Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (2024)

Published: by Nicky Corbishley

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Homemade Chicken Jalfrezi in a deliciously thick, spicy sauce. I love this for a quick weeknight meal when I'm craving a good curry. Serve it with my quick and easy pilau rice – all ready in 40 minutes.

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (1)

We love a good curry at home, and you'll often find me whipping up a quick Thai curry on a busy weeknight, or making a slow cooker curry when we've got friends round for dinner. It's also the number one food I crave when we come back from holiday.

We have so much fun trying all the local cuisines and basically eating everything in sight, but when I get back home, dinner is a saucy curry with lots of rice.

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (2)

This jalfrezi is a great one to make when you're craving that spicy-curry kick.

I like to marinate the chicken first with cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. No too long - 10-15 minutes is enough. Then after that, we're talking 30 minutes from start to finish.

Fry the marinated chicken in a little oil and butter.

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (3)
Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (4)

Then add in sliced onions, chillies, garlic and ginger before adding the next layer of spices.
We're using the same spices you used to marinate the chicken (this time to flavour the sauce). We also add in a little salt.

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (5)

Next in goes chopped peppers, tinned tomatoes, stock and tomato puree. That needs to bubble away for about 10 minutes, then it's ready to serve.

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (6)

Lots of spices and a nice kick of heat, with plenty of sauce to soak into the rice.

Speaking of rice - did you know how easy it is to make pilau rice at home? I've got the recipe for you here (click on the image to take you to the recipe):

Dish the jalfrezi up with that lovely fragrant Pilau rice, and sprinkle on some red onion and coriander before serving.

What to serve with your curry:

  • Homemade Chapati or Garlic Naan
  • Saag Aloo from this recipe
  • Boiled Rice or Restaurant Style Pilau Rice
  • A
  • These spicy Lamb Samosa cups make a great starter
  • And these Pistachio and White Chocolate Blondies are a great dessert to finish off the meal.
Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (8)

📺 Watch how to make this Chicken Jalfrezi (and the pilau rice too!)

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (9)

🍽️ More Fantastic Curry Recipes

  • Butter Chicken
  • Lamb Bhuna
  • Easy Chicken Korma
  • Ultimate Beef Massaman Curry Recipe
  • Chicken Pathia
  • Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

Want to use the Curry Base Gravy Method for this Curry?

Check out the notes section of the recipe card of my Curry Base Gravy to see how I convert this recipe to use a make-ahead curry base.

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Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (16)

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe

By: Nicky Corbishley

Homemade Chicken Jalfrezi in a deliciously thick, spicy sauce. Serve it with my quick and easy pilau rice – all ready in 40 minutes.

4.94 from 59 votes

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Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 25 minutes mins

marinating time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine Asian

Servings 4 people

Calories 312 kcal



  • 3 chicken breasts (about 500g/1.1lbs) - chopped into bitesized chunks
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion - peeled and sliced
  • 1 red chilli - sliced
  • 1 green chilli - sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red bell pepper - sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper - sliced
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 240 ml (1 cup) chicken stock - ensure this is a gluten-free stock if required
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree - paste for US

To Serve:

  • pilau rice - or boiled rice
  • fresh coriander
  • chilli flakes
  • sliced red onion


  • Coat the chicken in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala and leave to marinade for 10 minutes, covered in the fridge.

    3 chicken breasts (about 500g/1.1lbs), 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala

  • Once the chicken has marinated, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the chicken. Cook on a high heat for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is sealed.

    1 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • Add the onion to the pan, turn the heat down to low-medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens.

    1 large onion

  • Add the red and green chilli, garlic, and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.

    1 red chilli, 1 green chilli, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger

  • Add in the garam masala, turmeric, salt, cumin, and ground coriander. Stir to coat the onions, and cook for a further 2 minutes.

    1 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 ½ tsp salt, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander

  • Add in the red and green pepper, tinned tomatoes, chicken stock, and tomato puree.

    1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes, 240 ml (1 cup) chicken stock, 1 tbsp tomato puree

  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

  • Stir in the fresh coriander and serve with rice, topped with fresh coriander, a few chilli flakes, and some sliced red onion.

    pilau rice, fresh coriander, chilli flakes, sliced red onion


Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (17)

✎ Notes

Want to use the Curry Base Gravy Method?

Check out the notes section of the recipe card of my Curry Base Gravy to see how I convert this recipe to use a make-ahead curry base.

What about a gluten-free jalfrezi?

The ingredients I used for this chicken jalfrezi recipe are already gluten-free - but it's a good idea to check your own brands to be sure.

Can I make it vegetarian?

Yes, add in more veggies in place of the chicken, and use vegetable stock. I like to marinate cubes of courgette and mushrooms in place of the chicken.

Can I make it ahead?

Yes, you can make the jalfrezi ahead, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan over a medium heat until the chicken is hot throughout.

Will it freeze ok?

Yes, freeze in freezer-proof containers with a lid as soon as the curry is cool. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then reheat in a pan - as per above.

Can I make chicken jalfrezi in the slow cooker?

Yes - bring the curry up to the boil (step 12), then transfer to a slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.

Swap out the chicken for lamb:

Lamb jalfrezi is delicious - but it takes longer to cook to become tender. If you want to replace the chicken with lamb, then add a little more liquid (I would add an extra 140z/400g tin of chopped tomatoes) and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water or stock if it starts to look too dry.

