Balti Chicken

Servings : Serves 4-5

Balti Chicken is one of those dishes that has layer upon layer of flavour, making the meal an incredible experience. This delicious curry goes beautifully with plain boiled rice and/or buttered garlic naans.

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade

  • 500 gm boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp paprika powder


  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green capsicum, cut into chunks
  • 1 red capsicum, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 medium tomatoes, grated (skin discarded)
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or fresh cream)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste/puree
  • juice of half a lime
  • salt to taste
  • chopped fresh coriander


First, marinate the chicken cubes in the Chicken Marinade ingredients for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Make sure to remove the chicken from the fridge at least half an hour before cooking to ensure it comes to room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yoghurt and grated tomatoes with a fork. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and add half the chicken cubes. Fry over high heat for about 2 minutes per side or until brown (do not overcrowd the pan and do not stir the chicken around too much). Remove onto a plate, then repeat with the second batch of chicken. At this point we are not fully cooking the chicken, just getting a nice brown coating to seal in the juices. Keep the chicken covered.

In the same pan, add another small drizzle of oil if needed, then add the capsicum chunks. On high heat, cook them for a couple of minutes to get a slight char on them. Again, we are not looking to cook them through until they are soft, just to build up flavour. Take them out onto a plate. Set aside.

Now add the remaining oil in the same pan and heat it up. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Then add the chopped onions and fry until golden brown. Follow with the ginger and garlic pastes, cook them for a few seconds and add the tomato paste/puree, chopped green chillies and the powdered spices EXCEPT the garam masala. Cook for a couple of minutes on low heat. Then add the yoghurt and grated tomatoes mixture. Cook this until the mixture is thick, season with some salt.

Once the oil begins to get released from the sides, add in the half-cooked chicken plus any juices that have come out of the chicken. Stir well until they are coated with the tomatoe mixture, then add the ketchup (it helps cut down any acidity from the fresh tomatoes) and about half a cup of water or a bit more if you want some extra sauce. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the capsicum. Next add the coconut milk and mix it in. Simmer again for another 5 minutes on low heat giving a gentle stir every now and then. Taste and adjust the salt and spice if needed. If you want the capsicum chunks softer, just simmer it a bit longer on very low heat until they are done to your liking.

Finally, sprinkle the garam masala and squeeze in the lime juice. Mix and turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with buttered naan and simple boiled rice.


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