Chicken in Jalfrezi Sauce

An authentically flavoured mild-heat curry that is both simple to prepare and cook. Perfect for entertaining, it can be made in advance, chilled and stored in the casserole with the lid on ready for reheating when required.


Serves 4

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 80g root ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ready-made Jalfrezi curry paste*
  • Meat and vegetables
  • 4 chicken quarters
  • Salt to season
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 red pepper roughly diced, 1-2cm pieces
  • 1 green pepper roughly diced, 1-2cm pieces
  • 4 tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

To finish:

  • 3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • A good handful of freshly chopped coriander

*Home-made Jalfrezi Curry Paste (makes 160ml):

  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 onion finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons oil


To make the sauce:

Peel and chop the ginger, garlic and onion. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan on the hob over a low to medium heat. When the oil is hot add the mustard and cumin seeds, cook for 1 minute.

Add the chopped ginger, garlic and onion continue to cook until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and curry paste. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat, cool a little then add the contents of the pan to a processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Wash and dry the pan.

Chicken and vegetables:

Heat the oil and butter in a pan over a low to medium heat. Season the chicken portions with a little salt and add to the pan. Brown on both sides to seal the meat.

Add the blended sauce to the chicken in the pan, put on the lid and cook over a low heat for about 40minutes stirring at least once during the cooking time. Add a little water during cooking if the sauce becomes too dry.

After 40 minutes, add the peppers, tomatoes and garam masala. Continue to cook with the lid on for 10-15 minutes until the peppers are tender.

To finish:

Before serving, spoon the yoghurt on top of the curry and sprinkle over the chopped coriander. Accompany with rice and warm Indian breads.

*Home-made Jalfrezi Curry Paste:

In a food processor or mortar and pestle, whiz up or pound together everything except the oil.

In a wok or heavy based saucepan, heat the oil, and fry the paste for 2-3 minutes until it starts to colour and smells aromatic.

This paste can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for 3 months. When storing place in a small jar, with a little oil poured over the surface.