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Tuesday 12 February 2013

Sluttishly Savoury: Chicken Jalfrezi

On Saturday evening, I was meant to be in Dishoom working my way through their menu. Alas, their no booking policy meant I'd have chewed off my own arm after waiting over an hour. Instead, we walked off in the rain, sulking a bit skipped off into the night and I tried to ignore my curry cravings.

I lasted all of a day.

I work up on Sunday determined to make the finest chicken curry ever. I absolutely love jalfrezi (and for some reason think it's a good idea to eat the green chillies whole and I really should learn that it's not). This is as close as I've tried to the real thing. By 'real thing', I do of course mean 'the stuff from that nice place in Greenwich that does the good lime pickle'.

This curry is super rich, and I made mine quite spicy (it really did need the yoghurt, I had to go to the shops in the rain to get some). Just hold off on the chilli powder if you want  a medium curry.

Chicken Jalfrezi (serves 4, with rice)
You'll need:
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 green chillies, sliced (up to you if you de-seed, I didn't but then I like a curry that means I can't feel my ears when I'm eating it)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt (don't look in the fridge and wonder if strawberry will work)
  • Fresh coriander, for garnish photo taking purposes
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4
  2. Brown the chicken in a frying pan, add a little salt and pepper, then transfer to a casserole dish. One that you can find a lid for.
  3. Throw the onion, chillies, pepper and garlic into the pan, let it all soften a little and then add the cumin and coriander, stirring and making a bit of a mess of your frying pan.
  4. Throw the mixture into your dish with the chicken, pour on the tomatoes and stir in the curry powder and garam masala.
  5. Pop in the oven for an hour and a half (that's roughly two episodes of Cold Feet if you happen to be rewatching the classic 90s).
  6. Give it a try, if you fancy it a bit hotter, add the chilli powder. Then realise you've made it OH MY GOD WAY TOO HOT and add the yoghurt. This is a good idea anyway, even if you don't go crazy with the chilli powder - what you get it a much richer and creamier sauce, rather than just a tomato base.
  7. Cook for another 30 minutes just to get everything to mingle together and become tasty.
  8. Serve with rice (and poppadoms, obviously) and sprinkle on a bit of coriander.


  1. Might try this in the slow cooker tomorrow and then shred the chicken! nom...

    1. Great idea! The chicken stays pretty succulent anyway - you'll have no trouble shredding!


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