Chicken curry with red chillies in silver bowl on wooden board

Chicken jalfrezi

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(105 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4

Instead of calling the Indian takeaway, make your own easy chicken jalfrezi. This curry is also healthy with two of your 5-a-day and a dose of vitamin C

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal252
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre5g
  • protein30g
  • salt0.4g
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    For the sauce

    • ½ large onion, roughly chopped



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

    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
    • vegetable oil, for frying
    • 400g can plum tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp ground coriander
    • 1 tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp turmeric



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

    For the meat & veg

    • 2-3 chicken breasts, diced
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp turmeric



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

    • ½ large onion, sliced



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

    • 1 red pepper, chopped
    • 2 red chillies, finely chopped (optional)
    • 2 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…

    • handful of fresh, chopped coriander leaves
    • cooked basmati rice or naan bread to serve


    1. Take 2-3 diced chicken breasts and coat in 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander and 1 tsp turmeric then leave it to marinate in the fridge while you make the sauce.

    2. To make the sauce, fry ½ roughly chopped large onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 finely chopped green chilli in a large pan with a little vegetable oil, for around 5 mins, until browned.

    3. Add 300ml water to the onion mixture and simmer for around 20 minutes.

    4. Meanwhile, put a 400g can plum tomatoes in a food processor and give it a good whizz (aim for a smooth consistency).

    5. Heat another large pan and gently fry 1 tbsp coriander, 1 tbsp cumin and 1 tsp turmeric in a splash of oil for about a minute. Add the tomatoes to this pan and simmer for around 10 minutes.

    6. Next, whizz your onion mixture in the food processor and add it to the spiced tomato sauce. Season generously, stir, then simmer for 20 minutes. You can make large batches of this sauce and freeze it for later use.

    7. Fry the marinated chicken in vegetable oil and stir continuously. After a few minutes, turn down the heat and add the remaining ½ sliced onion, 1 chopped red pepper and 2 finely chopped red chillies. Stir until the onions and pepper soften.

    8. Add the sauce you prepared earlier to the cooked chicken and simmer for around 10-20 minutes, adding a splash of water if it gets too thick.

    9. Just before you dish it up, stir in 2 tsp garam masala and handful of chopped coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    9th Oct, 2018
    Used this a lot. Really easy and if you want it a bit hotter just add an extra chilli or some more spice.
    Steve Jarrett's picture
    Steve Jarrett
    23rd Sep, 2018
    Excellent Jalfrezi receipe. This is my go to dish in any Indian, and it always varies. This matches easily the best of them. Used whole spices in a pestle in parts to improve, and more chillis. Excellent mix though. On the negative comments for this READ THE RECIPE. Anyone that gets bland flavour from lots of spice including a tablespoon each of cumin and coriander and totally misses the “season well” phrase should stop cooking and stick with a take away !!!
    Donna Codrington's picture
    Donna Codrington
    18th Jan, 2018
    Well did this the other day I added some chill powder at the end could do With a little more liquid so next time will not reduce the water mix so much but good
    Beth Hammond's picture
    Beth Hammond
    18th Jan, 2019
    I respectively disagree
    clarebabie's picture
    9th Oct, 2017
    Yes lacks depth of flavour.It could be my garam masala tho.Ill add nigella seeds and star anise to the mix mext tim as everything really tasted it good just need a litleore flavour. Well written recipe!
    8th Aug, 2017
    Having read the other reviews I agree that this recipe does lack depth of flavour of the type you get with curry. My tip is add the garam masala to the marinade on the chicken at the beginning, I also added salt and later on chicken stock to the sauce. When you taste the sauce on its own after these amendments, it has flavour but when you cut into the chicken it doesn't seem to have absorbed the flavours.
    14th Jul, 2017
    And deserves 5 stars
    14th Jul, 2017
    Outstanding. Everyone enjoyed it. Really, really tasty. We served it with popadoms and chutney. Delicious. Thanks for posting the recipe!
    28th Feb, 2017
    Hi, unfortunately I have to say that after following this recipe to the T it did taste rather bland. I would also like to point out that there is no mention of seasoning anywhere in this recipe. As an amateur cook I tend to follow a recipe step by step and I saw no mention of adding salt to any part of this recipe. My wife, who is an experienced cook advised me that an authentic Jalfrezi dish requires nigella seeds and star anise to give it the right flavour, these ingredients are not mentioned above at all. Dont get me wrong, I was quite proud of myself from creating this dish from the above method, which has been well written and easy to follow. It was only after my family tasted it that they pointed out that it was a little bland to say the least. The following day my wife added the nigella seeds and star anise with a couple more things and it tasted great. I will try it again.
    maggiebleksley's picture
    27th Dec, 2017
    How on earth do you people manage to make a dish taste bland when it contains all those spices and fresh chillies???


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    7th Feb, 2017
    I've made this a few times. I've found that if you add a few splashes of vinegar throughout the cooking it really melds the flavors and makes them pop.
    10th Mar, 2015
    2 tsp garam masala is too much in my opinion and I regreted the 2nd spoonful almost straight away. I also added Ginger, Fenugreek and a smidge of Taramind for a light tangy touch. Don't forget a pinch of salt.
    25th Sep, 2015
    Aye mate. Salt was another thing I added. If you look at my comment you will see I sort of agree on the garam masala. Also added some chopped green peppers (capsicums) and a couple of chopped fresh tomatoes.