Nutritional Information is per serving.


Calories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 30gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1484mgPotassium: 1041mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1619IUVitamin C: 94mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 4mg

Keywords chicken curry, curry, Fakeaway, Indian Curry, quick curry, spicy curry, Takeaway food at home

Tried this recipe?Mention @KitchenSanctuary or tag #KitchenSanctuary on Instagram!

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our

Posted in Sept 2019 updated July 2020 and October 2021 with new hints and tips and for housekeeping reasons.

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (18)

Hi I’m Nicky

I love to cook and I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Graham says

    Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (27)
    Just made for 12 just lovely was very nice and all enjoyed


  2. Rob says

    Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (28)
    Superb, made with chicken thighs and veg stock, and the gravy would suit veg, prawns etc. Took rather longer than 40 minutes - maybe an hour for me


  3. Karen Rhoades says

    Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (29)
    Delicious curry, not too hot but lovely flavours. My husband loved it. I did make it a couple of days before eating and the flavours has definitely improved. I also used chicken thigh meat.


« Older Comments

Chicken Jalfrezi Recipe (2024)


What is Jalfrezi sauce made of? ›

A tomato based sauce with peppers, coconut and coriander.

What is chicken jalfrezi made of? ›

Chicken Jalfrezi is a boneless chicken curry made with a traditional onion and tomato masala. It's cooked with cubed pieces of capsicum (bell peppers, for our friends in the Western hemisphere) added in towards the end of the cook-time, so they keep their colour and bite.

What does Jalfrezi mean in Indian? ›

Jalfrezi means "hot-fry". It consists of a main ingredient such as meat, fish, paneer or vegetables, stir-fried and served in a thick spicy sauce that includes green chilli peppers. Common further ingredients include bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. Jalfrezi. Chicken jalfrezi.

What is the difference between chicken tikka masala and chicken jalfrezi? ›

A lot of people think Chicken tikka masala and Butter Chicken and Chicken Jalfrezi are same but in fact they are not. Chicken tikka masala is on the spicier side, is made with boneless chicken and has a chunky sauce due to the usage of chopped onions.

What is the closest curry to Jalfrezi? ›

The Karahi curry is a spicy dish and is a particular favourite in Northern India and Pakistan. It is related to the Balti and Jalfrezi as all of them are stir fried dishes. A Karahi is actually the name for a type of Indian iron round bottomed wok in the same way that a Balti is a flat bottomed metal dish too.

What does jalfrezi taste like? ›

Jalfrezi Curry Medium/Hot.

A distinctive and versatile curry with savoury tastes from cumin, curry leaves and fenugreek (methi). Onions and Green chillies are the basis for this dish, it can range from very warm to extra hot, and depending on how many chillies you add.

What is chicken jalfrezi similar to? ›

It is said that Chicken Jalfrezi is one of the most popular dishes in the British Indian Restaurants in UK. This dish, like the Chicken Tikka Masala has been westernized in a lot of restaurants.

What ethnicity is chicken jalfrezi? ›

History of Chicken Jalfrezi

Despite its deep roots in Indian culture, jalfrezi hails from the cookbooks of British India. Like many dishes, its origin stems from a need to reduce food waste by reusing leftovers.

How do you thicken Jalfrezi sauce? ›

Add one tablespoon of cornflour to two or three tablespoons of cold water and stir. Pour the mixture into the sauce and allow to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. Which doesn't take very long. Ideal for Indian curries and can be used as a cream substitute (which is also thickens sauces).

Which is better vindaloo or Jalfrezi? ›

Jalfrezi and vindaloo are both hot, thick curries that are packed with spicy flavor. However, jalfrezi often has green chili and bell pepper added for a fresh, slightly sweet addition. Vindaloo has a spicier depth of flavor and is cooked by simmering in the sauce, rather than stir-frying.

What does tikka mean in Indian? ›

The word “tikka” means small pieces of meat in Punjabi. And “masala” means mixture in the Punjabi language. These small pieces of chicken are marinated, traditionally and baked. In this article we look at the origin of Chicken Tikka Masala Indian curry and learn about its popularity in Western-worlds.

Is Jalfrezi good for you? ›

Dietitian Daisy Mercer, on behalf of nutritional app MyFitnessPal, also agreed with Abbie about vegetable curries and chicken jalfrezi being healthier options. Daisy said: "Chicken jalfrezi is a low-calorie Indian curry as it's packed with peppers and chilis.

Why is it called Jalfrezi? ›

The name Jalfrezi probably comes from the Bengali word for spicy (jal) and frezi may refer to stir-frying. Today, rather than leftovers, precooked marinated meats are often used. Usually in bite-sized pieces added to stir fried onions, green chillies, peppers, tomatoes and spices.

What's more spicy Madras or jalfrezi? ›

The Jalfrezi is hands-down the hottest curry on this list, as it's surprisingly become more popular than the Madras in recent years. You can enjoy this delicious blend of spices with meat or vegetables, but the use of bell peppers and green chillies means it's certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Which is better vindaloo or jalfrezi? ›

Jalfrezi and vindaloo are both hot, thick curries that are packed with spicy flavor. However, jalfrezi often has green chili and bell pepper added for a fresh, slightly sweet addition. Vindaloo has a spicier depth of flavor and is cooked by simmering in the sauce, rather than stir-frying.

Is jalfrezi sauce spicy? ›

Hot, spicy and delicious

Beautiful and spicy.


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