Classic Chicken Balti Curry Recipe

chicken-balti
Chicken Balti Curry. Getty Images
  • 65 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (18)

This has to be one one of Britain's favourite curries, personally I love it. It is easy to make especially if you prepare the spice mix yourself.

This Chicken Balti Curry Recipe is from Birmingham City Council and the Balti Triangle in Birmingham. Birmingham became Britain's balti capital following its arrival in the city in the 1970's courtesy of the city's Pakistani and Kashmiri communities.

A balti curry is a curry cooked over a high flame with spiced fresh meat and/or vegetables then cooked again with extra spices and served in the traditional round-bottomed balti dish. Though there are restaurants now serving the famous dish across the whole of the UK, what fun to make at home and at a fraction of the cost. Do not be put off with the list of spices, prepare them yourself and you will certainlt notice the difference. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 piece ginger (fresh, peeled and grated; 1 centimeter)
  • 2 large chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 250 milliliters vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • salt to taste
  • bay leaf
  • 1 large tomato (sliced)
  • For the Balti Spice Mix:
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (fresh, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 4 curry leaves (dried; crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 3 green chilies (chopped)
  • 4 cardamom pods (split)

How to Make It

Serves 2

Assemble all the spices. You will find it easier to make the curry if you get all the spices ready beforehand.
  • To begin the curry first you need to heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot but not smoking, add the lightly crushed mustard seeds, cook for 30 seconds only, beware they may pop and spit out of the pan. Add the chopped onion, lower the heat and cook for approx 3 - 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Then, add all the spices plus the garlic and ginger. Cook on a medium heat taking care to ensure the spices don't burn.
  • Add the chicken, the sugar stirring well to make sure all the chicken is coated in the spices. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken or spices are not burning.
  • Finally, add the stock, the tomato purée, a samll pinch of salt and the bay leaf. Stir again and then lower the heat. Cook gently for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Finally add the cilantro/coriander and tomato, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Serve piping hot in balti dishes with naan breads on the side.