Quick chicken jalfrezi

jalfrezi chicken

Peter Penguin says...

Nice curry this one. I assume so anyway, never even made it.

An all-time Indian restaurant classic, chicken jalfrezi. Supposedly you can make this in thirty minutes but I doubt it.


The onion paste

  • 470g onions – coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 240 ml water

Chicken jalfrezi

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 3 pieces per thigh
  • green pepper – cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • medium onion – cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala
  • 2 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced coriander stems
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste diluted to the consistency of tomato sauce
  • green chilies – halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • cherry tomatoes – halved


The onion paste

  1. Place the chopped onions in a microwave safe dish and cover loosely. Microwave at 70 percent until the onions are soft and translucent. This takes 10 minutes in a 1100 watt microwave.
  2. Remove the onions from the microwave. Let them cool slightly. Place the onions, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 240 ml water in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Chicken jalfrezi

  1. Mix the cumin, coriander, turmeric, tandoori masala, Kashmiri chili powder, kasoori methi and salt in a bowl to create your spice mix.
  2. Heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat until it shimmers.
  3. Add the green pepper, skin side down. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining chopped onion and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown on the edges and the green pepper scorches a bit. 
  5. Add the garlic ginger paste and coriander stems and cook until the garlic ginger paste stops spluttering.
  6. Turn the heat to medium low. Add the spice mix and stir continuously until it starts to smell really good – around 30-40 seconds. Watch it carefully. If you burn the spices at this point you have to start over. It will stick a bit.
  7. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 1 minute, scraping up any spice mix that stuck to the pan..
  8. Add the onion paste and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the chicken and green chilies and stir. Cover and simmer until the chicken is done. About 10-12 minutes.
  10. If the curry is a bit thick add a bit of water or chicken stock and stir.
  11. Add the cherry tomatoes. Let the chicken jalfrezi simmer another minute or so. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. It may be a bit under salted at this point.
  12. Garnish with a bit of coriander if desired.