It won’t be an exaggeration if I called ‘Karahi’ the national dish of Pakistan. Not only its one of the most popular of dishes on all the restaurant menus in the entire country but also the most frequently cooked meal by home cooks.

It’s a quick and convenient, one-pot preparation, without doubt one of the most delicious of curries. And it represents Pakistani food culture like nothing else does – a satisfying, hearty, meat main with very few basic ingredients and simple cooking technique.

Karahi Gosht (or meat cooked in a wok) is said to have originated from the Northern areas of Pakistan, where lamb and goat meat rules supreme. Then the entire country fell in love with the dish and lovingly made different local versions, some spicier than others, some more like dry fry and others preferring luscious masala. While chicken still remains the favourite of majority, traditional mutton and more recently fish Karahi are also enjoyed by ardent fans of red meat and seafood.

Black Pepper Mutton Karahi is the most rustic and basic of Karahi versions. Black pepper and mutton are one of the best flavour pairings ever! Good quality meat, stewed with onions, tomatoes, salt and black pepper, garnished with fresh herbs and ginger makes the easiest and most warming of meals for any time of the year. But especially when the weather is cold, the tender meat with the slow spreading, long simmering heat of black peppers becomes the simplest and most delicious of joys that life can offer.

Serve Black Pepper Mutton Karahi with piping hot naans for an ultimate comfort food experience.


1 kg Mutton cut ups

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon garlic paste

2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black pepper

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

5 tomatoes

1 inch piece ginger, julienned

Fresh coriander and green chilli peppers for garnishing

This Is What You Do:

Heat oil in a wok or heavy bottomed deep pan.

Add meat and fry a few minutes till golden on the outside.

Add onions and continue to fry till onions change colour (not turn golden or brown).

Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and salt.

Puree 4 tomatoes and add to the pan. Add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Then cover the pan and reduce heat to a mere simmer.

Cook for 40 minutes or till the meat is really tender. There should be very little liquid left by this time.

Finely dice 1 remaining tomato. Add it to karahi. Add black pepper. If the curry is too dry by now, add a splash of water. Cover the pan for another 5-6 minutes and cook on low heat till the tomato softens a bit and half blends with the curry. (This gives the curry a chunkier, more rustic texture).

Remove lid, increase heat to medium high. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes till the masala separates from oil.

Garnish with fresh coriander, green chilli peppers and julienned ginger.

(Season with a little more coarsely crushed black pepper if desired) .

Serve hot with naan or roti (flatbread).

Serves 4

7 Replies to “Black Pepper Mutton Karahi”

  1. I am crazy about this dish I love it it’s just simply the best part of our food mutton karahi ma mouth is watering thank again for this delicious food… specially with black pepper awesome 👍

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog, Zarrar! So good to see you here 😊
      I agree, I think karahi has become the iconic dish of our country. Mutton karahi definitely tastes more delicious than it’s chicken version, though less popular among people, especially children.

  2. Mutton Karahi is very popular where I come from. It’s an iconic dish at Karim’s original outlet near Jama Masjid in Delhi. Exactly same ingredients as the ones you list here?? Maybe the only difference would be the spice heat. They used to have grilled onions though with a slightly charred flavour.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t had this beautiful dish for almost 5 years now as I have been mostly living overseas. In fact, it would seem I haven’t had good food in many years. All these pictures in your blog are making me go crazy.

    Today I had tried Pakistani biryani for the first time. I’m curious for more. Karahi is definitely in order now.

    1. Thank you, Subodh! Your amazing comments have really made my day!
      Karahi is actually like street food in the northern areas and Punjab, Pakistan. It could easily be nominated as our national food. 😄
      If you ever visit Pakistan, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all the delicious variations. Good thing, it’s so quick and easy to cook. Don’t deprive yourself of the yumminess anymore, try at home. It shall be a lot better than the restaurant version. 😊

      1. I have met a lot of Pakistanis overseas. Simply great people! Every single one of them.

        It’s not that I don’t that I don’t want to visit the land of Taxila, Harappa-Mohenjadaro, Swat Valley, K2, Sharda Peeth, Karakoram and so many other places of interest, but the political tensions between our countries is far too great. The visa restrictions makes any visit difficult for now. But, I’d definitely do a travel if the relations normalize in future. I’d like to see Mr. Imran Khan as Pakistan’s PM. He’s an amazing person. In India, it should be Rahul Gandhi who is progressive and a visionary, and a far cry from the current group of fascists ruling the country.

        1. Laudable sentiments, Subodh! I’m sure many people think like that on both sides. We can continue to hope and pray for a better future.

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