Homemade Chicken Jalfrezi in a deliciously thick, spicy sauce. I love this for a quick weeknight meal when I'm craving a good curry. Serve it with my quick and easy pilau rice – all ready in 40 minutes.
We love a good curry at home, and you'll often find me whipping up a quick Thai curry on a busy weeknight, or making a slow cooker curry when we've got friends round for dinner. It's also the number one food I crave when we come back from holiday.
We have so much fun trying all the local cuisines and basically eating everything in sight (like we did in France recently - still can't believe I put on 5 ½lbs in 4 days), but when I get back home, dinner is a saucy curry with lots of rice.
This jalfrezi is a great one to make when you're craving that spicy-curry kick.
I like to marinate the chicken first. No too long - 10-15 minutes is enough (you can marinate for longer if you like). Then after that, we're talking 30 minutes from start to finish.
Fry the marinated chicken:
Then add onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, spices and peppers:
Once those spices are releasing their fragrance, add in tinned tomatoes and stock, then simmer for 10 minutes or so until thickened.
Lots of spices, a nice kick of heat and plenty of sauce to soak into the rice.
Speaking of rice - did you know how easy it is to make pilau rice at home?
Simply fry up some onion and spices, then add the rice and water and cook as normal. This is how the onions and spices look before adding the rice and water:
The spices give it a lovely fragrance, without overpowering the rice, and the turmeric gives it that gorgeous golden yellow colour.
Dish the Chicken Jalfrezi up with that lovely fragrant Pilau rice, and sprinkle on some red onion and coriander before serving.
Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe
- 3 chicken breasts (about 500g) - chopped into bitesized chunks
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion - peeled and sliced
- 1 red chilli - sliced
- 1 green chilli - sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 red bell pepper - sliced
- 1 green bell pepper - sliced
- 14 oz (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup (240ml) chicken stock - ensure this is a gluten free stock if required
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Small bunch chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Fresh coriander and chilli flakes to serve
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 small onion - peeled and finely diced
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 300 g long grain rice
- 600 ml boiling water
- Coat the chicken in the cumin, coriander and turmeric and leave to marinade for 10 minutes, covered in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, make the rice. Heat the oil and butter in a pan until the butter melts. Add the onion and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add in the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, turmeric and bay leaves. Heat through, whilst stirring for a further minute.
- Add the rice and stir to coat in the spices.
- Add the boiling water, stir once and bring back to the boil, then place a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to very low. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, turn the heat off. Leave the lid on and the rice should retain its heat until the curry is ready.
- Once the chicken has marinated (whilst the rice is cooking), heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the chicken. Cook on a high heat for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is sealed.
- Add the onion to the pan, turn the heat down to low-medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens.
- Add the red and green chilli, garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add in the garam masala, turmeric, salt, cumin and ground coriander. Stir to coat the onions, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add in the red and green pepper, tinned tomatoes, chicken stock and tomato puree.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
- Stir in the fresh coriander and serve with the pilau rice, topped with fresh coriander and a few chilli flakes.
What about a gluten-free jalfrezi?Yes, this chicken jalfrezi recipe is already gluten-free - but it's a good idea to check your own brands to be sure.
Can I make it vegetarian?Yes, add in more veggies in place of the chicken, and use vegetable stock. I like to marinate cubes of courgette and mushrooms in place of the chicken.
Can I make it ahead?Yes, you can make the jalfrezi ahead, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan over a medium heat until the chicken is hot throughout.
Will it freeze ok?Yes, you can freeze the jalfrezi and the rice. Freeze separately in freezer-proof containers with lids as soon as the curry and rice is cool. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then reheat in a pan - as per above. Reheat the rice by adding two tablespoons of water and placing the rice in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and cook in the oven at 150C/300F for approx 20 minutes until the rice is hot throughout.
Can I make chicken jalfrezi in the slow cooker?Yes - bring the curry up to the boil (step 12), then transfer to a slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.
Swap out the chicken for lamb:Lamb jalfrezi is delicious - but it takes longer to cook to become tender. If you want to replace the chicken with lamb, then add a little more liquid (I would add an extra 140z/400g tin of chopped tomatoes) and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water or stock if it starts to look too dry. Nutritional Information is per serving including rice.
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.
Posted in Sept 2019 updated July 2020 with new hints and tips and for housekeeping reasons.