A Chicken Balti is the pride of Birmingham and a curry not of Indian but Anglo Indian heritage dating from the late 1970’s and went global!
The Original Brummie Curry.
This Balti Curry recipe probably says more about where and when I was raised than any other recipe here on Krumpli.
I was born in the mid-1970’s in Birmingham. If it were to be a Country its national dish would almost certainly be a Balti!
As with many foods, there are arguments about the origin and I will stay away from most of that nonsense.
However, the Balti is ‘officially’ credited as being ‘created’ in a place called Adils in 1977.
A place now noted as the Balti triangle, a place I remember very well indeed.
What is a Balti Curry?
The name Balti actually refers to the bowl or karahi that the curry is cooked and served in rather than the curry itself.
I cook mine in a frying pan, because at home we use frying pans and not fierce gas burners with rounded bottom pans.
A Balti follows a common theme of either meat or vegetables in a thick tomato-based sauce or “gravy”.
That thick heavy balti sauce left in the bottom of your dish must be cleared with a naan bread.
Ordering anything else in an Indian Restaurant in Birmingham would have resulted in raised eyebrows.
Apart from that the flavour of your curry will vary massively depending on where you eat it.
There is no such thing as an Authentic Balti Recipe! Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something that simply ain’t true.
This recipe is very simple to tweak and change.
That is because this balti curry recipe is prepared using the curry house tradition of preparing the sauce separately and adding to “stir-fried” ingredients.
One of the most common variants of this recipe is a chicken tikka balti.
You may not be shocked to know that it is identical to this recipe but it uses chicken tikka rather than raw chicken.
If you want to try it then just use the chicken tikka part of my chicken tikka masala recipe.
As for the vegetables, knock yourself out, chuck in anything that is good!
You can easily turn this into a vegetarian balti by dropping the chicken.
Go with par-cooked potatoes or cauliflower, maybe even chickpeas, or all of them!
For the Gravy
- 1/2 Large Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Chili
- 20 g Ginger
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/8 Tsp Asafoetida
- 1/2 Tsp Black Onion Seeds
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Tsp Ground Corriander
- 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Fenugreek
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 200 ml Tomato Passata
- 1 Tsp Honey
- 100 ml Water
For the Curry
- 2 Tomatoes
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Green Pepper
- 1 Onion
- 50 ml Natural Yogurt (Optional)
- Roughly chop the half onion for the sauce and place in a blender.
- Peel the garlic and ginger and add to the onion.
- Throw in the chilli and blend to a smooth paste adding water if required.
- Heat a pan over a high to medium heat with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.
- Add the asafoetida, black onion seeds and Cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds to a minute
- Then add the onion paste all allow to cook out for 3-5 minutes.
- Now add the ground spices and cook out for 1 minute.
- Throw in the tomato puree, tomato passata, water and honey then allow to cook down for 5 minutes.
- Now is a good time to check the gravy for spice, if you want it a little hotter add some Kashmiri chilli powder and season to taste.
- Set this gravy aside and clean out your pan.
- If you want a thinner smoother sauce then blend the gravy at this point and pass through a fine sieve.
- Roughly chop the green pepper and cut the remaining onion into quarters.
- Heat some oil and then throw in the green pepper and the onion into a hot pan.
- Cook until the edges begin to catch which should take 2 or 3 minutes.
- Cut the chicken into large chunks and cut your tomatoes into wedges then deseed them.
- Add the chicken and stir for a couple of minutes and season with some salt.
- Then add your gravy and tomatoes then turn down the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is tender which should take about 20 mins.
- Once cooked remove from the heat and add your Garam Masala and natural yoghurt.
- Stir and allow to sit for a minute before serving.
Needless to say this should definitely be served with Naan Bread or the whole of Birmingham will collectively sigh in disapproval 😉
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 676 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 154mg Sodium: 1408mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 17g Protein: 61g