Chicken Jalfrezi | Hari Ghotra
3.7/5 rating (68 votes)

Chicken Jalfrezi

Chicken with Peppers

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info HEALTHY WHEAT-FREE GLUTEN-FREE
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 40 mins
                             

A spicy dish cooked with chicken in a tomato sauce that's finished with a garam masala fry of big chunky onions and peppers.

Hari says

This isn't something we would eat at home, but it is one of those restaurant favourites that everyone wants to cook. Jalfrezi really refers to the cooking style rather than the dish. Broken down it translates to 'jal' or 'jaldi' which means quick and 'frezi', which is to fry.

So it's a quick fry dish that is made with a fresh, simple tomato sauce and cooking it yourself means you can make it much healthier than the oily take aways. I like it because it has personality, it's big and bold, it doesn't take much cooking, but boy it really packs a punch!

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 8 chicken thighs, cut into chunks

Tomato gravy

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (optional)

Jalfrezi fry

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  1. Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, chilli and garlic and fry until lightly browned.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric then cook so the tomatoes break down to make a lovely thick sauce.
  3. Add the chicken and stir to coat the pieces. Reduce the heat, place the lid on the pan and leave to cook for 15-20 minutes on a low heat. 
  4. I like to add a bit of a zing to the sauce so I stir in some yoghurt, but you don't have to.
  5. In a separate pan heat some oil and add the cumin seeds. Once fragrant stir in the chunky onions and peppers, tomato and the chilli, and then stir fry. You can cook these as much or as little as you like (I prefer mine with a bit of a crunch).
  6. Stir in the garam masala.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has reduced stir in the garam masala fried vegetable mix.

Served with

This is a lovely quick dish to do for a weeknight evening meal. Wonderful when served with a bowl of plain basmati rice.

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Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories386
Fat (g)21
of which saturates (g)3
Carbohydrates (g)21
of which sugars (g)12
Fibre (g)6
Protein (g)31
Salt (mg)1018
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments

Comments (26)

  • Saikat

    Saikat

    23 September 2016 at 06:07 |
    Hi,
    Firstly, I should thank you for the nice recipe. I made it and it is really so much tasty.
    One small thing, I just thought to mention - it is about the etymology of the dish. 'Jalfaraizi' - this name is derived from a colloquial Bengali word jhālpharezī: in Bengali, jhāl means spicy food; in Urdu/Persian, parhezī means suitable for a diet.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      30 September 2016 at 16:55 |
      Hi Thanks so much for your comments thats really helpful! Thanks for using the website. Hari

      reply

  • Nick

    Nick

    01 September 2016 at 09:38 |
    Thanks for this simple and tasty recipe, Hari. I've used only one pan when cooking jalfrezi previously but cooking the sauce and veg separately allowed the veg to stay crisp. I used prawns instead of chicken and put them in the sauce at the end. I thought the end result was almost too salty and I do like a lot of salt; I'd suggest 1/4 or 1/2 tsp less. I'll omit the yogurt next time too for more of what I think of as a jalfrezi taste.

    Your result came first in my search for "jalfrezi recipe" because it was a Google "featured snippet". Congratulations.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      02 September 2016 at 12:36 |
      Hi Nick Thanks for trying the recipe glad you enjoyed cooking the Jalfrezi in this way. Yes, with the salt I would use less with prawns too, always go a little at a time and taste, that way you can always add seasoning it. I hope you try more dishes from the site as I would love to hear what you think. Thanks again Hari

      reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    26 June 2016 at 00:21 |
    Great recipe. Fried off finely diced onions in the sauce.+ added onion seeds with the cumin seeds. Added single cream as apposed to yoghurt and lime juice to balance flavours. Thank you for great recipe
    Regards Tim

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      27 June 2016 at 08:00 |
      Hi Tim Thanks for posting your tweaks to the recipe sounds great! thanks so much for using the web site glad you enjoyed the dish. Love your ideas. Hari

      reply

  • Rachel Godwin

    Rachel Godwin

    14 June 2016 at 21:15 |
    This is a family favourite. Our 13 year old son cooked this in a DT lesson this week and did a great job with it!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      16 June 2016 at 16:12 |
      Hi Rachel thank you so much for your comments - it's great to here that kids are cooking at school and trying new dishes. So pleased that it has become a family favourite too. Thanks for using the website. Hari

      reply

  • Ed Kiero-Watson (aka ed ed the curry head)

    Ed Kiero-Watson (aka ed ed the curry head)

    24 March 2016 at 18:31 |
    This jalfrezy rocks!
    So much easier than other dishes I've tried off other sites. Very very simple and very very tasty.
    You don't need loads of different spices and fresh herbs to produce great results.
    Any true curry connoisseur should have these basic ingredients to hand.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      26 March 2016 at 18:39 |
      Hi Ed So good to hear that you enjoyed this one so much!

      reply

  • Hannah

    Hannah

    23 March 2016 at 20:41 |
    love this recipe Hari - my go to curry if I'm craving some spice but want to cook something healthy too. Thank you!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      26 March 2016 at 18:38 |
      Hi Hannah Its a really tasty and healthy one. Thanks for trying it!

