We love this Easy Chicken Balti curry recipe. It's a healthy version that uses lots of fresh ingredients. As with any Balti, it has a thick spicy tomato based sauce and I like to use fresh tomatoes. The sauce is medium spicy. If you'd like to tone down the spice, I would recommend stirring through some natural yoghurt.
I start with fried onion, garlic and ginger and blitz those together with a balti paste to intensify the flavours. I then add the chicken along with fresh tomatoes which cook down to give a rich tasting sauce. As ususal, I like to stir through some fresh spinach at the end. It adds nutrition and lots of colour. This easy chicken balti recipe is straightforward to cook at home and makes a great mid-week meal. Ideally, you will need a hand blender or food processor to blitz the onion mixture. If you don't have one, you can still make this recipe and just stir those ingredients together. If you want to get ahead, you can make the onion mixture in advance and store it in the fridge.
What is a Balti?
A Balti is one of the most popular curry dishes in the UK. It was developed in the 1970's in Birmingham in what is known as 'The Balti Triangle'. A traditional Balti is cooked and served in a balti bowl, which is a small stainless steel pan. This helps capture all the flavours as they caramalise in the pan. At home, we cook it over a high heat in a large frying pan. The most common Balti is a Chicken Balti, but as it's all about the sauce, you can cook it with lamb or prawns /shrimp. If you are using prawns, add them in towards the end. Medium sizes prawns only need 3 - 4 minutes cooking time. Large prawns need 5 - 8 minutes.
What to serve with a Balti
Almost all curries are served with either rice or naan bread, or both. A basmati or fragrant jasmine rice go best with curries. If you don't want to use shop bought naan breads, you could make your own Flatbread. They are incredibly simple, quick to make and use just 3 ingredients.
A locally reared free range chicken is the best choice and will have the lowest carbon footprint. A locally reared chicken will help support your local farmers who play a crucial role in looking after your local countryside and environment. The most sustainable chicken you can buy is an organic free range one. In the UK, try to buy British chicken, preferably free range and check the label. This means it has been bred, reared and slaughtered in the UK.
How to store Chicken Balti
You can keep this Chicken Balti in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. It can be reheated. As with all meat dishes, make sure it is piping hot before serving. It also freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for 4 - 6 months.
Yes you can freeze cooked rice, perfect if you cook too much. Pack the rice into a container and leave it to cool for no longer than one hour at room temperature. Freeze it straight away for up to 1 month. Don't leave cooked rice at room temperature for too long as this is when bacteria can start to grow. To re-heat, pop it in the microwave, or cook from frozen in boiling water. Don't re-heat more than once and make sure it is piping hot before eating.
You often have to buy more fresh ginger than you need. You can peel it and freeze it. It's easy to grate when frozen and you won't waste any.
Once you've opened a jar of curry paste, add a little vegetable oil to the top to form a seal before storing it in the fridge. This will help keep it longer and stop it drying out on the top.
Easy Chicken Balti Curry Recipe
- 15 g butter organic, (replace with oil dairy free)
- 2 tablespoon sunflower oil organic
- 2 onions organic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves organic, peeled, crushed
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger organic, peeled and grated
- 300 g basmati rice organic, fairtrade
- 2 tablespoon balti curry paste organic, use slightly more if you like it hotter
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree organic
- 650 g diced chicken organic
- 175 ml chicken stock organic
- 4 tomatoes organic, large, cut into bite sized chunks
- 100 g spinach leaves organic
- Melt the butter and half the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Put the rice on to cook as per the packet instructions, then drain. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute., stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomato puree.
- Blitz the onion mixture in a food processor or with a hand blender until it becomes a smooth paste. Transfer it to a bowl and set aside. This mixture can be kept in the fridge, covered for up to 3 days.
- Put the pan back on the heat, add the rest of the sunflower oil and fry the chicken pieces for about 3 minutes until browned.
- Add the spiced onion mixture back to the pan with the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then simmer for 4 minutes.
- Add the spinach, one handful at a time and stir until it has wilted. Cook for 1 minute.
- Serve the curry together with the rice.
Nutrition per serving
The Nutritional Values are computer generated estimates based on industry standards and are provided as a helpful guide only.