat your slow cooker
  • Add the remaining 2 tsp of oil to the pan, and cook the onion over a medium heat, until softening and turning translucent
  • Add the tomato and cook for 6 – 8 minutes, until soft
    Onion and tomato cooking in frying pan, ready for chicken karahi
  • Place the chicken thighs in the slow cooker
  • Add the onion and tomatoes
  • Fry the whole chillies for around 30 seconds to a minute, then add to the slow cooker
  • Pour over the chicken stock
  • Cover, and cook for around 6 hours on low/auto
  • Before serving, add the chopped coriander, and season to taste
  • Serve with pilau or plain rice
Keyword Chicken, curry, Slow cooker

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