Chicken Jalfrezi

This is another dish my wife and I discovered in the wonderful Indian restaurant next to the Bahnhof in Rüsselsheim, Germany. This is one of India’s spicier curries but the taste is wonderful. It is often served with plain Greek yogurt on the side if you need to mitigate the heat. This is restaurant style. Prep all your ingredients before you start.





Spice mix:

2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix or curry powder – recipe link
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder or sub 1/4 tsp cayenne mixed with 3/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp kasoor methi – dried fenugreek leaves (or 1 Tbs fresh celery leaves)
1/2 tsp tandoori masala (or 2/3 tsp paprika and 1/3 tsp cayenne )
1/2 tsp kosher salt


4 Tbsp neutral oil – e.g vegetable oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 Tbs garlic/ginger paste (half and half)
1 Tbs tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pizza sauce
1 Tbs cilantro stems – finely chopped
16 oz curry base – recipe link
2 lbs pre-cooked chicken or lamb
2 finger hot green chilies cut into half then split (or 10 tamed jalapeño slices)
8 cherry tomatoes halved


  1. Make the spice mix.
  2. Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to make a slurry (think pizza sauce)
  3. Heat your frying pan (don’t use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil. Use all the oil specified. It’s important.
  4. When the oil starts to shimmer add the onions and green peppers and stir every few seconds. You want the green peppers to be skin side down as much as possible. Fry until the pepper starts to blister and the onion edges turn brown.
  5. Add garlic ginger paste and the cilantro stems into the pan, stirring constantly, until the garlic ginger paste stops sputtering.
  6. Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  8. Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here.
  9. Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  10. Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked lamb, beef or chicken and the green chilies.
  11. Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don’t add water. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they are heated through.
  12. Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
  13. Add the remaining tsp of garam marsala and taste for brown sugar add as much or none as desired,

Serve with basmati rice with plain greek yogurt on the side.