Stir Fry Chicken Balti Curry is a very popular chicken curry in northwestern India, Pakistan and Great Britain. The stir fry balti chicken curry is marked by quick-cooking and subtly-spiced curries, using vegetable oil instead of ghee,seared or stir-fried from pre-assembled ingredients, and cooked over a high flame. This differs greatly from Asian traditional one-pot Indian curry, in which the curry is simmered slowly and generally cooked in ghee or clarified butter. The stir fry chicken balti curry is cooked in a round-bottomed, wok-like heavy cast-iron dish with two handles, which is known as the balti pan. A true Stir Fry Chicken Balti Curry must be served in the same balti pan it is cooked , as it is this “Balti” bowl that gives the dish its name,
This recipe of Stir Fry Chicken Balti Curry is prepared in onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes curry, with turmeric, coriander, cumin, dry methi, cloves, cardamom and garam masala among other spices. Also, this recipe uses freshly ground roasted spices as it makes the dish flavorful and aromatic. My secret ingredient in this recipe is the world’s most commonly used herbs -fresh coriander leaves in chicken marinade.In spite of the fact that the name “coriander” comes from the Greek, ‘koris’, meaning ‘bed bug’ , the coriander herbs have a fresh, citrus taste that makes it an invaluable garnish and flavour enhancer. Both the fresh leaves and stalks are edible.
Despite its place of origin, the Stir Fry Chicken Balti Curry is popularly served in restaurants throughout the United Kingdom. Arguably, it is claimed to be introduced in the Birmingham city of Britain by Mr Arif, after bringing the idea from Kashmir – when he opened his restaurant in 1977.According to Birmingham Balti Association (BBA) , in the late 70s, the curry chefs started to make their dishes lighter, healthier and served faster to suit the Western tastes, and it became widely popular as the Birmingham Balti.
There are 3 theories about the origin of the word Balti :
First, it comes from the from the Portuguese word “balde” meaning bucket.
Second, the word comes from the mountainous region of Baltistan where a tribe called the Baltis live. The ancient silk route brought the Balti pan from China to Baltistan, a long forgotten province near the Karakoram Pass and the Balti cuisine became a part of Moghul court cuisine, aromatic Kashmiri spices, winter foods from mountain highlands and Punjabi cuisine.
Third, the metal pots in which chicken was cooked is also known as “Karahi”, but the word Balti may have been adopted because it was easier for people in the UK to pronounce rather than “Karahi”.
- 500 gms boneless chicken cut into bite pieces
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp mustard oil(you can use any cooking oil)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Salt as per taste
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 4-6 garlic cloves grated/chopped
- 1 inch ginger chopped/grated
- 2 green chilies slit vertically
- 2 tsp Kashmiri mirch powder
- 1 tsp cayenne or paprika( adjust as per taste)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
- 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- ½ tsp kasuri methi
- 2 dry red chillies
- ½ tsp shahi jeera
- Dash of hing or asaefoetida
- 1 small bay leaf
- ¼ cup plain unsweetened yogurt
- First, marinade the chicken with lemon, half of ginger and garlic, mustard oil, salt, half of turmeric, half cayenne, half kashmiri mirch powder and half chopped coriander leaves. Keep the marinade in refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare other ingredients. Dry roast on low flame for 4-5 minutes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilies, kasuri methi, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods. Cool and grind it to a fine powder. This will be the roasted curry powder.
- Beat the yogurt separately in a bowl till it turns smooth.
- When the marinade has rested well, it's time to start cooking. Heat a wok or a Balti pan and add oil into it. When it is heated, add hing, shahi jeera and bay leaf. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add chopped onions along with remaining grated/chopped ginger and garlic and green chillies. Saute till the onions brown and translucent.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, roasted ground chicken curry powder, cayenne, Kashmiri mirch powder, turmeric powder and salt as per taste. Stir and fry on medium high heat till the tomatoes get soft and mushy and you can see sparks of oil leaving in the pan.
- Add the chicken marinade and stir fry at medium high heat for 7-8 minutes, till the pinkness is gone and the chicken is seared well.
- Lower the flame and add the beaten yogurt and stir and mix. Stir and fry on medium high flame till the oil separates.
- Add ½ cup of warm water, garam masala and stir fry on medium high flame for another 2-3 minutes.
- Take off the pan from the heat. Serve it hot , garnished with chopped coriander and enjoy it with naan or any flatbread.