This Authentic Chicken Jalfrezi is a delicious and easy Indian curry that is big and bold on flavor.
Learn how to make restaurant style Jalfrezi with the signature smoky bell peppers, onions, juicy chicken and the wonderful mixture of authentic, but easy to find spices.
Unlike many curries, this recipe can be on the table in under an hour and will be your new favorite takeout 'fakeout' at home.
What is Jalfrezi?
Jalfrezi is a pungently spicy stir-fry style curry. It is an amazing, spicy, rich and perfectly balanced curry; much drier than say a dopiaza and has a much thicker 'sauce' similar to a Rogan Josh.
It is wonderful with pilau rice, garlic naan bread, or Peshwari Naan. And of course an icy cold beer.
How to get the authentic flavor in your Jalfrezi
The key to this dish is the blistering of the green bell peppers at the start of the cook. The deep charring is what gives an authentic jalfrezi it's signature smoky flavor.
The onions are then added and they want them to soften and color quickly, so they retain their shape.
What spices to use for an Authentic Chicken Jalfrezi?
For this curry you are going to need:
- Brown mustard seeds
- Ground cumin
- Ground fenugreek (kasoor methi)
- Ground coriander
- Ground turmeric
You can find these in most larger grocery stores.
Is this truly an authentic Indian curry?
Yes. The recipe was given to me by my friend Jeni who got it whilst visiting her husband's family in Indian. Her Mother-in-law (Mrs. Singhania) had passed it on as it was her son's favorite and she wanted to make sure he could eat it whilst living in London with his new wife. Mrs. Singhania’s was very insistent that Jeni use green bell peppers and that she source, brown mustard seeds, and fenugreek powder.
Jeni passed that insistence on to me and I am glad she did because this chicken jalfrezi tastes just like it does from the local Indian restaurant and fills the house with amazing aromas.
What to serve with Chicken Jalfrezi
Serve this delicious curry with either plain boiled rice or pilau rice and a side of homemade naan bread.
For other authentic Indian curries try:
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For the Jalfrezi paste
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 inch piece fresh root ginger
- 4 green chillies
- stalks and white roots from a bunch of cilantro (Reserve the leaves for later)
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp sea salt
For the Curry
- 2 green bell peppers (green capsicum)
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2.2 lb boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp butter
- 10 fresh ripe tomatoes
- 250 ml water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp natural yoghurt (optional)
- Reserved coriander leaves
For the Jalfrezi paste.
- Peel the garlic and ginger. Chop the heads off the green chillies.
- Add them to a mini food processor along with the mustard seeds, coriander stalks and root, vegetable oil and tomato paste.
- Whizz the mixture until it is smooth.
- Add the dry spices and whizz again until you have a thick paste.
(The paste will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Just ensure it is in an airtight container and cover the top with some oil)
- Cut the bell pepper in half and remove teh seeds then cut to bite sized chunks
- Peel and roughly chop the onion.
- Chop the chicken into small bite sized pieces.
- Core and then finely chop the tomatoes and set to one side.
To cook the curry
- Add the oil to a large wok (or high sided skillet)
- Fry the bell pepper over a high heat until the flesh is blistered, then add in the chopped onions and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add the butter and once it starts to sizzle add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken starts to colour.
- Tip the jalfrezi paste into the pan, stir well to coat all the chicken.
- Add the water and lemon juice, then turn the heat down and cook gently for 20 minutes. Stir frequently and add more water if the sauce starts to stick.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan, bring everything back to the boil, then place the curry on the lowest heat and cook for 20-25 minutes. Stir the curry every few minutes and add extra water if it is starting to stick or dry out too quickly.
- Check the seasoning and serve with a swirl of yoghurt and some fresh cilantro.