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Karahi Gosht (Lamb or Mutton Karahi)

Karahi GoshtPakistani karahi gosht boasts a thick, flavorful tomato-based curry made from fresh tomatoes, lots of fresh ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Karahi Gosht is a traditional recipe cherished in Pakistan and India, primarily due to its popularity in restaurants and dhabas or its presence on special occasions. While modern recipes include onion or yogurt, we stick to the basics with our take on the Pakistani classic. 

Karahi gosht in a karahi and topped with fresh cilantro and ginger.

WHAT IS KARAHI GOSHT?

Karahi is one of my favorite dishes to prepare for my family. The traditional Pakistani curry dish hails from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan; when using the term karahi gosht, most people are referring to goat or lamb, but you can make the dish with chicken, beef, and fish! Once you’ve made this recipe, try our restaurant-style Chicken Karahi next!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

For the Gosht:

  • Mutton or Lamb: I use bone-in goat shoulder to make this recipe. You can cut the shoulder yourself or ask the butcher to cut it into smaller pieces. I usually purchase goat or lamb at local Indian, Arab, Mexican, or Asian market. Places like Whole Foods carry both; however, they are more expensive.

For the Karahi Masala:

  • Ghee: Ghee is a staple in Indian and Pakistani cuisine and develops a deep, nutty flavor to set the stage for the dish. You can use other oil to fry the masala; mustard oil is a great alternative.
  • Cumin Seed: Cumin seeds toast in ghee to pronounce and enhance their natural flavor.
  • Chilies: Green chilies add heat that doesn’t overwhelm. If you prefer a more spicy curry, chop the chilies before adding them.
  • Ginger: Ginger is one of my favorite ingredients in karahi! It flavors the masala and serves as a tasty garnish. Bites of karahi gosht with fresh ginger are the best!
  • Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use- measure with your heart.
  • Tomato: Fresh tomatoes are the base for authentic karahi recipes. I use Roma tomatoes since they have less moisture than other varieties. I use a food processor to puree the tomatoes beforehand to reduce the cooking time and disguise them for my husband; traditional recipes call for cut or diced tomatoes that fry in the pan. You can go this route, but it will increase the cooking time.
  • Spices: Salt, pepper, Kashmiri chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and kalonji seeds come together to season this dish. For a quick meal- use Laziza Karahi masala alongside the tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.
  • Cilantro: Finish karahi with cilantro, but feel free to skip it if it’s not your thing.

HOW TO MAKE KARAHI GOSHT

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Add lamb or mutton, water, and salt to an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. I recommend cooking the gosht at high pressure for 30 minutes if you’re at low elevation and 1 hour for those at a higher elevation.

Pressure-cook the goat meat before adding it to the karahi masala.

Meanwhile, warm the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Then, add cumin seeds and green chilies. Cook until they sputter.

Fry cumin seeds and chilies in ghee.

Add ginger and garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes until the raw smell fades.

Add the garlic and ginger to the chilies and cumin seeds.

Stir the salt, pepper, Kashmiri chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, kalonji seeds, and pureed tomatoes into the mixture.

Add the spices and the tomatoes puree to the ginger and garlic mixture.

Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes; stir to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom. Then, remove from heat until the goat finishes cooking.

Add the spices and the tomatoes puree to the ginger and garlic mixture.

Remove the goat from the Instant Pot or pressure cooker and add it to the reserved tomato masala, along with the cilantro. If the goat is not pull-apart tender, simmer until it reaches the desired tenderness. If the goat is tender, simmer for 10-15 minutes until it combines with the masala.

Add the pressure-cooked goat meat to the masala and add cilantro.

Garnish with fresh ginger and cilantro, and serve with naan or Basmati Rice.

Stir and simmer the karahi gosht to allow the ingredients to incorporate.

CAN I MAKE GOAT KARAHI ON THE STOVETOP?

To speed up the cooking process, I pressure-cook the goat to help it become tender before adding it to the masala. Traditional karahi Is commonly prepared by quick-frying the goat, then reducing the heat for a slow braise. You can easily make our recipe using that method, and here’s how:

  1. Warm 1/4 cup of ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Add cumin seeds and green chilies. Cook until they begin sputtering.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the remaining ghee, and stir in the goat. Continue to fry until the color of the goat changes.
  3. Stir in the ginger and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Next, Add salt, pepper, Kashmiri chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and kalonji seeds to a small bowl. Stir the spices, cilantro, and pureed tomatoes into the pan. Lower the heat, cover and gently simmer.
  5. Let the karahi cook for about 1 hour; stir frequently to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. At the 1 hour mark, check the goat for tenderness, by attempting to separate the meat from the bone using a fork. The goat should easily pull. If not, allow the meat to simmer until it reaches the desired tenderness.
  6. Garnish with fresh ginger, cilantro, and green chilies.

COOKING TIPS

  • Like our Bhuna Gosht recipe, the cooking technique to make karahi is one called bhuna, which is the process of cooking over high heat until the ghee or oil separates. That doesn’t necessarily work with goat or lamb since they require longer cooking time to become tender. For that reason, I pressure cook the goat followed by a braise with low heat, allowing the ingredients to incorporate. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I included instructions for how you can slow cook the bone-in lamb or mutton on the stovetop.
  • Remove the meat from the Instant Pot or pressure cooker and check for tenderness by attempting to separate the meat from the bone using a fork. If the goat is not pull-apart tender, simmer until it reaches the desired tenderness. If it’s tender, simmer for 10-15 minutes until it combines with the masala.
  • For best results, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and ginger aren’t required, but they are highly encouraged! 
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan with goat or lamb because the moisture won’t evaporate. If you end up with too much liquid in the pan (tell me how I know this), remove the meat and set it aside; this allows the masala to cook down faster. Return the goat once it reduces.
  • If you prefer more curry to eat with roti or chapati, use 1 to 2 more tomatoes.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of our other Indian-inspired favorites!  

karahigosht35

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS

  • FRIDGE – Store the leftovers in an airtight container; it will keep for 2-4 days.
  • FREEZER – Allow the dish to cool, and add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Karahi Gosht freezes for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost in the fridge overnight.
  • REHEAT – Leftover karahi is even more delicious since the ingredients have had the chance to come together; warm them on the stovetop and prepare your sides.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make karahi gosht spicy?

