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Nearly restaurant chicken jalfrezi in an Indian copper bowl - front view.
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5 from 7 votes

nearly restaurant style chicken jalfrezi

You don't need to dive into full blown Indian restaurant style cooking to whip up a really, really good chicken jalfrezi.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken jalfrezi, indian chicken curry
Servings: 4 or 2 if you have really big appetites
Calories: 454kcal


The onion paste

  • 2 cups onions - coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

Chicken jalfrezi

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 3 pieces per thigh.
  • 1 green pepper - cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion - cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp indian restaurant mix powder - see notes
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt - use a bit less if you are using table salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic ginger paste - see notes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced cilantro stems
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste diluted to the consistency of tomato sauce
  • 2 green chilies - halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 cherry tomatoes - halved


The onion paste

  • Place the 2 cups of chopped onions in a microwave safe dish and cover loosely. Microwave at 70 percent until the onions are soft and translucent. This takes 10 minutes in my 1100 watt microwave. I can't predict how long it will take in yours...
  • Remove the onions from the microwave. Be careful. They will be hot. Let them cool slightly. Place the onions, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 cup of warm water in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Chicken jalfrezi

  • In a small bowl, combine the mix powder, tandoori masala, Kashmiri chili powder, kasoor methi and salt. This is your spice mix.
  • Heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the green pepper, skin side down. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining chopped onion and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown on the edges and the green pepper scorches a bit. You really want the colour on the green pepper skin. It's key to the taste of a jalfrezi. 
  • Add the garlic ginger paste and cilantro stems and cook until the garlic ginger paste stops spluttering.
  • Turn the heat to medium low. Add the spice mix and stir continuously until it starts to smell really good - around 30-40 seconds. Watch it carefully. If you burn the spices at this point you have to start over. It will stick a bit. That's OK - you will deglaze with the tomato mixture.
  • Add the diluted tomato paste and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 1 minute, scraping up any spice mix that stuck to the pan..
  • Add the onion paste and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes. It will darken a bit as it cooks. Don't worry if it seems a bit dry. The chicken will release juices as it cooks and you should be left with a nice amount of sauce.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the chicken and green chilies and stir. Cover and simmer until the chicken is done. It's done when you measure the internal temperature and it says 170F, about 12-15 minutes. An instant read thermometer is a handy thing to have here...
  • If the curry is a bit thick add a bit of water or chicken stock and stir. Add the cherry tomatoes. Let the chicken jalfrezi simmer another minute or so. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. It may be a bit under salted at this point.
  • Garnish with a bit of cilantro if desired.


The recipe for Indian restaurant spice mix can be found here.
You can buy garlic ginger paste but it's easy to make and homemade is way better. Here's an easy recipe for garlic ginger paste. If you cook Indian fairly often it's so worth it to whip up a batch. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 880mg | Potassium: 777mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 41.7mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.7mg