January 2008 Archives

Green Chicken Jalfrezi

Green Chicken Jalfrezi

At my favourite Indian restaurants in the UK, the Chicken Jalfrezi comes in a rather green sauce. One of them also advertises it as "low fat". However, pretty much everywhere else (including restaurants here in Vienna), it always comes in a red, rather fatty sauce. This recipe is my attempt at re-creating the green Chicken Jalfrezi as served by Khan's in London, where it's advertised as "cooked mainly with green chilies, herbs and spices". It comes extremely close to what I intended it to be.

Here's the recipe. If you want to cook it, BEWARE: this is by definition a very hot dish: most of the taste and aroma comes from the green chilies; so if you use fewer chilies in an attempt to make a milder dish, most of the taste goes missing - you need all those chilies for the taste. This recipe serves 2-3. Here we go:

  • 750 grams of chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger (slightly less than 1 inch), chopped
  • 1 green capsicum (bell pepper), deseeded and cut into biggish pieces
  • 15 (sic!) green chilies, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons green coriander, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a few (max. ½ teaspoon) cardamom seeds
  • salt

Chop one of the garlic cloves. In a large pan or wok, fry the onions in 2 tablespoons of oil until they become yellowish. Add the chopped ginger and the chopped garlic clove and fry 1 minute more.

Put the fried onions, ginger and garlic plus the green chilies, green coriander, methi leaves and ½ cup (125ml) of water in a blender and whizz until very smooth.

Put the chicken pieces and capsicum pieces into the frying pan (you may want to add a little bit of oil) and fry until the meat has turned white on the outside. Add the mixture from the blender, the cardamom seeds, the turmeric powder and some salt, then add some water until the meat is covered. Bring to boil.

After a while, squeeze in the remaining garlic clove with a garlic press and add the coriander powder. Cook until the meat is well done and at least half the water has evaporated from the sauce. Serve with lots of rice.

If you want a milder taste, the correct way is not to use fewer chilies - as I said, this will affect the taste - but you can try to let it cook a bit longer, as the chilies become "milder" the longer they cook. You may have to add some more water in that case. However, there's no way of turning this into a "mild" or "medium" dish. At its mildest, it'll still be "fairly hot".