Chicken Jalfrezi is a favourite curry. It’s my go to curry when I have some leftover Tandoori Chicken. In fact it’s worth making some Tandoori Chicken Just to make a Jalfrezi!
What Makes A Chicken Jalfrezi?
Jalfrezi has it’s origins in Bengal. It was a way of using leftover meat or fish that was stir fried with onions, chillies and often peppers.
The B.I.R (British Indian Restaurant) version has more of a tomato sauce but it still has the onions, peppers, chillies and sometimes tomatoes.
I also like plenty of ginger in a jalfrezi, it gives it a lovely fresh ‘zing’
I used little Thai chillies in this version that pack some serious heat. It’s entirely up to you what sort of chillies you want to use and how you present them. Some people prefer their chilli to be chopped more, which is fine.
I prefer to use normal sized salad tomatoes for a Jalfrezi, cut in to quarters or sixths. On this occasion I had run out so I threw some cherry tomatoes in, you might prefer this option though.
I’ve included a recipe for base sauce for this Chicken jalfrezi. It’s a very simple one but I love it!
If you have your own tried and trusted base sauce you can use that instead of the one in the recipe. If it’s not heavy on the tomatoes though you might want to add a little extra tomato puree or some tinned chopped tomatoes.
If you don’t use all the base sauce. Just pop it in a container for the freezer for another time.
Curry Masala & Spices
I obviously use ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala & Tandoori Masala when I was making this which are available to buy at www.omemade.co.uk
You can substitute your favourite brand or your own if you have your own favourite mix.
And if you’re stuck for a Tandoori recipe follow this link British Indian Restaurant Curry
Curry Base Sauce
- 4 tbsp oil (vegetable, sunflower, rapeseed)
- 3 large onions sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger chopped
- 3 tsp mild curry masala (you could use 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp turmeric instead)
- 1.2 litres water
- 1 handful coriander stalks (if you have them)
- 1 400ml tin of tomatoes
- 500 g Tandoori/Tikka Chicken cut in to chunks
- 1 medium onion cut in half and then quarter each half
- 2 whole peppers (whatever colour you have) deseeded and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic grated or finely chopped
- 1 inch cubed fresh ginger grated or finely chopped
- 4 tbsp oil or ghee
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder (optional)
- 4 tsp curry masala
- 1 tsp Tandoori masala
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp tomato puree diluted in 300ml water
- 1 portion base sauce mix
- 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek) leaves
- 4 large tomatoes cut in to 4 – 6 (or around 250g of cherry tomatoes, left whole)
- 6-8 finger type chillies cut in half and half again if large (or leave whole if small)
- 1 handful chopped fresh coriander
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 1 tsp Garam Masala If you don't have any a grind of black pepper
To make the base sauce
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot add the onions and salt. Gently fry for 10 minutes until the onions are starting to soften.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes.
- Add the curry masala or spices along with a splash of water. Give a quick stir around and then add the water.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
- Add the tinned tomato and coriander stalks/
- Bring back to the simmer and cook for another 30 minutes
- Take the pan off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a very smooth sauce.
- Put back on a low heat ready for adding to your curry. If it looks a little thick add some water. It should be the be slightly thicker than full fat milk.
To make the curry
- heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan or karahi.
- Once the oil is hot add the onion and peppers. Fry until they are just blistering and colouring. remove the peppers and onions from the pan with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl.
- turn the heat down on the pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a few seconds
- Add the Kashmiri chilli and stir through. Add the curry masala, tandoori masala and other spices. mix in and fry for 20 seconds or so. If they start to catch add a splash of the water/tomato puree.
- Turn the heat up to medium and add the Tomato paste and water. let this simmer and reduce down almost to a paste.
- now add a couple ladles of base sauce, stir in a and let reduce. Now add 3 ladles of base sauce and let reduce. Now you can add most of the base gravy (leave around 200ml for adjusting your finished sauce) and simmer until you have a thick sauce and see little craters appearing. Don't stir to often as the sauce reduces. You want the sauce to caramelise around the edges of the pan and then the caramelised edges can be stirred in to the sauce. That's where all the flavour is.
- Now you can add your chicken, Kasoori Methi, garam masala, tomatoes, chillies, peppers and onions. Heat through for around 15 minutes, if the sauce is too thick add more base sauce 'till you have your preferred consistency and then add your chopped coriander. Heat gently for another 5 minutes. Taste and add extra salt to taste.
- Serve your curry with some pilau rice and Indian bread such as naans or chapatis.