Healthier chicken balti

Healthier chicken balti

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(85 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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18th Apr, 2020
Delicious - added half a chopped chilli when cooking off the onions and the remainder of the chopped chilli at the end. Dont forget to season with salt or it will be bland. I added slightly more passata (300ml total) and a few tbsp of water as it cooked to avoid it being too sloppy.
Bharat Satyajit's picture
Bharat Satyajit
20th Mar, 2020
i made using the recipe and it test very good really the recipe helped me to cook chicken for the first time and using very good quality of masala make the taste more yammiii...
28th Jan, 2019
Having read the comments I put in a full tsp or more of chilli, almost doubled the spices and put in a chopped green chilli as well as the whole one. Also used a little more passata and no water. It turned out really well - still not too hot - and I will make it again.
17th Nov, 2018
This is a brilliant recipe that I have made again and again. I do add more chilli than the recipe suggests, otherwise it is a keeper. If you are not watching the calories, add half a can of (full fat) coconut milk for a completely different, but equally delicious, curry. (Stick the other half of the milk in the freezer for another day).
Peter Burton's picture
Peter Burton
11th Aug, 2018
A lot of work for a tasteless recipe. Not impressed!
Claire Sexton's picture
Claire Sexton
17th May, 2018
Love this recipe! It’s easy, low calorie and I serve it with mushroom bhaji and chapattis to keep the calories down
14th Oct, 2017
Really tasty this one!
24th Jul, 2017
Made this twice so far, it tastes delicious! My mom and dad loved it. Will make it again...
Sal Southall's picture
Sal Southall
22nd Mar, 2017
This is so good full of flavour, I made it with drumsticks worked very well.
20th Nov, 2016
Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe to a t but would add more chilli powder next time.


18th Jul, 2018
Is the calorie count with or without rice? If the rice is include how many grams are considered a portion?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. The calorie count is without the rice or chapatis. All ingredients listed as 'to serve' on our recipes are not included in the nutritional information.
30th Oct, 2014
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!
23rd May, 2014
made this today, it is very good, will do again
28th Aug, 2013
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.
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