This chicken Jalfrezi recipe is heavily influenced by the British Bangladeshi and Pakistani food and features chicken in a spiced tomato gravy.
My Chicken Jalfrezi.
This dish is an ever-present recipe on the British Indian Curry scene and has been as long as I remember.
Like many British Indian curries, this Jalfrezi is heavily influenced by Bengali cuisine.
Bengali migration to places like Birmingham, East London and Manchester really defined the flavours of Indian food that the British know and love.
This recipe is most definitely leans on that heritage. Flavours like cumin, coriander, fenugreek and turmeric are all front and centre.
Just like most of my curry recipes this one very much leans on my experience growing up with Anglo Indian food.
It is a delightful, warming and comforting curry that you can simply vary the heat levels of.
Simply adjust the number or type of green chillies to your taste at the start.
Bell peppers are often added to this recipe, something I am not so keen on.
The thick sauce that is atypical of this curry does not work with them for me. But feel free to add them if you like stir fry them with the onions before you add chicken.
What is a Jalfrezi Curry?
The first reference to Jalfrezi in print dates back to the British Raj. They point to it being a dish to use up leftovers frying them up with chilli and onion.
My version very much leans on a technique that is very common in British Indian restaurants.
The sauce is made separately from the meat and then combined to simmer afterwards.
In many ways, this is done for convenience in a restaurant setting because it allows for a very broad menu with minimal prep.
However, it does work really well at home and is an easy way to get great flavour.
Like many curries, this one starts with a thick and simmered spiced tomato gravy.
You then go on to blend and then cook your marinaded chicken chunks and simmer further to allow the spices to melt together.
Despite the lengthy ingredient list, this curry is really very easy to make.
What to Serve with this Curry?
My website is littered with British Indian Curries and they always prove popular with you guys.
I hope this recipe joins them amongst your favourites!
Well, because I think all curries are better with a naan!
However, it would also work well with plain basmati rice or even some paratha or chapatis.
- 400 g Chicken Thighs
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 Tsp Ground Fenugreek
- 200 g Onion
- 6 Green Chilli Peppers
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 250 g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tsp Black Onion Seeds
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- Salt to Taste
- Cut your chicken thighs into large chunks.
- Coat the chicken with the cumin, coriander, fenugreek and turmeric and allow to marinade whilst we make the sauce.
- Roughly chop half your onion, garlic and green chili.
- Heat half of the cooking oil in a frying pan and add the onion, green chili and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add 200ml of water to the onion, garlic and chili mix and reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Whilst this is happening chop the second half of your onion into wedges and set aside.
- Place the onion mix in a blender with the canned tomatoes and blend to a smooth sauce.
- Heat a second dry pan over a medium high heat and add the coriander seeds, mustard seeds, onion seeds and cardamom pods and toast for 60-90 seconds.
- When toasted pour in the tomato mix and add the tomato puree and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- Now is a good time to have a taste and add salt as required, remember this sauce will reduce a little so do not over season.
- After the tomato sauce has been simmering for 10 minutes heat the second table spoon of oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion wedges and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Then season the chicken with salt and throw it in and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce to the onion and chicken mix and cook until the chicken is cooked through which should take 10-12 minutes.
- Add the garam masala and stir in leaving to stand for 3-4 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a nice fluffy naan bread!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 732 Total Fat: 45g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 34g Cholesterol: 256mg Sodium: 670mg Carbohydrates: 36g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 16g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 55g