Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi. Big, big flavours. It’s near the top of the list of favourite curries in the UK. It’s a bit different too. Kind of a Chinese thing going on with the large chunks of stir-fried onion and green pepper. Has a bit of a smoky taste.

It’s medium hot unless you eat one of the signature big pieces of chili. Then it’s a hot curry. Definitely hot. But really, really tasty. You can even make a vegan version with paneer instead of chicken.

Blister the peppers for really good chicken jalfrezi

The key to the smoky taste is to get some blistering of the green pepper skin when doing the initial stir fry. Onions and green pepper go in to hot oil and cook until the edges of the onion turn brown and you start to get a bit of roasted pepper action.

This gives it the smoky flavour. And you want the smoky flavour. That’s what this curry Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi is all about.

I used to wonder what made a great chicken jalfrezi. Now I know. And so do you.

close up view of Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi

Restaurant style Indian cooking means restaurant prep

This chicken jalfrezi is prepared as they do in Indian restaurants. It’s heavy on the prep and lightning fast to make. You can make it with chicken or lamb. I’ve even seen paneer versions for a vegan alternative.

Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi with rice and aloo keema

Do your prep before you get started. Make your curry base and have some heated and ready to go. Pre-cook your meat. Measure out your ingredients. Have everything ready. Once you get going it’s about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Put on an apron – a bit of splatter is part of the fun. Then get ready to make an awesome chicken jalfrezi.

If you read the guide to Indian restaurant technique yet, do it now. It has pictures to help you understand the recipe. There’s also a guide to Indian ingredients in that post. There’s even a video.

Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi. Try it. You may never go for takeaway again…

top view of Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi with rice and aloo keema

front view of Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi with rice and aloo keema
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4.46 from 11 votes

indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi

Indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi is all about big, bold, smoky flavours. Make sure you really blister your peppers to get the full experience.
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 509kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen


The spice mix

  • 2 tsp indian restaurant spice mix or curry powder - recipe link below
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne mixed with 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

The curry ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp garlic/ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasatta
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro stems - finely chopped
  • 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
  • 10-12 oz pre-cooked chicken or lamb
  • 2 finger hot green chilies cut into half then split
  • 4 cherry tomatoes halved


  • Make the spice mix.
  • Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
  • Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the oil. Use all the oil specified. It's important.
  • 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.
  • Next comes the garlic ginger paste and the cilantro stems. Add them into the pan and cook it, stirring constantly, until the garlic ginger paste stops sputtering.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and serve.


The recipe for curry base is here.
The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here
The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.
If you haven't read about Indian restaurant technique yet, do that before you start cooking.
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
If you are making multiple curries, have your curry base warming in a pot on the stove. If you are just making one, microwave it to warm it up right before you start cooking.
Indian restaurants pre-cook their meat so it's ready for service. This recipe assumes the same. To pre-cook chicken, simply simmer it with a bit of curry powder and salt in chicken stock for about 10-15 minutes - until it's barely cooked.
To pre-cook lamb or beef, do the same but plan for 1 to 1/2 hours for lamb and 2 hours or more for beef. You are making stew meat so you are braising until tender. You will need to keep an eye on the level of the stock. For beef use beef stock.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1166mg | Potassium: 990mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 49.5mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2.1mg

28 thoughts on “indian restaurant chicken jalfrezi

  1. Can I just come live in your kitchen??? Indian food is my favorite, hands down, but not my husband’s. I NEED my FIX. This chicken jalfrezi looks fantastic! And I love the blistered peppers clue for getting a smoky flavor. Bring on the heat!

    • Haha. Thanks for that. Maybe you could try making one of the curry recipes and see if that does it for him? The blistered peppers thing was a bit of a revelation for me the first time I did it. Really makes a big difference.

      • Hi rsaha found this recipie for jalfrezi the best I’ve ever tried and I’ve tried loads it’s just like the takeaway I get it from and tastes amazing another of my favourites is garlic chilli chicken do you have a recipie for this ! ! !
        Many thanks

        • Glad you like it. I don’t yet have a recipe for garlic chili chicken but it is on the list. In the meantime there are lots of other restaurant curry recipes here for you to try!

  2. Ok, this is just making me hungry. I love your blog, I am learning so much about different restaurant cooking techniques and Indian cooking! Pinning this.:)

    • Riva – that’s one of the nicest things I think anyone has ever said about glebekitchen! I am so glad you are learning new things by visiting.

