Healthier chicken balti

Healthier chicken balti

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus marinating


Serves 4
A lighter version of the Indian takeaway classic from Angela Nilsen, this tomato-based curry is packed with extra spinach and peppers

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal217
  • fat6.6g
  • saturates1.3g
  • carbs10.2g
  • sugars8.2g
  • fibre2.5g
  • protein30.2g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pod, split
  • 1 small to medium green chilli
  • ½ tsp cumin seed
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 2½ cm-piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 250ml organic passata
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 85g baby spinach leaves



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • chapatis or basmati rice, to serve (optional)


  1. Put the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice, paprika, chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper (step 1), then leave to marinate for at least 15 mins, preferably a bit longer.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or sauté pan. Tip in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole chilli and cumin seeds, and stir-fry briefly just to colour and release their fragrance (step 2). Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins until the onion starts to turn brown. Add the remaining oil, then drop in the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 mins or until it no longer looks raw. Mix the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander and garam masala together. Tip into the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 mins (step 3). Pour in the passata and 150ml water, then drop in the chunks of pepper. When starting to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is tender.

  3. Stir in the tomato, simmer for 2-3 mins, then add the spinach and turn it over in the pan to just wilt. Season with a little salt. If you want to thin down the sauce, splash in a little more water. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom pods, if you wish, before serving. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with warm chapatis or basmati rice, if you like.

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Comments (64)

Gemmab2020's picture

Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe to a t but would add more chilli powder next time.

MrsEMoss's picture

Found this currently really wet & this seemed to drown away the flavour. Won't be making again

Gabi_AMJ's picture

Perfect! I was looking for a healthy, easy Balti recipe to make for the family as an everyday dish- we'd gotten into a bad habit of buying a stodgy curry from the shop to stick in the microwave. This recipe is so easy and its much lighter and just as tasty as the shop-bought Balti. I followed the recipe exactly, but added more chilli powder and chopped up a red chilli pepper, coz we like it spicy. We all still found it mild, so will be adding more chillies next time.

Niamy94's picture

Halved this to serve 2 and still had some leftover to stick in the freezer. Didn't bother with the lime juice and actually left it marinating overnight. Was so tasty and both cleaned their plates. I didn't have all the spices so just substituted some of them for what I had in the cupboard!

jaynepearson's picture

I've made this loads of times - it serves more than 4 people! I add a couple of chopped red chillies, as it brightens up the flavour and adds heat. I've also made a veggie version, using cauliflower, potatoes and French beans - it's delicious and even lower in calories than the chicken version.

jeyleebean's picture

I used a 400g can of chopped tomatoes as I didn't have passata on hand following another comment here. Overall I found this dish had too much of a strong tomato taste for my liking. I followed everything else to a tee minus the ginger. I like my curries to be a bit spicier, so add more chillies if you like this with a bite. I also doubled the spinach to up the vege amount in there. Worked out great.

Yo-Lisa's picture

Made with 500g of Chicken thigh instead of chicken breast. And it was very delicious, considering my ever first time to cook a indian dish ! but I like to put more of Chillies to make it spicier !

weaselpimp's picture

Just made this dish. Lovely fresh taste, I'll be adding another chilli in future. Also I didn't put the water in, just added a bit more passatta. Delicious but could be a bit hotter for my taste

paulg's picture

Found this too watery - I think using 400ml of Passata would make it better than the 150ml of added water.

rosievimes's picture

This is a firm favourite in our house. Straightforward to prepare with incredible flavours. Usually serve ours with some chapatis dry heated over a high heat in a frying pan.

Lizx's picture

Really tasty curry, will definitely make again but will probably add an extra chilli or chilli powder as I like it a bit spicier.

polly1's picture

Loved this curry as did all the family, had no paprika but prepared as per recipe. Really delicious, will definitely make it again.

chu237's picture

That was really good! I was in a hurry so I skipped the marinating bit, and just put all the spices in the pan at the same time. I served it with brown rice and it was a relatively quick and delicious dinner!

Loubs's picture

Wow! This is the best curry I have ever made. I used chopped tomatoes instead of passata and added a tin of chick peas and finely sliced green beans. It had a wonderful texture and I found the spices were perfect. The whole family loved it and you would never guess this was a low fat recipe. Will definitely make again.

Garfield90's picture

Really easy recipe! I didn't have a few of the ingredients so I substituted hot chilli powder with crushed chilli flakes, 1 cinnamon stick for 1tsp ground cinnamon, cumin seeds for ground cumin. 1 small to medium green chilli for crushed chilli flakes again. I just couldn't be bothered to buy any more herbs/spices as the cupboard is full. The curry is genuinely really nice, it is probably the best curry I've made from this website, and its all from scratch. I've tried many using different curry pastes etc! I didn't bother with the fresh coriander either because I don't like it.

Ruthie_15's picture

Made this for my family and it went down a storm! Tasted amazing and was fairly easy to make. I used mild chilli powder as my mum can't handle spicy food well but it tasted great regardless. We ate ours with homemade chapatis using another Good Food recipe. Would definitely recommend and will make again.

River's picture

Great recipe. Tastes fantastic and the preparation isn't too involved.

carrow's picture

Packed full of flavour. I used the mild chilli powder as my little one was eating it and my older one doesn`t like lots of spice. I also used the whole carton of passata 500 g and let it sizzle a bit longer I didn`t want to throw the rest out.. It tasted really fresh. I served it with sub rolls but next time I will add potatoes. Will be making this again soon !!!

zadkiel73's picture

Made this for my partner who is on a diet. Pleasantly surprised and turned out really nice. Good fresh flavour to it and very tasty. Added hot paprika powder and some cayenne pepper to it which gave it a nice kick. Would make again


Questions (0)

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Tips (3)

Garfield90's picture

Use 1tsp ground cinnamon for 1 cinnamon stick,
use crushed chilli flakes for hot chilli powder & 1 small to medium green chilli,
use 1/2 tsp of ground cumin for cumin seeds, also
use 450g of chicken thighs as this meat is a lot softer and doesn't dry up like chicken breast.
Can also put garlic, onion, ginger into food processor to save some arm work!

dorothyfinch's picture

made this today, it is very good, will do again

nicoleinafrica's picture

I always ignore the cooking time for boneless, skinless breast, 20 mins is far too long, and the meat will be dry and tough. Either use meat on the bone, or else add the (small) chopped boneless chicken right at the end of the cooking time: stir the raw, marinated chicken into the cooked sauce, stir till it is just cooked, remove from heat and serve straight away.