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Easy and quick Chicken Balti recipe

Updated on January 2, 2012

Easy Balti

Ok, let me make one thing clear before we start, I am an experimental cook on a very tight budget. This is my take on my favourite Indian dish, the Balti. Obviously as with all recipes, trust your instincts when cooking. It can be made with other meats or meat alternatives. I have made it with Quorn chicken before and was very pleased with the out come. This recipe makes enough to feed two greedy people of four people with a healthy appetite when served with rice and naan. I do not add any pulses as my family are fuss pots and pick them out but by all means experiment and add chickpeas etc. I am sure this will make the meal go a little further too for those on a tight budget with many mouths to feed.

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500ml passata
  • 900g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp medium curry powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 100ml just-boiled water or for a thicker less spicy sauce use yogurt or single cream.
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish


In a large pan, frying pan or wok, heat the sunflower oil. Add the onions and allow to soften for a couple of minutes. Next add the garlic, again allow to cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring gentle and ensuring everything is cooked over a low heat as there is nothing worse than picking out hard bits of burned onion from your food. Next add the ginger and stir. Now add the chicken or meat of your choice. I turn the heat up a little to a medium heat but keep a watchful eye, stirring the whole time until the meat is sealed. I then add the spices, one at a time and stir them in to give good coverage. Add the passata next, slowly stirring it in, turn up the heat a little to get it bubbling. Then turn the heat down and allow to simmer for five minutes, giving the occasional stir. Add the water/ yogurt (for a way less spicy taste) or double cream (for a thicker sauce), turn up the heat a little, stir and then simmer. I leave this to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring now and again. Add the fresh corriander towards the end of the process, mainly for decoration. I sometimes add in a bit of shredded spinnich or a little finely sliced cabbage to add a little more texture and colour. This dish nice eaten fresh but even nicer left in the fridge over night and reheated. I serve it with basmati rice and home made naan. For drinks I would avoid wine and enjoy a nice cold beer or for non alcoholic drinks lemonade and lime is my preferred choice.


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