How To Make A Superior Chicken Balti

This chicken balti tasted amazing

chicken balti

The smoky flavour is awesome – Reinventing the chicken balti

I get asked often for good balti recipes. So often in fact that I have started experimenting a lot more and begging chef friends for recipes. Here is a nice chicken balti which is both easy and quick to make.

I’d like to take this moment also to stress how my recipes should be used. Over the past couple of years I’ve had people complain because they think my recipes are too spicy. I’ve had an equal amount of complaints from those who think they aren’t spicy enough!

The thing is, my recipes really should only be used as guides. If you don’t like chilli powder and my recipe asks for 2 tablespoons of the stuff, you aren’t going to like the recipe. So just leave it out!

Balti curries are traditionally not very spicy though I use about three more fresh green chillies than suggested here.

That is what’s great about making your own curries. You can make them to suite your own tastes!


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How To Make A Superior Chicken Balti
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori masala - good quality store bought or homemade
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 chicken breasts - skinned and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger - grated and finely chopped
  • 1 large green or red pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 - 3 fresh green chilli peppers
  • 2 tomatoes - roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala - Here is my homemade recipe
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 5 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large frying pan or balti pan.
  2. Toss in the onions and allow to fry for about two minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine.
  4. Throw in the chicken pieces.
  5. Now add the sliced pepper, chilli pepper, tomatoes, the tandoori masala, the garam masala and the vinegar.
  6. Stir constantly for a further two minutes.
  7. Plop in the tomato paste and add about 100ml of water. A little more can be added if you prefer more liquid.
  8. Your chicken balti is ready when the chicken is cooked through. Try not to over cook the vegetables. They should still have a nice crunch to them.
  9. Just before serving, sprinkle the coriander into the curry and season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the lime juice.


I would like to thank Farmer’s Choice for supplying the free range chicken I used in this chicken balti.

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  1. badger1010 says

    I tried this last night (the non-smoky version) and was looking forward to a stunning chicken balti.

    I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the end result and having looked into it a bit deeper, it seems that the recipe above suggests using two tablespoons of balti masala whereas the balti masala recipe recommends 1 tablespoon per person.

    Also, the method says to “add the sliced pepper, chili pepper,” however there is no mention of chili pepper on the ingredient list and so I didn’t have any to add.

    Anyway, I’m not going to be deterred, I’ll give it another go and see if the missing ingredients give it the extra something that I thought it lacked.

    Looking forward to trying the smoky version.

    • Dan Toombs says

      Hi Paul

      Thanks for your comment. I did actually leave the chilli pepper out of the ingredients list. Thanks for noticing. I also use one more tablespoon of garam masala. All amended now.

      To be honest, I use more chilli and also more balti masala when cooking this recipe. The problem is I used to get a lot of people writing to me saying that my recipes were too spicy and that they couldn’t eat them. I have now reduced the spices in my recipes knowing that people can always add more to taste.

      I hope you get a chance to try the smoky version. You can always add more spice at the end of cooking to make it perfect for your taste.


  2. Paul says

    Hi, is it balti masala or tandoori masala you use in this recipe?

    I’ve been trying to make a really good BIR curry for ages but no recipe never seems like the real thing :(

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