Chicken balti is one of those immense curries that packs in loads of flavour in a fairly short cooking time – no slow cooking required here. That makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner.

It’s often tempting to use one of those jars of curry sauce to make a quick curry on a busy evening. Don’t do it! This is just as easy, but you’ll get something that’s absolutely singing with flavour, rather than a flat meal that’s not at all satisfying.

Balti is a great curry – it’s got spice, zing and a touch of sweetness from red bell pepper. It’s perfect alongside a mild curry – like my butter halloumi, some white rice and maybe naan bread.

Ingredients, Substitutions and Variations

  • Vegetable oil – or you could use ghee.
  • Onion, garlic and ginger – this makes the base of your curry. You can use frozen minced garlic and ginger to make things easier.
  • Green chilli – this brings the spice, so use as much or as little as you like!
  • Red bell pepper and tomato – these vegetables bring an irresistible freshness and sweetness to the curry.
  • Tomato puree – make sure you use proper tomato puree, not chopped tomatoes or passata.
  • Tandoori masala and madras powder – these two spice mixes combine to make for a beautiful curry. They’re easy to buy online, or you can make your own at home – there are plenty of spice mix recipes online.
  • Chicken – I used skinless and boneless thigh – for me, it’s the most flavourful bit of chicken. However, you could use chicken breast.
  • Coriander and lime – optional, to serve.

Top Tips

  1. This curry needs plenty of stirring

    We cook it fairly quickly, so make sure you stir often to cook it evenly and ensure that nothing burns.

  2. The flavour is at the bottom

    When you add the water, use your wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. There will be amazing flavour in the crust at the bottom – make sure it gets into your curry!

  3. This is a dry curry

    Not a saucy one, so you may think there isn’t enough liquid at first. You just need enough to coat everything and cook the chicken, that’s all.

Get the cook books:

Chicken balti Top view

Chicken Balti

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A quick and delicious chicken balti curry packed full of spice and flavour.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and diced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and diced
  • 1 green chilli diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tbsp madras powder
  • 320 g boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander leaves to serve
  • 1 lime to serve


  • Pour the vegetable oil into a large saucepan and put on a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for approximately ten minutes, stirring regularly, until it starts to caramelise.
  • Add the ginger and garlic. Cook for another two minutes until it’s really fragrant.
  • Add the chilli, tomato puree, red pepper and tomato. Stir well, then add the tandoori masala and madras powder. Give it another good stir, and cook for another two minutes.
  • Add the chicken. Cook for around five minutes until the chicken is starting to brown.
  • Tip in 100ml cold water. Stir well and get all of the flavour from the bottom of the pan. Cook – stirring frequently- for another ten minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Keyword chicken, curry

5 responses to “Chicken Balti”

  1. 5 stars
    Wow this curry really was so flavorful and so easy to make! My whole family loved it!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never made balti curry before, but I will definitely be making it regularly now. I just love the hint of sweetness from the red pepper with the aromatic sauce. Next time I’m making a double batch. I’m sure it will freeze well?

  3. 5 stars
    Best Balti curry recipe I’ve tried to make at home! Tasted like I ordered out, it was so good! I served with rice and naan and couldn’t stop eating!!

  4. 5 stars
    Super delicious and so quick to whip up! I served it up with some fresh garlic naan, and it was a total hit! Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    I am always looking for more chicken recipes, and this one is a winner in my books! Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.