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How To Make Chicken Jalfrezi Curry

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Chicken jalfrezi is one of the easiest BIR chicken curries to make.

This chicken jalfrezi recipe is the same as those found in my cookbooks ‘The Curry Guy’ and ‘The Curry Guy Bible’ but done as a British Indian restaurant (BIR) portion to serve 1 – 2 people.

In my cookbooks, the recipes are family size to serve 4 or more as part of a multi-course meal.

Chicken jalfrezi curry is THE MOST POPULAR curry in the UK Indian restaurants. That’s right, it’s not chicken tikka masala like many people think but that’s still a close second. 

Chicken jalfrezi offers a nice spicy kick with delicious veggies cooked into the sauce. 

Chicken jalfrezi curry

Absolutely delicious! Now you can make this restaurant classic at home!

Chicken jalfrezi is a great beginner curry!

There are two good reasons I say this.

If you want to make a British Indian restaurant (BIR) curry and you’re not sure which one to start with, this chicken jalfrezi curry could be it.


Unlike other curry house favourites, chicken jalfrezi only requires two ground spices which are mixed powder and chilli powder. Easy!

It is also great from a spicing point of view. Fresh chillies are also added to the curry along with the chilli powder. Chicken jalfrezi is usually quite spicy but you are in control there.

You can reduce the amount used to your own taste preferences. That or add more like I usually do. 

What exactly is a jalfrezi curry?

This is not an authentic chicken jalfrezi recipe like you might find in the cookbooks from the British Raj.

It’s like what you would find in most good curry houses. The only real difference between and authentic chicken jalfrezi and this is the use of the curry house style base curry sauce. This is what gives the curry the flavour and sauce texture you are looking for.

Chicken jalfezi is a quick stir fry. 

Back in the days of the British Raj, it would normally be made on the Sundays after big hunts. 

The hunt parties would often be grand occasions. The Indian chefs would create massive feasts with the wild boar, deer and game birds shot. 

Sunday, however was the day of rest and no one liked waste. So the pre-cooked meat served at the party would be cooked into a curry like this chicken jalfrezi.

Forward planning…

Curry Sauce
I have written a large and small version of my curry sauce recipe which will need to me made before cooking this recipe.

The large version is made just like they do in the best curry houses. Make a large batch for best results.

It keeps in the fridge for three days and freezes well. The small batch version works well too though it’s not as authentic.

Chicken Jalfrezi curry

It’s always a good idea to get your ingredients ready before starting to cook.

I pre-cook chicken in two different ways. Most restaurants use this method to prepare their chicken for this curry. It is slowly stewed in spices.

The cooking juices can be used to add additional flavour to your curry. You could also add tandoori style chicken tikka to this recipe if you’d like to create tandoori Chicken Jalfrezi.

If time is an issue, you might also like to stew the chicken in the base sauce. This add a nice flavour to the base sauce. 

If you would like to read a little bit about the history of the jalfrezi, please read my earlier post here.


Although this is a recipe for chicken jalfrezi, the most important part of the recipe is the fried vegetables and sauce. 

You can use any main ingredient you like. 

Just like when you go to your local curry house and see jalfrezi on the menu. You can order chicken jalfrezi or ask for another main ingredient like tandoori lamb, paneer or even keema.

Following are a few step by step photos of the chicken jalfrezi cooking process.

Frying the vegetables

Heat the oil over medium-high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the onions, bell peppers and chillies.

Adding garlic and ginger paste to the pan

Fry the vegetables for about three minutes and then stir in the garlic and ginger paste.

Adding ground spices to the pan

Add the mixed powder and chilli powder and stir well to coat the veggies.

Pouring in the tomato puree

Stir in the tomato puree and bring to a simmer.

Stirring in base curry sauce.

Add a ladle or two of the base curry sauce. Top it up from time to time if the curry is looking dry.

Adding meat to the chicken jalfrezi curry

Add the pre-cooked chicken to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce. Bring to a simmer.

Garnishing with coriander (cilantro)

Season with salt to taste and then add the quartered tomatoes, garam masala and some coriander (cilantro). A nice squeeze of lime or lemon juice is also good.

Adding kasoori methi

Stir in the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves. One last stir and then serve.

Here are more curry house curry favourites you might like to try!

  • Chicken Korma
  • Chicken Madras
  • Saag Paneer
  • Chicken Dhansak
  • Lamb Rogan Josh
  • Lamb Vindaloo
  • Chicken Chilli Garlic
  • Chicken Patia
  • Lamb Bhuna
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
    chicken jalfrezi curry

    So good served with basmati rice.

    chicken jalfrezi curry

    Dig in!

    Yield: 2

    Restaurant Style Curries - How To Make Chicken Jalfrezi

    chicken jalfrezi curry
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes



    1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the onion and bell peppers and fry for about three minutes. You want the veggies to still have a bit of bite to them.
    2. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further 30 seconds and then add the green chillies, chilli powder and mixed powder.
    3. Stir well to coat the veggies with the spices and then add the tomato puree and bring to a simmer.
    4. Now add a ladle or two of the base sauce. Let this come to a simmer. Do not stir unless the sauce is sticking to the pan.
    5. Add the chicken to the simmering sauce and stir so that it is coated with the sauce mixture. You are building this curry from the bottom up. If it is looking dry, add more base sauce. If you add too much, just cook it down until you are happy with the consistency. Ad the tomato and stir in and heath through for a minute
    6. Season with salt to taste and adjust other seasoning too. If you want it spicier, you could add more chilli powder or green chillies for example. Just be sure to simmer any added spices for a while to cook out the raw flavour.
    7. Sprinkle the fenugreek leaves and garam masala on top. Garnish with the chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves and a twist of lemon or lime to serve.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 15g

    The nutritional info provided is only an estimate.

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    If you like the sound of this chicken jalfrezi curry, please don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Saturday 16th of July 2022

Awesome recipe, just made it and the base sauce! I will definitely be using the base for everything. It’s amazing

Caroline Toombs

Friday 22nd of July 2022

Thanks very much. Dan


Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Hi Dan. I use to make your jalfrezi a few years ago, and I’m sure it had mango chutney in it? I’ve came back on and it’s not there

Caroline Toombs

Monday 4th of July 2022

My recipes have evolved over the years but go ahead and add a bit of mango chutney if you enjoyed that. Thanks very much. Dan


Monday 7th of February 2022

There seem to be a few things in the pictures that are not in the recipe? Tomatoes, garam masala, fenugreek?

I've tried this a couple of times and it feels close but not there yet. I also feel I'm adding a lot of salt to try and bring it together.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Thank you for noticing, I have added those things to the recipe. Dan


Monday 24th of January 2022

Just making my first batch of base sauce. Smells lovely

Dan Toombs

Thursday 27th of January 2022

Great to hear! Thanks Dan

Virat Sharma

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

I found this recipe online, and it looked and sounded so lovely and tasty that I decided to try it out for myself. It was a huge hit with both my spouse and myself. What wonderful flavors from such a simple dish (I love those kinds of recipes), and the taste feels like something I toiled over for hours to achieve, haha. Thank you for sharing this information, it is really appreciated. Much Love From Amma Ruchis .

Dan Toombs

Friday 24th of September 2021

Thank you so much, I am very glad you enjoyed the recipe. Dan

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