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The Curry House Cookbook

chicken balti
recipe version 1.1
version 2.0 is now available
see The Curry House Cookery Book


Balti is actually the name of the cooking pot and serving dish. A decent wok is a good substitute. My balti has red and green sweet (bell) peppers in it and looks very colourful. Tastes pretty yummy too. If you have individual balti pots, heat them up and serve the sizzling curry in them. Use nan bread to scoop out the curry from the balti. Spoons or forks are NOT allowed!


  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 red and 1 green sweet (bell) pepper - cut into half-inch squares (well, sort of)
  • 1 medium onion cut into biggish pieces
  • red and green chillies - deseeded and veined then coarsely chopped. The quantity and variety if chillies is up to you. But, as a guide, I would use 3 red and 3 green fleshy chillies for a medium heat. You can always add some chilli powder half way through the cooking if it's not hot enough
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon good paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • half teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A whole batch of Basic Curry Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated tomato purée
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  1. Heat a little of the oil in a wok or balti pan over a high heat
  2. Add the peppers and stir fry until they go a little brown at the edges. Remove the peppers from the wok and set aside
  3. Put a little more oil into the wok, heat through, then add some of the chicken pieces and stir fry until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside. You will need to stir fry the chicken in 2 or 3 batches otherwise it will just stew
  4. Add the rest of the oil to the wok and heat through on a medium heat
  5. Add the onion pieces, chopped chillies and cumin seeds and stir fry until the onion is translucent but not brown
  6. Add the paprika, turmeric and cinnamon on stir fry for 30 seconds
  7. Return the chicken pieces to the wok along with the Basic Curry sauce, tomato purée and salt
  8. Bring to a simmer then cook on a low heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Add a little hot water if the sauce gets too thick.
  9. 10 minutes from the end, stir the peppers and garam masala into the sauce.
  10. Serve in heated individual balti pots. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

©David Smith 1996-2004

© 1996 - 2004 David W Smith
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