This chicken balti recipe will get you restaurant quality results.
I first learned to make chicken Balti at a restaurant called Shababs in Birmingham’s Balti Triangle.
This is the recipe I learned that day and it is the chicken Balti I make most often and also teach at my cookery classes.
It’s the real deal unlike so many chicken Balti recipes out there.
One of the key ingredients in a true chicken Balti is the Balti bowl itself.
You can cook this chicken balti in any pan and it will still be delicious.
That said, part of going out for a balti is experiencing having your curry served to you sizzling hot in the same balti bowl it was cooked in.
I recommend picking up a couple of Balti bowls if you want that experience. They aren’t expensive and can be purchased right here from the Birmingham Balti Bowl Company.
I am not affiliated with them but highly recommend their product.
Use a real Balti bowl to cook this chicken Balti and you will love being able to experience an authentic Balti at home.
Most chicken Baltis served at restaurants are not actually Baltis.
Unfortunately, these days most Baltis are not cooked the way they should be.
They are still delicious but the presentation is all wrong. Most chefs cook their Baltis in a regular frying pan and then serve the curry in an ornamental Balti pan.
As I said above, you could do this too. But just think about that sizzling hot chicken Balti you could be dining from if you use a real stainless steel Balti bowl.
How I got to know Balti…
Andy Munro is one of the leading experts on all things Balti. You can read more about him and the Birmingham balti scene right here.
I met up with Andy recently and he showed me his Birmingham, Balti Birmingham.
We visited all of his favourite Balti restaurants and Shababs was one of them. That opened my eyes to the real thing. A good chicken Balti is a work of art.
Make it as it should be and you will be in Balti heaven!
The base sauce
The slow cooked base curry sauce is another of the most important ingredients in a true chicken Balti. It’s easy to make and one of my recipes is here.
My site features many recipes that call for the base curry house style sauce.
The smooth base is one of the things that makes a British curry, British. If you want that famous flavour and texture, you’ve got to make the base!
Can I make a Balti without making the base sauce?
Yes and no. In order to get a Balti right, the base sauce must be used. You can still make a delicious curry without it as I show in my chicken Balti from scratch recipe here.
Another important ingredient in an authentic chicken Balti is pre-cooked chicken.
Cooking the chicken first adds another layer of delicious flavour.
The tandoori method gives an amazing flavour of smoky, marinated and grilled chicken. The meat juices can also be added to the sauce.
The stewed chicken option offers succulently cooked chicken with lots of sauce you can add with your base sauce.
If you like this chicken Balti recipe, you might like to try some of these favourites too…
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil or ghee
- 1/4 medium onion - finely chopped
- 1 tomato - diced
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 2 fresh green bird's eye chilli peppers
- 1/2 large green or red pepper roughly chopped
- 2 - 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbs tandoori masala
- Curry Base Sauce
- 2 tsp Mixed powder
- 225g (1/2 lb) - tandoori chicken
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt to taste
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan or balti pan over high heat.
- Toss in the chopped onion and allow to fry for about 3 minutes or until the onion is beginning to turn soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. About 30 seconds should do the job. You just want to cook off the rawness.
- Spoon in the tandoori masala and curry powder.
- Now add the green chillies, bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Give this all a good stir to combine.
- Add about half of the base curry sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Throw in the chicken pieces and top as needed with more base sauce. Remember, Baltis are quite dry curries so don't add too much. If you do, you could always cook it down.
- Simmer for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. Stir in more base sauce as needed.
- Add the cider vinegar and simmer for another minute.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the coriander into the curry and season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the lime juice.