Chicken Jalfrezi

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As mentioned previously, Jalfrezi has Anglo-Indian origins. Jal (spicy) Frezi (stir fry) is believed to have first been cooked in Calcutta and is now allegedly the favourite Indian dish in the UK.

Below is the recipe and some hints and tips that I have found useful. From this you could feed four people. Cooking is an art not a science – there are many recipes out there for Jalfrezi – this is my take on it.

Prep time approx. 10-15 minutes (+60 mins to 8 hours for the marinated chicken)

Cooking time approx. 60 minutes



0.5 large onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 green chillies, chopped

4 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped (tinned tomatoes can be used)

0.5 pint of waterStudio_20150425_195415

1 tbl ground coriander

1 tbl ground cumin

1 tsp tumeric

2-3 tbl olive oil

The meat

3 chicken fillets, diced

1 red pepper, chopped

0.5 large onion, sliced

2 red chillies

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

Fresh coriander, chopped (2 tsp-ish)

2-3 tbl olive oil


1. (The meat). Coat the chicken well in the cumin, ground coriander and turmeric cover and marinade in the fridge. (best to do this in advance – an hour or so at least).WP_20150423_007

2. (The sauce). Fry the roughly chopped onion in the olive oil until the onion softens. Add the ground coriander, ground cumin and turmeric. Fry for a few minutes, coating the onion well. Add the garlic and green chillies. Fry for a further minute and add the chopped tomatoes. When the tomatoes begin to soften add the water, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 mins.

3. In another pan, fry the marinated chicken in the olive oil, Studio_20150425_200145on medium-high heat. Once the chicken starts to brown (usually a few minutes) turn down the heat and add the sliced onionred pepper and red chillies. Fry until the onions and red pepper soften and the chicken is cooked through.

4. Add the pre-prepared sauce mixture to the pan (chicken, onions, pepper, chillies) and simmer for approx. 10-20 mins.

5. Add the garam masala and fresh chopped coriander. Stir.Studio_20150425_195556

6. Serve with plain basmati rice / pilau rice, and/or naan of choice / coriander flatbread and mango chutney (and personal preference of wine of course).

Hints and tips

1. As with the chicken bhuna, this doesn’t have to be made with chicken. A great substitute is turkey, or for a delicious vegetarian option use sweet potatoes.

2. When marinating the chicken it is best to marinate in advance and leave it for a while, around 8 hours or more (in the fridge). The meat absorbs the spices much better if left. An hour at least is necessary I think, otherwise the meat can be quite bland.

3. With all ingredients, the fresher the better, especially the chillies. In my experience, the fresher the chillies, the better the fieryness! This doesn’t mean it will blow your head off, rather that – as with all good curries – the fieryness and the spices build as you eat the meal, making the whole experience more satisfying.

4. Don’t overdo the fresh corriander – as beautiful as it is – too much, drains the more beautiful fusion of the spices.

5. Making this dish in advance and serving the next day is incredible. The fusion of the spices is divine.

Happy cooking 🙂

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