Healthier chicken balti

Healthier chicken balti

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(45 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp 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)

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  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.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (60)

zmikeo's picture

Had this last night as one of my 5-2 diet meals though I used white fish which i marinated overnight and was very tasty, I cut up the chilli as like the heat and also added another tin of tomatoes and increased the spices.
Had it with 50 g of bulgur wheat and it only came too 425kcal, will be having again as have 3 portions left .

mssarah85's picture

I cooked this just because I love curry and I love this recipie! It's so fresh tasting, the only thing I did different is added extra passata as I like my curry a bit more saucy. The fact that its so low in fat is an added bonus.

fionamair's picture

Really delicious recipe and pretty straight forward as long as you have all the spices.

I added a chopped whole green chilli and adapted the recipe to feed 6 people. I made it the day before serving so all the flavors developed and used boneless chicken thighs.

Will definitely be making this again.

ymnpwr44's picture

Oh My God, I tried this recipe and it was amazing, full of flavor and very delicious.....

ditzpot's picture

This was really tasty. I put more green chillis in and added two tablespoons of creme fraiche and a chicken stock cube to give this just a bit more oomph.

lmercerlol's picture

We love spicy curries so as this was partway through cooking I knew I would need to add some further ingredients. we sliced our chilli and added an extra half red chilli.Then at the end added fair bit of Natco curry powder.So if you order chicken balti at a restaurant or takeaway and love that....following our tips will get you the same. However fresher, less fat and so so much tastier.Plus you made it yourself.

johnkaiman's picture

Very tasty, but found that chicken was a little dry by the end. Will use chicken thighs next time - cheaper and more flavour!

alicewrigley's picture

Delish! I added more chillies and it was great, really lovely flavour and texture.

darrenharris7's picture

One word....yum! (I know that's 3...)

tamarabrown's picture

Superb healthy curry!added 2 green chillies (one chopped) to give it more spicy kick and also more ginger and fresh coriander. sereved with some mushroom pilau and fresh onion,coriander and tomato salad! Delicious!(marinated chicken for about 6 hours)

CailinLondon's picture

Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious!

joktattie's picture

I agree with Frantic Flapjack "okay but not memorable!"
A lot of spice but not much flavour was my experience.
I only marinated the chicken for 30mins which is probably not enough
I know!

Frantic Flapjack's picture

This was okay but not memorable. The spiced chicken balti recipe on this site is better in my opinion. Be careful when frying the whole chilli - mine exploded. May be a good idea to slice a small split into it before putting it into the pan.

lrigby1's picture

Delicious. Its hard to believe it is healthy too.

MrsLB's picture

This is an excellent curry. I used 500ml of passata and increased the spices by about a third to make it a little hotter. Best made the day before.

mooncat1981's picture

Absolutely delicious. Sliced the green chilli before adding, and used mild chilli powder instead of paprika, for added flavour as well as colour. Made for a spicier curry, that even my 8 yr old who is new to spicy food really enjoyed. Will definately make this again. Better than a take away.

donnadoo98's picture

Wow- what a delicious curry! It was perfect for the whole family, and was very flavoursome and spicy- and so healthy too! It was easy to make, although took me longer than the recipe said but was so worth the effort. I thoroughly recommend this to everyone!

darrenharris7's picture

Yum........... 10/10 for flavour and frehness. Marinated chicken for 2 hours and used fresh lime.

twiggles's picture

We love curries, and all the family (inclusive of young children) enjoyed this recipe. I did marinate the meat for longer, & like most curries, it will probably taste even better the next day!

hifigary's picture

I used chopped tomatoes and some puree. Saved in binder to make again. Not the spiciest curry but very tasty


Questions (0)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (3)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.


Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.


Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.


See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at

Good Food Apps

Download the BBC Good Food Recipes, tips & cooking tools app and get good food on the go.