This is a self-created hybrid of a number of Jalfrezi and Balti recipes I've tried. It has the flavours and elements of the Jalfrezi with the rich sauce of the Balti. It can be cooked with various meats such as Chicken Tikka as well as Paneer, Vegetables, Tofu, Chickpeas, etc.

This recipe covers cooking the Curry from scratch (with pre-prepared meat), without requiring base gravy using simple and easy to find ingredients.

Best served with Pilau Rice and / or Naan.

For best results cook in an aluminium saucepan on a gas hob.

Serves 4 with Rice.


Prep Group Quantity Item
5 tablespoons Rapeseed/canola oil¹
1 Large onion
1 2 inches Ginger
1 3 Garlic cloves
2 Large tomatoes
2 4-5 slices Red pepper
2 4-5 slices Yellow pepper
3 1/2 tablespoon Mixed curry powder ²
3 1/2 tablespoon Chilli powder
3 1/4 tablespoon Haldi (turmeric) powder
3 1/4 tablespoon Coriander powder
3 1/2 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder
3 1/4 tablespoon Garam masala
1-2 tablespoons Tomato puree
1-2 cups Water
3 Medium bird's eye chillies
Pinch Kasuri Methi
400 grams Boneless chicken pieces/cooked tikka ³
Handful Corriander
Table Salt

Notes on the ingredients

1. You can use less or no oil but more care must be taken to ensure ingredients don't stick or burn. With no oil add more water regularly.

If at any point the pan seems too dry add a splash of water to keep things moving.

2. A generic curry powder works as well as a making a mix - there are lots of variants out there.

3. Pre-cooked meats such as tikka can be added later, raw meats/veg can be used but the extra cooking time needs to be factored in. I prefer to add pre-cooked meat/veg as it can be seasoned independently and gives better control on timing.

Nearly any of the ingredients can be optional - omitting them will change the taste but it will still taste good.

Quantities can also be varied to taste through the cooking process. I recommend tasting it as you go to see how changes impact the flavour.

The heat can be varied through the chilli powder and chillies.

Adding the chillies later will mean they are crisper and have more bite with a more localised heat, whereas adding them sooner will soften them and integrate them more into the sauce along with the heat making the whole dish hotter.


Finely dice the onion.

Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

Slice the bird's eye chillies lengthways.

Group 1

Crush and finely chop the Garlic and Ginger and combine in a dish.

Group 2

Slice both peppers ready to add together.

Group 3

Measure out the spices below into a dish:

  • Mixed curry powder (1/2 tbsp)
  • Chilli powder (1/2 tbsp)
  • Haldi (turmeric) powder (1/4 tbsp)
  • Coriander powder (1/4 tbsp)
  • Kashmiri chilli powder (1/2 tbsp)
  • Garam masala (1/4 tbsp)


Step 1

Add 5 tablespoons of rapeseed oil to your pan and slowly heat.

Step 2

Add the finely diced onion to the pan along with a pinch of salt to help draw the moisture out.

Step 3

Once the onions have softened and browned add the garlic and ginger (Group 1). Leave them to infuse, stirring periodically for a few minutes.

Step 4

Add the chopped tomatoes with another pinch of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium stirring regularly.

Step 5

Add the sliced peppers (Group 2) and cook for 1-2 minutes to soften.

Step 6

Add the powdered spices (Group 3) along with a pinch of crumbled Kasuri Methi.

I recommend putting the spices on the spoon first and stirring them in keeping the spoon flat against the bottom of the pan, letting the other ingredients mix over them.

It can help to turn down the heat to ensure the spices do not burn.

Add a splash of water if needed.

Step 7

Add the tomato puree using the same technique as the spices, and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Step 8

Stir in ~1 cup of water, adding it slowly letting it combine before adding more. Turn the heat back up to help it mix in.

Step 9

Add the bird's eye chillies.

Step 10

Repeat Step 7, add more water to ensure the curry does not dry out.

The thickness of the sauce can be controlled by the amount of water added without significantly diluting the flavour. The longer the curry cooks for the softer the vegetables will be and the richer the sauce.

Step 11

Add another pinch of crushed Kasuri Methi along with a pinch of chopped Coriander leaves.

Step 12

Add the meat/veg of choice. If they are pre-cooked then heat through otherwise keep going until they are suitably cooked.


Serve up and optionally garnish with fresh Coriander.