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Ultimate Chicken Balti

A Chicken Balti is one of those classic curry-house recipe’s that we’d all love to make at home. This is the full recipe, which involves making your own Balti Paste from scratch. Although it takes more time than simply using some balti Paste, the results of a freshly made-from-scratch Chicken Balti are worth the wait.

The process starts off by caramelising some onions, then blending them with a variety of Balti spices to make a Balti Paste. You could probably do this a larger quantity and it will keep for some time in your fridge to be used once or twice more. Once the paste it done the process is quite straight forward (So long as you have all the spices).


The Balti Paste is simply fried for a bit then add some liquid (water and tomato passata) and then the chicken and some peppers. Leave to boil and at the end add some garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves.

Ultimate Chicken Balti Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The ultimate, from scratch Balti Paste and Chicken Balti Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2
For the Balti Paste
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri (or normal red) chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
For the Chicken Balti
  • 2 dried kashmiri chilli seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick (approx 2 inch piece)
  • 150ml water (or chicken stock for richer flavour)
  • 250g sieved tomato passata or can chopped tomatoes
  • 600g cubed chicken
  • ½ small red pepper, sliced
  • ½ small green pepper, sliced
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped (for garnish)
To make the Balti paste
  1. Roughly chop 1 onion
  2. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the pan and fry the onion
  3. Continue frying on a medium-high heat until the onion is golden brown
  4. Drain the onion and allow to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Add the onions and the rest of the paste ingredients to a blender
  6. Blend until you get a red Balti curry paste
To make the chicken curry
  1. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee to a saucepan and turn on the heat
  2. Add the dried kashmiri chilli flakes and cinammon stick to the oil
  3. Allow to mix through the oil for 2 minutes, then add 2 tbsp of balti paste (more if you want a stronger flavour)
  4. Fry the paste for 2 minutes until the oils begin to seperate and bubble to the top
  5. Add the water and tomato passata, stir well and bring to the boil
  6. Add the chicken and sliced red and green peppers and cook for 15 minutes
  7. After 15 minutes check the seasoning, add more salt if required
  8. Ensure the chicken is almost cooked through
  9. Add the dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala and ground coriander
  10. Cook through for 2 minutes then serve

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