With next week being National Curry Week, why not start the spicy celebrations off early by making an amazing Chicken Balti?
I remember first being introduced to the Balti around 20 years ago when I was curious whilst out for an Indian as to what was being served in the small iron dishes on a nearby table.
The waiter informed me that it was a Balti, named after the iron pot that it traditionally would have been cooked in, hence why they served it that way.
That piqued my interest and I tried the dish the next time I visited and I wasn’t disappointed – juicy chicken with a lovely spicy taste.
The origins of the word “Balti” can be traced to Baltistan in Northern Pakistan which shares a border with China. This may be why the Balti cooking pot is not unlike a wok.
However, there are claims that the Balti was invented in Birmingham in the 1970s when an Indian chef created a recipe using traditional Kashmiri spices but cooked in such a way that it was more appealing to the western palate.
Regardless of how it came about, the Balti is a thoroughly tasty dish and one which is extremely easy to make using our recipe below for a Friday Fakeaway.
- 3 tbsp oil
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2tsp cumin seeds
- 2 onions sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 8 small chicken portions or 4 breasts diced if you prefer
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 90ml water
- 10 tomatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- Heat the oil in a Balti pan, wok or large frying pan. Add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds and fry until they pop.
- Stir in the onions and garlic and fry until golden brown.
- Add the chicken and stir fry for 5-6 minutes until brown.
- Stir in the chilli powder, salt, garam masala, water and tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Stir in the coriander and serve with pilau rice or naan bread.
More from our Friday Fakeaway series …