It appears spicy at first glance, but our goat karahi recipe is mild. While not overly spicy, it’s packed with intense flavor from traditional Indian spices. If you prefer a more spicy karahi, consider chopping the chilies before adding them. You can also increase the Kashmiri chili powder to three teaspoons or use cayenne pepper for more heat.

What is gosht?

Gosht is a Persian word for meat; in India and Pakistan, the term gosht most often refers to goat or lamb.

How do I make sure the gosht is tender?

Unlike chicken karahi, goat and lamb karahi require longer cooking time to become tender. Pressure-cook the goat, and reduce the heat to slow braise to ensure it has time to become fork-tender and incorporate with the masala.

What is Karahi curry made of?

Curry is a Western term given to South Asian dishes that contain gravy, so by that definition, it’s a curry. However, many would agree that karahis are a separate and stand-alone meal; I’m not exaggerating when I say that karahi tastes like heaven, even without yogurt, cream, or cashews that other curries feature. The rich tomatoey gravy, fresh garlic, ginger, and chilies combine to create a highly concentrated flavor that takes this meal to the next level.

Why is it called karahi?

Karahi or ‘kadai’ derives its name from the wok-like pan it cooks in. While the dish gets its name from the pan, karahi is better known for bite-size cuts of lamb or goat simmering in a richly spiced tomato gravy. If you don’t have access to a karahi, there’s no need to worry. Feel free to use a wok or a heavy-bottomed pan like a Dutch oven.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY:

Karahi gosht in a karahi and topped with fresh cilantro and ginger.

Karahi Gosht (Lamb or Mutton Karahi)

Tressa Jamil
Our Pakistani karahi gosht recipe boasts a thick, flavorful tomato-based curry made from fresh tomatoes, lots of fresh ginger, garlic, and green chilies.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4 people
Calories 363 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Gosht:

  • 1 ½ pounds lamb or mutton shoulder bone-in, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup water

For the Karahi:

For the Garnish:

  • 2 -inch fresh ginger, julienne, for garnish
  • ¾ cup cilantro chopped, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add lamb or mutton, water, and salt to an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. I recommend cooking the gosht at high pressure for 30 minutes if you’re at low elevation and 1 hour for those at a higher elevation.
  • Meanwhile, warm the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Then, add cumin seeds and green chilies. Cook until they sputter.
  • Add ginger and garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes until the raw smell fades.
  • Stir the salt, pepper, Kashmiri chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, kalonji seeds, and pureed tomatoes into the mixture.
  • Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes; stir to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom. Then, remove from heat until the goat finishes cooking.
  • Remove the goat from the Instant Pot or pressure cooker and add it to the reserved tomato masala, along with the cilantro. If the goat is not pull-apart tender, simmer until it reaches the desired tenderness. If the goat is tender, simmer for 10-15 minutes until it combines with the masala.
  • Garnish with fresh ginger and cilantro, and serve with naan or Basmati Rice.

Notes

Cooking Tips: 
  • Like our Bhuna Gosht recipe, the cooking technique to make karahi is one called bhuna, which is the process of cooking over high heat until the ghee or oil separates. That doesn’t necessarily work with goat or lamb since they require longer cooking time to become tender. For that reason, I pressure cook the goat followed by a braise with low heat, allowing the ingredients to incorporate. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I included instructions for how you can slow cook the bone-in lamb or mutton on the stovetop.
  • Remove the meat from the Instant Pot or pressure cooker and check for tenderness by attempting to separate the meat from the bone using a fork. If the goat is not pull-apart tender, simmer until it reaches the desired tenderness. If it’s tender, simmer for 10-15 minutes until it combines with the masala.
  • For best results, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and ginger aren’t required, but they are highly encouraged! 
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan with goat or lamb because the moisture won’t evaporate. If you end up with too much liquid in the pan (tell me how I know this), remove the meat and set it aside; this allows the masala to cook down faster. Return the goat once it reduces.
  • If you prefer more curry to eat with roti or chapati, use 1 to 2 more tomatoes.
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 17gFat: 30gSodium: 1244mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Bianca

Saturday 16th of July 2022

I was so excited to try this recipe! Pakistani curry sounded so good and it absolutely did not disappoint! It was so delicious

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 16th of July 2022

It's one of our favorites and always hits the spot!

Fede

Thursday 14th of July 2022

I made this few times and was incredibly good.

Tressa Jamil

Thursday 14th of July 2022

I love hearing that it's become a regular part of your rotation.

Giangi

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

I was looking for a new recipe to make with my pressure cooker, and I found yours. The lamb was just full of flavor and so tender. The sauce was so savory. Thank you for sharing

Tressa Jamil

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Pressure-cooking the meat is a complete game-changer.

Ashley

Friday 8th of July 2022

I made this for my family last night and it was incredible!

Tressa Jamil

Friday 8th of July 2022

I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

RJ

Thursday 19th of May 2022

I tried this recipe many times and it comes out great every time. Very authentic and it reminds of karahi from the streets of Karachi.

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

Wow, what high praise. Thank you for taking the time to let us know you enjoyed it.