Chicken Balti Recipe | Hari Ghotra
3.8/5 rating (110 votes)

Chicken Balti

Chicken Balti

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info LACTOSE-FREE
  • Prep10 mins
  • Cook40 mins
Chicken Balti

Hari says

Well, well, well, what can I say about the wonderful dish that is the Balti? It seems to be a bit controversial, with many arguing over its origins. There are suggestions that it comes from Baltistan, a town in Northern Pakistan, while others claim that it was first served in Adil's restaurant in 1977 in Sparkbrook in Birmingham, which lays foundations to what was later known as the Balti triangle.

I do think that this is a wonderfully, fragrant dish that has definite Indian origins with Anglo parents. The truth is that the Balti actually refers to the dish that the curry is cooked in rather than the curry itself. The dish that it's cooked in is an Indian cast iron, round-bottomed wok with two handles calle a karahi.  The curry is characteristically a meat (or veg) dish with a thick, spicy tomato-based sauce. Usually, it's heavy on the chilli heat with a little tanginess from the yoghurt that's added. Brummie tradition has it that the sauce has to be mopped up with soft, fluffy naan bread! 

Top Tip: If you haven’t got the time to make this in the evening, then you can slow cook it so it’s ready for when you get in.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 3cm ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed 
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6–10 whole green chillies, (reduce if this is too many for you)
  • 500g boneless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-size chunks
  • Black peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • Large handful of finely chopped, fresh coriander leaves 

Method

  1. Blend together the ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar or blender and set to one side.
  2. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds and set to one side.
  3. Blend the tomatoes to a paste and stir in the ground spices, garam masala, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, yoghurt and salt.
  4. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan (or karahi if you have one) and add the mustard seeds. 
  5. Once the mustard seeds pop, add the bay leaf and chopped onion.
  6. Stir and cook on a medium heat. After about 15 minutes add the minced ginger and garlic with the green chillies for at least 20-30 minutes until the onions are well browned. If the onions catch, add a splash of water and continue to cook the onions.
  7. Stir in the blended tomatoes, spices and yoghurt mix. Turn the heat up and stir until the mixture thickens and you are left with a thick masala paste (10-15 minutes).
  8. Add the chicken pieces and stir into the thick masala to coat it. 
  9. Reduce the heat and place the lid on the pan. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again.
  10. The chicken will produce a lovely thick gravy. Once the chicken is cooked through you can adjust the consistency of the sauce to your preference. To loosen, just add a little hot water, or to reduce it and make it thicker, cook further on a high flame. 
  11. Once cooked, add some black pepper and a squeeze of lemon, then check the seasoning.
  12. Stir in the chopped coriander and serve.

Served with

Goes with any side dish, rice, naan, parantha, pilau...

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
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Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories100
Fat (g)5.8
of which saturates (g)1.7
Carbohydrates (g)2.8
of which sugars (g)2.1
Fibre (g)0.5
Protein (g)9.5
Salt (mg)0.59
*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 (20)

  • tom Bentley

    tom Bentley

    07 June 2018 at 13:33 |
    Please help...I can't work out when the cumin and coriander seeds go in? Do they not get dry fried first?

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      07 June 2018 at 14:09 |
      Hi Tom You need to grind the seeds and they get added in step 7 with the tomatoes etc. Does that help?

      reply

  • Rob

    Rob

    22 March 2018 at 18:50 |
    Absolutely fantastic recipe, I make it every Friday night for my wife and I as we drown our working week in G&T's and stunning Indian food. Thanks!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      22 March 2018 at 19:42 |
      Hey Rob I am thrilled you love the recipe. I am about to start selling amazing Balti pans on the site soon which you might like! Thanks for the feedback - please do share some of your pictures with me on the app too. Thanks so much Hari

      reply

  • Angus Carruthers

    Angus Carruthers

    21 December 2017 at 14:54 |
    Yet another classic curry from your recipes. First class flavours for making at home.
    Thanks Hari

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      21 December 2017 at 19:30 |
      Hi Angus That is really great to hear - glad you enjoyed cooking it at home. What will you be trying next? If you need any ideas just give me a shout. Thanks so much for your comments Hari

      reply

  • Olivia

    Olivia

    07 December 2017 at 18:37 |
    Hello
    I'd like to make this at the weekend. Instead of cumin and coriander seeds can I used powder?
    Thank you

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      12 December 2017 at 20:24 |
      Hi Olivia Yes you can use powder if that what you have in your cupboard. Hope you enjoyed the Balti Thanks for using the site Hari

      reply

  • Sarah

    Sarah

    07 July 2017 at 10:12 |
    Do you just leave the chillis whole or slice them? Thanks

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      10 July 2017 at 07:36 |
      Hi Sarah I tend to leave them whole so the dish isn't too hot. If you slice them the dish will be more spicy so maybe reduce the number a little. I hope this helps. Thanks so much for using the website. Hari

      reply

  • beth

    beth

    24 June 2017 at 14:39 |
    i forgot to buy mustard seeds - what can i use as an alternative?
    thanks !

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      25 June 2017 at 13:11 |
      Hi Beth Don't worry I would just miss them out on this occasion. Let me know what you think Hari

      reply

  • Charlie

    Charlie

    15 June 2017 at 16:47 |
    Hi, i'd love to make this for fathers day this weekend as my dad loves curries. I was just wondering what I could use instead of Kashmiri Chili Powder as I can't find any in the shops. Thanks :)

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      16 June 2017 at 07:21 |
      Hi Charlie you can use a 50:50 mix of paprika and chilli powder instead. That will give you the heat and the colour. I hope that helps and I hope your dad enjoys it. Would love to see pictures! Thanks Hari

      reply

  • Andy

    Andy

    05 May 2017 at 19:37 |
    Cooked this last weekend and really loved it!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      05 May 2017 at 19:56 |
      Hi Andy Lovely to meet you last night! Glad you enjoyed the balti thanks so much for your comments! Hari

      reply

  • Emil

    Emil

    18 January 2017 at 21:58 |
    I've been trying my way through the Indian kitchen using different chefs' recipes as inspiration to find one that is good as it is or that I can tweak to my liking. This one goes in the book with very little adjustment. Great one!

    All the best from Sweden

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      23 January 2017 at 09:11 |
      Hi Emil Hope Sweden is good. Thanks so much for giving this a go. Its fabulous to hear that it's a winner for you. Thanks so much for your comments. Looking forward to hearing what else you try from the website. Hari

      reply

  • Chris

    Chris

    17 January 2017 at 20:11 |
    Of all the curries I've cooked of yours, this one is the best by far. So good!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      17 January 2017 at 20:30 |
      Hi Chris It's a new one on the site so I'm thrilled to hear it's going down so well. Seems like lots of you were cooking it last weekend which is just wonderful. Thanks so much for using the site and let me know what else you try too. Thanks Hari

      reply

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Hari Ghotra