Say hello to this Chicken Jalfrezi recipe – it’s been in the works since a whooping 2015. You could say it’s likely one of my longest projects to date – it’s officially six years old and only making it’s debut on the blog now!
The reason why it’s taken this recipe so darn long to see the light of day is this – my husband does not like capsicum. And therefore, it just never ended up on our meal rotation, like, ever. So whilst this recipe has been in the works for six years, I probably only cooked it six times during that duration.
I just gave it a hand last week whilst at my Mother’s house and I think I finally cracked the code and got something I am finally happy sharing with you all. Hurrah for the Chicken Jalfrezi recipe finally graduating from my drafts folder!
What is Chicken Jalfrezi?
Chicken Jalfrezi is a boneless chicken curry made with a traditional onion and tomato masala. It is characterised by the inclusion of large, cubes pieces of capsicum added in towards the end of the cook-time, so they keep their colour and bite. Some versions of Chicken Jalfrezi also add large pieces of onion, but my recipe doesn’t.
So truthfully, this isn’t something I’ve grown up eating. Neither has my husband. It’s a special sort of dish that for us appears to be a dining-out or takeout special. And indeed, this is a very popular dish on the British takeout scene. And it’s popular for a good reason, it’s an absolutely delicious curry. – I, for one, adore the aroma and flavour of crunchy capsicum in not just this curry but also others such as Chilli Paneer.
Is Chicken Jalfrezi healthy?
So I see Chicken Jalfrezi often used as a ‘slimming’ meal or recipe and I can totally see why. When cooked with chicken breast pieces, it is very low in fat, high in protein and very modest in calories. Even when cooked with chicken thigh, it’s still pretty low calorie.
The use of capscium, which is another low calorie and low carbohydrate vegetable, bulks up the curry to make it even more filling, nutritious and satisfying.
So in essence, it certainly is a lot healthier and lower calorie than various other curries such as a butter chicken or chicken tikka masala. I suppose that’s a good bonus, eh? It’s also dairy-free too, so if that’s a dietary concern for you, you’re in luck.
To make this curry even healthier, reduce the amount of oil specified in the instructions.
Using the best ingredients to make this curry shine
- Ideally, you want to use boneless chicken thigh pieces. Chicken thigh is significantly more tender, juicy and generally more enjoyable than breast pieces. Ask your butcher to cut them in curry-size pieces
- I like using a combination of coloured capsicums for this recipe – it looks beautifully vibrant and it also adds a variety of flavours to the dish
- As always, I recommend using fresh ingredients. Fresh onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic will do wonders for the depth of flavour
Chicken Jalfrezi Substitutions
- You are free to use any cut of chicken for this recipe, including breast pieces. You can also use bone-in chicken too, just substitute the same weight of boneless chicken for bone-in
- If you’d like to use pieces of onion in this recipe, replace one of the capsicum for half an onion diced into large square pieces
- If you do not have fresh tomatoes, you can use tomato puree instead. About 2-3 tablespoons will suffice.
- If you’d like to make a vegetarian version of this recipe, you can use paneer instead of boneless chicken. Just substitute the same amount of chicken for paneer – cube the paneer and fry it, ensuring the paneer has turned golden evenly before adding into the curry. It won’t need to cook for long – 10 minutes maximum to soak in all the flavour.
How can you serve Chicken Jalfrezi?
The sky is the limit! Honestly, this is my FAVOURITE part about this curry. It’s so versatile! You can eat it with rice, or any kind of bread such as naan or roti. Poppadum’s work a treat too on the side. You can enjoy it without any carby companions too – just grab a fork and this is a great meal to enjoy too, thanks to the boneless chicken! It goes great served alongside a cooling salad and raita (yogurt sauce).
Enjoy, with love x
- 0.5 cup oil or ghee
- 3 onions, chopped
- 4 green chillis, whole
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 whole bulb of garlic, minced
- Large chunk of ginger, minced
- 800g chicken boneless, cut into bite-sized pieces, preferably thigh
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2tsp paprika
- 1.5 tsp crushed black pepper
- 1tsp coriander powder
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 0.5tsp turmeric powder
- 3 capsicums, preferably different colours, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 5tbsp white vinegar
- Fresh coriander, for garnish
- In a pan, add the oil/ghee. Add in the onions and fry on a medium-high heat, stirring regularly to ensure the onions brown evenly
- Once the onions are beginning to turn golden (between 10-15 minutes) add the garlic, ginger and green chillis. Fry this for a few minutes
- Add in the tomatoes. Turn the heat up to high and fry the mixture until most of the water dries out, the oil begins to separate and the mixture looks jammy
- Add the chicken pieces and all the spices. Fry these on high heat, stirring regularly to ensure the chicken does not burn and is coloured evenly. Continue to fry this for about 10 minutes
- Add about 1/3 cup of water, cover and allow the chicken to cook for about 20 minutes
- Add in the vinegar and the diced capsicum. Stir through, then turn the heat down to low and allow this to cook for between 5-10 minutes, covered with the lid. The capsicum should remain crunchy
- FInish off by stirring in some chopped coriander before serving.