Healthier chicken balti

Healthier chicken balti

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(62 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 pods, 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 cloves, 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, questions and tips

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12th Feb, 2016
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
6th Feb, 2016
Found this too watery - I think using 400ml of Passata would make it better than the 150ml of added water.
4th Feb, 2016
RosieVimes's picture
4th Oct, 2015
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.
21st Sep, 2015
Really tasty curry, will definitely make again but will probably add an extra chilli or chilli powder as I like it a bit spicier.
19th Sep, 2015
Loved this curry as did all the family, had no paprika but prepared as per recipe. Really delicious, will definitely make it again.
6th May, 2015
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!
9th Jan, 2015
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.
30th Oct, 2014
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.
29th Aug, 2014
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.


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