Chicken curry with red chillies in silver bowl on wooden board

Chicken jalfrezi

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(257 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

  • sauce only
  • 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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    10th Jun, 2020
    I always end up choosing the chicken jalfrezi when I eat out at Indian restaurants, I love this dish. I have just cooked my first one at home following this recipe and was really surprised with the result. The look, the consistency, the level of heat was as good as any I have eaten out. The only thing that differed is that it tasted too "tomato-ey". That's the only aspect of the recipe I would change next time.
    Matt Feeley's picture
    Matt Feeley
    18th May, 2020
    The reason why some people are saying it's bland, and some people are saying it's good is because they forgot to include _salt_ in the recipe. Add salt and the flavor is spot on. Saw a poster say it worked well with boullion too
    12th May, 2020
    Lovely flavour and so easy to cook too. I followed the guide step by step and it’s not u til right at that the end that all the flavours come together. Will be making again for sure
    Paul Bree's picture
    Paul Bree
    25th Apr, 2020
    You must be chicken jalfrezi if you thought this curry was bland best curry have made in a while :)
    Carrie Byrne's picture
    Carrie Byrne
    10th Apr, 2020
    have to agree with other posters here. it wasn't hot at all. very disappointed in this dish. I even added chilli flakes and curry powder but it was so bland!!
    3rd Mar, 2020
    Just made this as Jalfrazi is my favourite curry. Thank goodness I tried the sauce before cooking the chicken, it is awful, so much that I pored it away. The flavour is too strong in tomato to be a curry and there was no heat even though I added extra chilli. I suggest that the tin of tomatoes is replaced with tomato purée to taste. Sad to say I will be going out for a curry tonight.
    18th Jan, 2020
    Just made this recipe and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all the family and certainly not bland. My daughter even commented how nice it was, asking if I could make it again if the near future. I followed the recipe to the letter apart from adding a single knorr chicken stock cube to the tomato and spice sauce as it was blipping away. Give it a try you won’t regret it!
    James Taylor's picture
    James Taylor
    17th Jan, 2020
    I made the recipe for the first time and thought it was great. Also do not understand how its coming out bland for some folks? I did add a chicken oxo cube to the water to make a stock for added flavour and also a thumb of ginger during the first step with the onions and garlic. During the spice frying step with the tomato I added chilli powder to give it some more heat, turned out great.
    amyroseoverstall's picture
    21st Dec, 2019
    me and my mum cooked this in 30 mins smells amazing and tastes even better. Instead of a food processor we just used a blender. Fantastic recipe.
    6th Nov, 2019
    Doubled up on spices really tasty was a big hit with the family


    20th Aug, 2019
    How can I substitute the nutrition values from chicken breast (3) to skinless boneless thighs (7) and then without meat- conversions are not straight forward-any ideas?
    19th Apr, 2020
    I added chilli as standard anyway but I would recommend adding sugar as the tomato taste is quite tart and that’s what was missing for me.
    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.
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