    • The smoky flavours are what makes this dish special. It’s often the little things that add up to make something better than expected.

  3. Yay– more curry! You are DEFINITELY The Curry King (I approve of that food truck name!) This curry looks delicious. Love the flavors here. Hot green chilis have such an amazing heat and the spice mix you have here looks like it could go well in a lot of dishes. Can’t wait to make this soon!

  4. This was amazing, tried so many curry recipes until i came across this site, bulk made the essentials a few week ago and froze sauce. Made today just as it said but with extra green chillis and a drizzle from a lemon to finish. So happy i dont need to ring a takeaway for good curry anymore. Please post a balti next!

    • So glad you liked it. A few extra green chilies is a nice addition but not everyone likes it quite that hot so I try to post the recipes on the milder side and let people add what they like. I will start researching balti next – haven’t tried to make one yet.

  5. I tried this recipe for the 1st time and omg it blew me away. It tasted better the next day than it did when I made it but I genuinely think it tasted better than my local curry takeout. I will make this my go to recipe from now on and make it again and again. Thank you so much for this!!

    • That’s great to hear. Now you have the technique down there are lots of other curries on glebekitchen that you can try – and more coming all the time.

  6. Wow. This is an authentic and very tasty curry.

    Pre prep of the curry gravy is essential. I made this a few weeks before, froze some batches , then defrosted before use.

    Read the recipe BEFORE starting the cook and prep all the ingredients in separate bowls. Spices in one.

    Serve with Basmati rice, chapatis, cold beer and friends.

    Steve White, an enthusiastic amateur cook.

    • A good curry with friends. That’s good living! So glad you liked it. And yes, prep is key when you need to move fast in the kitchen.

  7. Hi Romain,
    I love to cook a curry for friends on a weekend wherever possible. I have always wondered how the resteraunts and takeaways manage to get that distinctive taste and consistency, so when I stumbled across your site I was well pleased! I made the base last night and I’m planning on doing a bhuna or jalfrezi tonight, is it ok to double ingredients to make a larger batch for say 4 people or do I need to stick to 2 portion batches?

    Paul ?

    • Hi Paul,

      It is better to cook two batches. The recipe doesn’t scale linearly and you want to be able to put lots of heat into cooking the curry base. I made a little video recently on the technique (here’s the link) you might want to watch before you try your first curry. Enjoy. It’s addictive.

  8. Hi Romain,
    Thanks for your quick response and advice! I am now posting immediately after making both the bhuna and jalfrezi with a big smug grin on my face! I’ve been trying to cook like this for ages. The only deviations from your recipes was that I had to use ground fenugreek because I couldn’t get hold of any leaves but only used half tsp, and I couldn’t get any tarmarind sauce so just left it out. Wow amazing ? thank you very much I want to tell everyone but also want to keep this to myself ?. Next time I will make sure I have tarmarind sauce and see if I can tell the difference.

    Paul ??

  9. Absolutely amazing – thank you so much for sharing the methods and recipes to allow us to cook restaurant style Indian food. I went shopping at our local Indian food supermarket at the weekend, which is now on my list of must-visit-regularly shops, and bought all the harder to find ingredients and I made up the Spice Mix, Curry Base and Garlic & Ginger Paste and pre-cooked some chicken ready to try out this Jalfrezi recipe, and couldn’t believe how amazing it tasted! I have just gotten some of the frozen curry base out of the freezer ready to cook it again tonight, this time with Sweet potato and chick peas. Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge, and the method of how to cook it – my life is transformed 🙂 I have also sent the link to all my work colleagues who are all dying to try it out too!

    • Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment and for sharing with your colleagues. This is exactly why I created glebe kitchen. I’m so glad it helped you learn.

  10. I have tried dozens of online recipes that claim to be for restaurant style jalfrezi and they never turn out right.

    I followed yours and made the base gravy as suggested and wow it turned out amazing. In fact it is better than the jalfrezi I can buy at my local takeaways. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and techniques. I only wish I had made more base gravy to freeze!!

    Looking forward to trying some more of your curry recipes that uses the base gravy, any you would suggest that are spicy similar to a jalfrezi?

    Thanks once again!

    • Glad this one did the trick! All the restaurant style curries here are similarly spiced (medium hot) so pick one that suits your fancy. You can always add a bit more chili powder if you want it spicier.

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