      reply

  • deano

    deano

    27 February 2016 at 12:34 |
    Hi,
    I love cooking this recipe as I have no Indian restaurant nearby but if i was to use chicken breast instead of thighs how much in weight do i need?

    dean

    reply

    • Jeremy Kamaluddin

      Jeremy Kamaluddin

      27 February 2016 at 12:57 |
      Hi Deano really pleased that you are cooking dishes from the website and enjoying them. I usually go by one breast per person to makes sure there is plenty. Roughly a portion size should be 80-100g. I hope this helps. Let me know what you think of the dish. Enjoy!

      reply

  • Sue Melling

    Sue Melling

    23 February 2016 at 23:51 |
    Hi will this dish still be edible having left on the stove overnight and not refrigerated.

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      24 February 2016 at 21:12 |
      Hi Sue I really can't comment on this as I have no idea how warm your kitchen would be overnight and I wouldn't want you to get food poisoning on my advice. I would say that you have to throw it out just in case. Sorry!! Hari

      reply

  • Mandy

    Mandy

    23 February 2016 at 14:43 |
    Hi....actually jal refers to the spiciness as it was developed in Bengal for the British.
    Great recipe :)

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      23 February 2016 at 20:37 |
      Hi Mandy thanks for your comment, always great to get new thoughts on dishes. Glad you like the recipe too.

      reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    06 March 2015 at 08:45 |
    Hi
    Where are you based and what does the competition involve? This will help me advise you better.
    The key thing about a Jalfrezi is that it is supposed to have heat (just don't go overboard) and try to keep the pepper fry bit really fresh. Use freshly made garam masala too. In terms of rice maybe go for something like http://www.harighotra.co.uk/indian-recipes/sides/jeera-chaul
    Its a good idea to have something cooling on the side for something a bit different I think the pomegranate raita is really fun http://www.harighotra.co.uk/indian-recipes/sides/pomegranate-raita it's lovely and cooling with little bursts of zingy sweetness.
    It would be fantastic to see pictures of your dishes so I can talk about your competition on my social media - would that be ok?

    Thanks
    Hari

    reply

  • Bijoy

    Bijoy

    06 March 2015 at 08:20 |
    Aw yes!! Thank you thats what I need! Oh yes its for a island wide cooking competition in 2 weeks. Would you recommend, I cook the Lamb Jalfrezi with lemon rice or plain basmati rice and possibly with a cucumber raita on the side. if the Jalfrezi is spicy for the judges. What do you think?

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    06 March 2015 at 07:53 |
    Hi Bijoy
    Thanks for your comments thats really lovely to hear. I have this Lamb Jalfrezi recipe http://www.harighotra.co.uk/indian-recipes/mains/lamb-jalfrezi It's fairly similar but you might want to increase the heat level a bit. I also like to add a little yoghurt for some tang too.
    Let me know if you need any more help.
    Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Bijoy

    Bijoy

    06 March 2015 at 03:46 |
    Hi, have been watching lots of your cooking videos, they're different. Its great!! I would really like to know, If I was to cook this Jalfrezi dish with Lamb, how would I go about with that? Just unsure of the different methods there may be.
    Thanks

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    26 February 2015 at 08:52 |
    Hi Aida - Well thank you so much for your comments and feedback. It is so fantastic to hear that my recipes are being cooked up in the kitchens in Africa and that they are being enjoyed. It is so great to hear that the recipe was spot on for your husband. Do let me know what you think of my butter chicken (Murgh Makhani) - it is one of my favourites so I would love to hear what you think. Thanks again Hari

    reply

  • Aida

    Aida

    25 February 2015 at 18:13 |
    Hello,
    My husband is Pakistani and we live in West Africa, and each time we go to a different Indian restaurant here he orders chicken Jalfrezi but he always get disappointed, I have tried several recipes at home and no good result for him... till I tried your recipe, he says it's perfect and that it's how chicken Jalfrezi is supposed to be :) Thank you very much for your recipe :) and I want to try very soon your butter chicken :)

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    20 February 2015 at 10:15 |
    Hi Modesty
    Thanks for your comments thats really lovely to hear. This is a lovely dish - it is supposed to be fairly hot but if you don't like chilli heat I would tone the chillies right down. For indian food I always recommend the long thin green chillies usually called finger or rocket chillies in the super markets. These can be fairly hot so for your first time just use half or one in the gravy - chop it up nice and finely.
    If you have to buy a whole packet just put the left over chillies in the freezer and you can use them straight out the freezer when you make your next dish. I would miss them out of the fry completely. Once you get used to a little heat you can start using more. Once its ready, if you do feel like you fancy a bit more heat sprinkle in a little chilli powder at the end and stir through. Really hope this helps - let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Modesty

    Modesty

    20 February 2015 at 09:55 |
    I love your site and blog and thought I'd like to try Jalfrezi as I'm a newbie to curry cooking and this looks quite easy. I've never used chillies though, could you please tell which ones I should buy as don't like really spicy food.
    Thanks for any advice, Modesty

    reply

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Hari Ghotra